Startup Script

PM2 can generates startup scripts and configure them in order to keep your process list intact accross 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, too 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