Graceful restart/reload/stop

Graceful Stop

To allow graceful restart/reload/stop processes, make sure you intercept the SIGINT signal and clear everything needed (like database connections, processing jobs…) before letting your application exit.

process.on('SIGINT', function() {
   db.stop(function(err) {
     process.exit(err ? 1 : 0);

Now pm2 reload will become a gracefulReload.

Explanation: Signals flow

When a process is stopped/restarted by PM2, some system signals are sent to your process in a given order.

First a SIGINT a signal is sent to your processes, signal you can catch to know that your process is going to be stopped. If your application does not exit by itself before 1.6s (customizable) it will receive a SIGKILL signal to force the process exit.

Cleaning states and jobs

As stated before, if you need to clean-up (stop intervals, stop connection to database…) you can intercept the SIGINT signal to prepare your application to exit.

Here is a sample on how to intercept the SIGINT signal with Node.js:


process.on('SIGINT', function() {
  // My process has received a SIGINT signal
  // Meaning PM2 is now trying to stop the process

  // So I can clean some stuff before the final stop

  setTimeout(function() {
    // 300ms later the process kill it self to allow a restart
  }, 300);

Customize exit delay

Via CLI, this will lengthen the timeout to 3000ms:

$ pm2 start app.js --kill-timeout 3000

Via JSON declaration:

  "apps" : [{
    "name"         : "api",
    "script"       : "app.js",
    "kill_timeout" : 3000

Graceful start

From now on (pm2 version 2.1.x), you can make a graceful start. Sometimes you might need to wait for your application to have etablished connections with your DBs/caches/workers/whatever. PM2 needs to wait before considering your application as online. To do this, you need to provide --wait-ready to the CLI or provide wait_ready: true in a process file. This will make PM2 listen for that event. In your application you will need to add process.send('ready'); when you want your application to be considered as ready.

Note that PM2 has a timeout in case the event is never called. If your startup takes more time than the default timeout (3000 ms), you can increase it using PM2_GRACEFUL_LISTEN_TIMEOUT env variable or listen_timeout entry in process file.

var http = require('http');
var app = http.createServer(function(req, res) {
var listener = app.listen(0, function() {
  console.log('Listening on port ' + listener.address().port);

Graceful start using http.Server.listen

There is still an old system that hooks into http.Server.listen method. When your http server accepts a connection, it will automaticaly state your application as ready. You can increase the PM2 waiting time the listen using the same variable as --wait-ready graceful start : PM2_GRACEFUL_LISTEN_TIMEOUT env variable or listen_timeout entry in process file.

Windows graceful stop

When signals are not available your process gets killed. In that case, you need to listen for shutdown events:

process.on('message', function(msg) {
  if (msg == 'shutdown') {
    console.log('Closing all connections...');
    setTimeout(function() {
      console.log('Finished closing connections');
    }, 1500);