Startup Script

PM2 can generate startup scripts and configure them in order to keep your process list intact across expected or unexpected machine restarts.


To get the automatically-configured startup script for your machine you need to type this command:

# Auto-detect platform
$ pm2 startup

# OR
# Render startup-script for a specific platform, the [platform] could be one of:
#   ubuntu|centos|redhat|gentoo|systemd|darwin|amazon
$ pm2 startup [platform] -

The output of this command may be a recommendation of the line to copy/paste with all environment variables and options configured for you.


[PM2] You have to run this command as root. Execute the following command:
      sudo su -c "env PATH=$PATH:/home/unitech/.nvm/versions/node/v4.3/bin pm2 startup <distribution> -u <user> --hp <home-path>

Just copy/paste this line and the startup script will be configured for your OS.

Windows consideration

There are some external libraries to generate a Windows compatible startup script, please checkout pm2-windows-service or pm2-windows-startup.

Saving current processes

Once you started all the applications you want to manage, to keep this list across expected/unexpected server restart, just type the command:

$ pm2 save

Doing this will save the process list with their current environment into the dump file $PM2_HOME/.pm2/dump.pm2

Warning We recommend you to double check that everything is working correctly by restarting your server.

Startup Systems support

Multiple types of startup scripts are available:

  • SystemV init script (with the option ubuntu or centos)
  • OpenRC init script (with the option gentoo)
  • SystemD init script (with the systemd option)

The distribution option after doing pm2 startup <distribution> will use:

  • ubuntu will use updaterc.d and the script lib/scripts/
  • centos/redhat will use chkconfig and the script lib/scripts/
  • gentoo will use rc-update and the script lib/scripts/pm2
  • systemd will use systemctl and the script lib/scripts/pm2.service
  • darwin will use launchd to load a specific plist to resurrect processes after reboot

User permissions

Let’s say you want the startup script to be executed under another user.

Just use the -u <username> option!

$ pm2 startup ubuntu -u www

Override max open fd

The environment variable MAX_OPEN_FILE allows to change the maximum open file descriptor. Add the MAX_OPEN_FILE variable in /etc/default/pm2

Verify startup apps

Tool to verify startup applications (available on Ubuntu):

$ sudo apt-get install rcconf
# Check for pm2 script related
$ sudo rcconf

Remove init scripts

# Ubuntu
$ sudo update-rc.d -f remove

Bring back dump

Bring back previously saved processes (via pm2 save):

$ pm2 resurrect