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PM2 Process Management Quick Start

PM2 is a daemon process manager that will help you manage and keep your application online. Getting started with PM2 is straightforward, it is offered as a simple and intuitive CLI, installable via NPM.


The latest PM2 version is installable with NPM or Yarn:

$ npm install pm2@latest -g
# or
$ yarn global add pm2

To install Node.js and NPM you can use NVM

Start an app

The simplest way to start, daemonize and monitor your application is by using this command line:

$ pm2 start app.js

Or start any other application easily:

$ pm2 start
$ pm2 start --watch
$ pm2 start binary-file -- --port 1520

Some options you can pass to the CLI:

# Specify an app name
--name <app_name>

# Watch and Restart app when files change

# Set memory threshold for app reload
--max-memory-restart <200MB>

# Specify log file
--log <log_path>

# Pass extra arguments to the script
-- arg1 arg2 arg3

# Delay between automatic restarts
--restart-delay <delay in ms>

# Prefix logs with time

# Do not auto restart app

# Specify cron for forced restart
--cron <cron_pattern>

# Attach to application log

As you can see many options are available to manage your application with PM2. You will discover them depending on your use case.

Managing processes

Managing application state is simple here are the commands:

$ pm2 restart app_name
$ pm2 reload app_name
$ pm2 stop app_name
$ pm2 delete app_name

Instead of app_name you can pass:

  • all to act on all processes
  • id to act on a specific process id

Check status, logs, metrics

Now that you have started this application, you can check its status, logs, metrics and even get the online dashboard with

List managed applications

List the status of all application managed by PM2:

$ pm2 [list|ls|status]

Display logs

To display logs in realtime:

$ pm2 logs

To dig in older logs:

$ pm2 logs --lines 200

Terminal Based Dashboard

Here is a realtime dashboard that fits directly into your terminal:

$ pm2 monit Monitoring & Diagnostic Web Interface

Web based dashboard, cross servers with diagnostic system:

$ pm2 plus

Cluster mode

For Node.js applications, PM2 includes an automatic load balancer that will share all HTTP[s]/Websocket/TCP/UDP connections between each spawned processes.

To start an application in Cluster mode:

$ pm2 start app.js -i max

Read more about cluster mode here.

Ecosystem File

You can also create a configuration file, called Ecosystem File, to manage multiple applications. To generate an Ecosystem file:

$ pm2 ecosystem

This will generate an ecosystem.config.js file:

module.exports = {
  apps : [{
    name: "app",
    script: "./app.js",
    env: {
      NODE_ENV: "development",
    env_production: {
      NODE_ENV: "production",
  }, {
     name: 'worker',
     script: 'worker.js'

And start it easily:

$ pm2 start process.yml

Read more about application declaration here.

Setup startup script

Restarting PM2 with the processes you manage on server boot/reboot is critical. To solve this, just run this command to generate an active startup script:

$ pm2 startup

And to freeze a process list for automatic respawn:

$ pm2 save

Read more about startup script generator here.

Restart application on changes

It’s pretty easy with the --watch option:

$ cd /path/to/my/app
$ pm2 start env.js --watch --ignore-watch="node_modules"

This will watch & restart the app on any file change from the current directory + all subfolders and it will ignore any changes in the node_modules folder --ignore-watch="node_modules".

You can then use pm2 logs to check for restarted app logs.

Updating PM2

We made it simple, there is no breaking change between releases and the procedure is straightforward:

npm install pm2@latest -g

Then update the in-memory PM2 :

pm2 update


Here are some commands that are worth knowing. Just try them with a sample application or with your current web application on your development machine:

# Fork mode
pm2 start app.js --name my-api # Name process

# Cluster mode
pm2 start app.js -i 0        # Will start maximum processes with LB depending on available CPUs
pm2 start app.js -i max      # Same as above, but deprecated.
pm2 scale app +3             # Scales `app` up by 3 workers
pm2 scale app 2              # Scales `app` up or down to 2 workers total

# Listing

pm2 list               # Display all processes status
pm2 jlist              # Print process list in raw JSON
pm2 prettylist         # Print process list in beautified JSON

pm2 describe 0         # Display all informations about a specific process

pm2 monit              # Monitor all processes

# Logs

pm2 logs [--raw]       # Display all processes logs in streaming
pm2 flush              # Empty all log files
pm2 reloadLogs         # Reload all logs

# Actions

pm2 stop all           # Stop all processes
pm2 restart all        # Restart all processes

pm2 reload all         # Will 0s downtime reload (for NETWORKED apps)

pm2 stop 0             # Stop specific process id
pm2 restart 0          # Restart specific process id

pm2 delete 0           # Will remove process from pm2 list
pm2 delete all         # Will remove all processes from pm2 list

# Misc

pm2 reset <process>    # Reset meta data (restarted time...)
pm2 updatePM2          # Update in memory pm2
pm2 ping               # Ensure pm2 daemon has been launched
pm2 sendSignal SIGUSR2 my-app # Send system signal to script
pm2 start app.js --no-daemon
pm2 start app.js --no-vizion
pm2 start app.js --no-autorestart

What’s next?

Learn how to declare all your application’s behavior options into a JSON configuration file.

Learn how to do clean stop and restart to increase reliability.

Learn how to deploy and update production applications easily.

Monitor your production applications with

How to update PM2

Install the latest pm2 version:

npm install pm2@latest -g

Then update the in-memory PM2 :

pm2 update

Configuration File

When managing multiple applications with PM2, use a JS configuration file to organize them.

Generate configuration

To generate a sample configuration file you can type this command:

$ pm2 init simple

This will generate a sample ecosystem.config.js:

module.exports = {
  apps : [{
    name   : "app1",
    script : "./app.js"

If you are creating your own configuration file, make sure it ends with .config.js so PM2 is able to recognize it as a configuration file.

Acting on Configuration File

Seamlessly than acting on an app you can start/stop/restart/delete all apps contained in a configuration file:

# Start all applications
pm2 start ecosystem.config.js

# Stop all
pm2 stop ecosystem.config.js

# Restart all
pm2 restart ecosystem.config.js

# Reload all
pm2 reload ecosystem.config.js

# Delete all
pm2 delete ecosystem.config.js

Act on a specific process

You can also act on a particular application by using its name and the option --only <app_name>:

pm2 start   ecosystem.config.js --only api-app

Note: the --only option works for start/restart/stop/delete as well

You can even specify multiple apps to be acted on by specifying each app name separated by a comma:

pm2 start ecosystem.config.js --only "api-app,worker-app"

Switching environments

You can specify different environment variable set via the env_* option.


module.exports = {
  apps : [{
    name   : "app1",
    script : "./app.js",
    env_production: {
       NODE_ENV: "production"
    env_development: {
       NODE_ENV: "development"

Now to switch between variables in different environment, specify the --env [env name] option:

pm2 start process.json --env production
pm2 restart process.json --env development

Attributes available

Application behavior and configuration can be fine-tuned with the following attributes:


Field Type Example Description
name (string) “my-api” application name (default to script filename without extension)
script (string) ”./api/app.js” script path relative to pm2 start
cwd (string) “/var/www/” the directory from which your app will be launched
args (string) “-a 13 -b 12” string containing all arguments passed via CLI to script
interpreter (string) “/usr/bin/python” interpreter absolute path (default to node)
interpreter_args (string) ”–harmony” option to pass to the interpreter
node_args (string)   alias to interpreter_args

Advanced features

Field Type Example Description
instances number -1 number of app instance to be launched
exec_mode string “cluster” mode to start your app, can be “cluster” or “fork”, default fork
watch boolean or [] true enable watch & restart feature, if a file change in the folder or subfolder, your app will get reloaded
ignore_watch list [”[\/\\]\./”, “node_modules”] list of regex to ignore some file or folder names by the watch feature
max_memory_restart string “150M” your app will be restarted if it exceeds the amount of memory specified. human-friendly format : it can be “10M”, “100K”, “2G” and so on…
env object {“NODE_ENV”: “development”, “ID”: “42”} env variables which will appear in your app
env_ object {“NODE_ENV”: “production”, “ID”: “89”} inject when doing pm2 restart app.yml --env
source_map_support boolean true default to true, [enable/disable source map file]
instance_var string “NODE_APP_INSTANCE” see documentation
filter_env array of string [ “REACT_” ] Excludes global variables starting with “REACT_” and will not allow their penetration into the cluster.

Log files

Field Type Example Description
log_date_format (string) “YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm Z” log date format (see log section)
error_file (string)   error file path (default to $HOME/.pm2/logs/XXXerr.log)
out_file (string)   output file path (default to $HOME/.pm2/logs/XXXout.log)
combine_logs boolean true if set to true, avoid to suffix logs file with the process id
merge_logs boolean true alias to combine_logs
pid_file (string)   pid file path (default to $HOME/.pm2/pid/

Control flow

Field Type Example Description
min_uptime (string)   min uptime of the app to be considered started
listen_timeout number 8000 time in ms before forcing a reload if app not listening
kill_timeout number 1600 time in milliseconds before sending a final SIGKILL
shutdown_with_message boolean false shutdown an application with process.send(‘shutdown’) instead of process.kill(pid, SIGINT)
wait_ready boolean false Instead of reload waiting for listen event, wait for process.send(‘ready’)
max_restarts number 10 number of consecutive unstable restarts (less than 1sec interval or custom time via min_uptime) before your app is considered errored and stop being restarted
restart_delay number 4000 time to wait before restarting a crashed app (in milliseconds). defaults to 0.
autorestart boolean false true by default. if false, PM2 will not restart your app if it crashes or ends peacefully
cron_restart string “1 0 * * *” a cron pattern to restart your app. Application must be running for cron feature to work
vizion boolean false true by default. if false, PM2 will start without vizion features (versioning control metadatas)
post_update list [“npm install”, “echo launching the app”] a list of commands which will be executed after you perform a Pull/Upgrade operation from Keymetrics dashboard
force boolean true defaults to false. if true, you can start the same script several times which is usually not allowed by PM2


Entry name Description Type Default
key SSH key path String $HOME/.ssh
user SSH user String  
host SSH host [String]  
ssh_options SSH options with no command-line flag, see ‘man ssh’ String or [String]  
ref GIT remote/branch String  
repo GIT remote String  
path path in the server String  
pre-setup Pre-setup command or path to a script on your local machine String  
post-setup Post-setup commands or path to a script on the host machine String  
pre-deploy-local pre-deploy action String  
post-deploy post-deploy action String  


All command line options passed when using the JSON app declaration will be dropped i.e.


cwd: your JSON declaration does not need to reside with your script. If you wish to maintain the JSON(s) in a location other than your script (say, /etc/pm2/conf.d/node-app.json) you will need to use the cwd feature (Note, this can be really helpful for capistrano style directory structures that uses symlinks). Files can be either relative to the cwd directory, or absolute (see example below).

Cluster Mode

The cluster mode allows networked Node.js applications (http(s)/tcp/udp server) to be scaled across all CPUs available, without any code modifications. This greatly increases the performance and reliability of your applications, depending on the number of CPUs available. Under the hood, this uses the Node.js cluster module such that the scaled application’s child processes can automatically share server ports. To learn more, see How It Works in the official Node.js documentation on the cluster module.


To enable the cluster mode, just pass the -i option:

pm2 start app.js -i max

max means that PM2 will auto detect the number of available CPUs and run as many processes as possible

Or via a js/yaml/json file:

module.exports = {
  apps : [{
    script    : "api.js",
    instances : "max",
    exec_mode : "cluster"

NOTE: you need to set the exec_mode to cluster so PM2 know you want to load balance between each instances, by default it will not

Then to start the Process File:

pm2 start processes.json

The -i or instances option can be:

  • 0/max to spread the app across all CPUs
  • -1 to spread the app across all CPUs - 1
  • number to spread the app across number CPUs


As opposed to restart, which kills and restarts the process, reload achieves a 0-second-downtime reload.

To reload an app:

pm2 reload <app_name>


pm2 reload process.json
pm2 reload process.json --only api

If the reload system hasn’t managed to reload your application, a timeout will fallback to a classic restart.

Graceful Shutdown

In production environment, you may need to wait for remaining queries to be processed or close all connections before exiting the application. On the PM2 reload context it can be translated into a very long reload or a reload that doesn’t work (fallback to restart) meaning that your application still has open connections on exit. You may alternatively need to close all databases connections, clear data queues or whatever.

To Gracefully Shutdown an application you can catch the SIGINT signal (the first signal sent on exit by PM2) and execute actions to wait/clear all these states:

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

Read more about Graceful Shutdown feature.

Statelessify your application

Be sure your application is stateless meaning that no local data is stored in the process, for example sessions/websocket connections, session-memory and related. Use Redis, Mongo or other databases to share states between processes.

Another resource on how to write efficient, production ready stateless application is The Twelve Factor Application manifesto.

Contributing/Development mode

It’s very simple to play with PM2:

pm2 kill   # kill the current pm2
git clone my_pm2_fork.git
cd pm2/
DEBUG=* ./bin/pm2 --no-daemon

Each time you edit the code, be sure to kill and restart PM2 to make changes taking effect.

DEBUG=”*“ Allows to display all possible debug logs in ~/.pm2/pm2.log

Install PM2 development

npm install -g

Launch the tests

Master: Build Status

Dev : Build Status

Just try the tests before using PM2 on your production server:

git clone
cd pm2
npm install  # Or do NODE_ENV=development npm install if some packages are missing
npm test

If a test is not correctly working, please report issues here. You should also make sure that you have all dependencies needed. For Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install build-essential
# nvm is a Node.js version manager -
wget -qO- | sh
nvm install 4
nvm use 4

Deployment System

PM2 features a simple but powerful deployment system that allows to provision and update applications in production environment. This is great when you want to deploy applications on baremetal server in one or many servers at once.

> pm2 deploy <configuration_file> <environment> <command>

    setup                run remote setup commands
    update               update deploy to the latest release
    revert [n]           revert to [n]th last deployment or 1
    curr[ent]            output current release commit
    prev[ious]           output previous release commit
    exec|run <cmd>       execute the given <cmd>
    list                 list previous deploy commits
    [ref]                deploy to [ref], the "ref" setting, or latest tag

Deployment Configuration

To configure the deployment system, add a deploy attribute to the Application Configuration File:

module.exports = {
  apps : [{
    script: 'api.js',
  }, {
    script: 'worker.js'
  // Deployment Configuration
  deploy : {
    production : {
       "user" : "ubuntu",
       "host" : ["", "", ""],
       "ref"  : "origin/master",
       "repo" : "",
       "path" : "/var/www/my-repository",
       "post-deploy" : "npm install"

Note: make sure the application configuration file in the local folder is named either ecosystem.config.js or pm2.config.js, so you don’t need to type the configuration filename for each command.

Provision remote server

Before provisioning remote server verify that:

  • Remote servers have PM2 installed
  • Remote servers have granted permissions to GIT clone the target repository

Once remote servers have been configured you can start provisioning them:

$ pm2 deploy production setup

Note: as the app configuration file is named ecosystem.config.js or pm2.config.js in the local folder, you do not need to specify the filename each time

Deploy application

Once the remote server have been provisioned you can now deploy the application:

$ pm2 deploy production

Note: if git report an error that there are local changes but still want to push what is on the remote GIT, you can use the --force option to force deployment.

Rollback to previous deployment

If you need to rollback to previous deployment you can use the revert option:

# Revert to -1 deployment
$ pm2 deploy production revert 1

Execute a command on each server

To execute a one-time running command you can use the exec option:

$ pm2 deploy production exec "pm2 reload all"


Deployment Lifecyle

When deploying with PM2, you can specify what do before/after setup and before/after update:

"pre-setup" : "echo 'commands or local script path to be run on the host before the setup process starts'",
"post-setup": "echo 'commands or a script path to be run on the host after cloning the repo'",
"pre-deploy" : "pm2 startOrRestart ecosystem.json --env production",
"post-deploy" : "pm2 startOrRestart ecosystem.json --env production",
"pre-deploy-local" : "echo 'This is a local executed command'"

Multi host deployment

To deploy to multiple hosts in the same time, you just have to declare each host in an array under the attribute host.

"host" : ["", "", ""],

Specifying SSH keys

You just have to add the “key” attribute with path to the public key, see below example :

    "production" : {
      "key"  : "/path/to/some.pem", // path to the public key to authenticate
      "user" : "node",              // user used to authenticate
      "host" : "",      // where to connect
      "ref"  : "origin/master",
      "repo" : "",
      "path" : "/var/www/production",
      "post-deploy" : "pm2 startOrRestart ecosystem.json --env production"


SSH clone errors

In most cases, these errors will be caused by pm2 not having the correct keys to clone your repository. You need to verify at every step that the keys are available.

Step 1 If you are certain your keys are correctly working, first try running git clone your_repo.git on the target server. If it succeeds, move onto the next steps. If it failed, make sure your keys are stored both on the server and on your git account.

Step 2 By default ssh-copy-id copies the default identiy, usually named id_rsa. If that is not the appropriate key:

ssh-copy-id -i path/to/my/key

This adds your public key to the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file.

Step 3 If you get the following error:

--> Deploying to production environment
--> on host
  ○ hook pre-setup
  ○ running setup
  ○ cloning
Cloning into '/var/www/app/source'...
Permission denied (publickey).
fatal: Could not read from remote repository.

Please make sure you have the correct access rights and that the repository exists.

**Failed to clone**

Deploy failed

…you may want to create a ssh config file. This is a sure way to ensure that the correct ssh keys are used for any given repository you’re trying to clone. See this example:

# ~/.ssh/config
Host alias
    User username
    IdentityFile ~/.ssh/mykey
# Usage: `ssh alias`
# Alternative: `ssh -i ~/.ssh/mykey`

Host deployment
    User username
    IdentityFile ~/.ssh/github_rsa
# Usage:
# git@deployment:username/anyrepo.git
# This is for cloning any repo that uses that IdentityFile. This is a good way to make sure that your remote cloning commands use the appropriate key

Docker Integration

Using Containers? We got your back. Start today using pm2-runtime, a perfect companion to get the most out of Node.js in production environment.

The goal of pm2-runtime is to wrap your applications into a proper Node.js production environment. It solves major issues when running Node.js applications inside a container like:

  • Second Process Fallback for High Application Reliability
  • Process Flow Control
  • Automatic Application Monitoring to keep it always sane and high performing
  • Automatic Source Map Discovery and Resolving Support

Further than that, using PM2 as a layer between the container and the application brings PM2 powerful features like application declaration file, customizable log system and other great features to manage your Node.js application in production environment.

Use PM2 inside Containers

In your Dockerfile add this line to install PM2:

RUN npm install pm2 -g

Then replace the node binary with pm2-runtime

CMD ["node", "app.js"]


CMD ["pm2-runtime", "app.js"]

You are now all set! Your Node.js application is now wrapped into a proper Node.js production environment.

Starting a configuration file

Instead of running your raw Node.js application with PM2, you can declare it into a configuration file (or process file) and set some configuration variables, like enabling the cluster mode.

Let’s create a ecosystem.config.js file with this content:

module.exports = [{
  script: 'app.js',
  name: 'app',
  exec_mode: 'cluster',
  instances: 2
}, {
  script: 'worker.js',
  name: 'worker'

All options available are listed here.

You can then replace the CMD directive by this:

CMD ["pm2-runtime", "process.yml"]

To split each processes in its own Docker, you can use the –only [app-name] option:

CMD ["pm2-runtime", "process.yml", "--only", "APP"]

Using exec_mode cluster together with nuxtjs

When running pm2 in cluster mode, ecosystem.config.js will be appended to your cwd path due to how nuxtjs parses its rootDir, to fix that you have to specify the config path in your args section:

module.exports = {
  apps: [
      name: 'my-nuxtjs-app',
      exec_mode: 'cluster',
      instances: 2,
      cwd: '/var/www',
      script: './node_modules/nuxt-start/bin/nuxt-start.js',
      args: '-c /var/www/nuxt.config.js'

Logging Format option

If you want to change the log output format you can select one of this options:

  • –json: will output logs in JSON format (logstash)
  • –format: will output logs in = style format
  • –raw: will output logs as is

To use one of this flag, you just need to pass them to pm2-runtime:

CMD ["pm2-runtime", "--json", "process.yml"]

Enabling Graceful Shutdown

When the Container receives a shutdown signal, PM2 forwards this signal to your application allowing to close all the database connections, wait that all queries have been processed or that any other final processing has been completed before a successfull graceful shutdown.

Catching a shutdown signal is straightforward. You need to add a listener in your Node.js applications and execute anything needed before stopping the app:

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

By default PM2 will wait 1600ms before sending a final SIGKILL signal. You can modify this delay by setting the kill_timeout option inside your application configuration file.

Read more about application state management here

Development environment

You may want to tell Developers to program inside a container to keep a consistant environment between develoment, test and production.

Replacing pm2-runtime with pm2-dev will enable the watch and restart features. This is quite interesting in a development container when the host files are exposed to the container as a VOLUME.

Using is a monitoring service built on top of PM2 that allows to monitor and manage applications easily (logs, restart, exceptions monitoring…). Once you created a Bucket on Keymetrics you will get a public and a secret key.

To enable Keymetrics monitoring with pm2-runtime, you can either use the CLI option –public XXX and –secret YYY or pass the environment variables KEYMETRICS_PUBLIC and KEYMETRICS_SECRET.

Example with the CLI options via a Dockerfile:

CMD ["pm2-runtime", "--public", "XXX", "--secret", "YYY", "process.yml"]

Or via environment variables:


Or via the Docker run command:

docker run --net host -e "PM2_PUBLIC_KEY=XXX" -e "PM2_SECRET_KEY=XXX" <...>

pm2-runtime Helper

Here is the pm2-runtime helper:

>>> pm2-runtime -h

  Usage: pm2-runtime app.js

  pm2-runtime is a drop-in replacement node.js binary with some interesting production features


    -V, --version              output the version number
    -i --instances <number>    launch [number] of processes automatically load-balanced. Increase overall performances and performance stability.
    --secret [key]             [MONITORING] keymetrics secret key
    --public [key]             [MONITORING] keymetrics public key
    --machine-name [name]      [MONITORING] keymetrics machine name
    --raw                      raw log output
    --json                     output logs in json format
    --format                   output logs formated like key=val
    --delay <seconds>          delay start of configuration file by <seconds>
    --web [port]               launch process web api on [port] (default to 9615)
    --only <application-name>  only act on one application of configuration
    --no-auto-exit             do not exit if all processes are errored/stopped or 0 apps launched
    --env [name]               inject env_[name] env variables in process config file
    --watch                    watch and restart application on file change
    --error <path>             error log file destination (default disabled)
    --output <path>            output log file destination (default disabled)
    -h, --help                 output usage information


    start <app.js|json_file>  start an application or json ecosystem file

When starting a new process

PM2 will inject environment in this order when starting a new process :

  • First the PM2 CLI will use its environment so the current environment of your shell will be injected.
  • PM2 will then inject the environment that you can configure with the ecosystem file :
module.exports = {
  apps : [
        name: "myapp",
        script: "./app.js",
        watch: true,
        env: {
          "NODE_ENV": "development",

Here you can see that PM2 will override the current environment to add NODE_ENV=development. But you can also define different environments like this :

module.exports = {
  apps : [
        name: "myapp",
        script: "./app.js",
        watch: true,
        env: {
            "PORT": 3000,
            "NODE_ENV": "development"
        env_production: {
            "PORT": 80,
            "NODE_ENV": "production",

Here the default environment is in the env, but you can decide to use env_production by using pm2 start ecosystem.config.js --env production.

You can define as many environments as you like, just remember that you must pass the name of the environment (after env_) you want to use with --env.

Specific environment variables

NODE_APP_INSTANCE (PM2 2.5 minimum)

There is the NODE_APP_INSTANCE environment variable that is used to make a difference between process, for example you may want to run a cronjob only on one process, you can just check if process.env.NODE_APP_INSTANCE === '0'. Two processes can never have the same number, its still true after pm2 restart and pm2 scale commands.

You may have problems with node-config with the NODE_APP_INSTANCE name, so you can rename it with instance_var options :

module.exports = {
  apps : [
        name: "myapp",
        script: "./app.js",
        watch: true,
        instance_var: 'INSTANCE_ID',
        env: {
            "PORT": 3000,
            "NODE_ENV": "development"

In this case the variable will have the same behavior but will be in process.env.INSTANCE_ID.

increment_var (PM2 2.5 minimum)

There is an option to ask PM2 to increment a environment variable for each instance launched, for example:

module.exports = {
  apps : [
        name: "myapp",
        script: "./app.js",
        instances: 2,
        exec_mode: "cluster",
        watch: true,
        increment_var : 'PORT',
        env: {
            "PORT": 3000,
            "NODE_ENV": "development"

In this example, if i run pm2 start ecosystem.config.js :

  • PM2 will see that i want to increment the PORT variable for each instance
  • It will see that i have defined the default to 3000
  • The first instance will have process.env.PORT = 3000 and the second process.env.PORT = 3001

NOTE : It will increment also when scaling using pm2 scale myapp 4, both new instances will have 3002 and 3003 as PORT variable.

If you just want a fresh install of PM2 without setting up Node.Js, pm2 is avalaible as a .deb package!

It is built to work with the lastest Long Term Support release of ubuntu.


# 1. Add the PM2 repository signing key
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv D1EA2D4C

# 2. Add the PM2 repository
echo "deb stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pm2.list

# 3. Update list of available packages
sudo apt-get update

# 4. Install PM2
sudo apt-get install pm2

Application Logs

Once an application is started with PM2 you can consult and manage logs easily.

Log files are located in the folder $HOME/.pm2/logs.

Log Views

To display application’s log you can use the command pm2 logs

❯ pm2 logs -h

  Usage: logs [options] [id|name|namespace]

  stream logs file. Default stream all logs


    --json                json log output
    --format              formated log output
    --raw                 raw output
    --err                 only shows error output
    --out                 only shows standard output
    --lines <n>           output the last N lines, instead of the last 15 by default
    --timestamp [format]  add timestamps (default format YYYY-MM-DD-HH:mm:ss)
    --nostream            print logs without lauching the log stream
    --highlight [value]   highlights the given value
    -h, --help            output usage information

Some important commands:

# Display all apps logs in realtime
pm2 logs

# Display only `api` application logs
pm2 logs api

# Display new logs in json
pm2 logs --json

# Display 1000 lines of api log file
pm2 logs big-api --lines 1000

You can also check logs with the CLI dashboard:

pm2 monit

Log size limit

The module pm2-logrotate automatically rotate and keep all the logs file using a limited space on disk.

To install it:

pm2 install pm2-logrotate

Read more about pm2-logrotate here

Flushing logs

This will empty the current application logs managed by PM2:

pm2 flush

pm2 flush <api> # Clear the logs for the app with name/id matching <api>

Application log options

When starting an application you can specify many options on how


When running pm2 start app.js [OPTIONS] you can pass any of this options to the CLI:

-l --log [path]              specify filepath to output both out and error logs
-o --output <path>           specify out log file
-e --error <path>            specify error log file
--time                       prefix logs with standard formated timestamp
--log-date-format <format>   prefix logs with custom formated timestamp
--merge-logs                 when running mutiple process with same app name, do not split file by id

Configuration file

Via configuration file you can pass the options:

Field Type Example Description
error_file (string)   error file path (default to $HOME/.pm2/logs/XXXerr.log)
out_file (string)   output file path (default to $HOME/.pm2/logs/XXXout.log)
pid_file (string)   pid file path (default to $HOME/.pm2/pid/
merge_logs boolean true if set to true, avoid to suffix logs file with the process id
log_date_format (string) “YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm Z” log date format (see log section)

Disabling log suffix

For app in cluster mode (node.js) only; If you want that all instances of a clustered process logs into the same file you can use the option --merge-logs or merge_logs: true

Disable logging

To disable all logs to be written in disk you can set the option out_file and error_file to /dev/null

module.exports = {
  apps : [{
    name: 'Business News Watcher',
    script: 'app.js',
    instances: 1,
    out_file: "/dev/null",
    error_file: "/dev/null"
    cron_restart: '0 0 * * *'

You can provide /dev/null or NULL as output of logs (not depending on the platform, they are harcoded string).

Setting up a native logrotate

sudo pm2 logrotate -u user

This will write a basic logrotate configuration to /etc/logrotate.d/pm2-user that will look like this:

/home/user/.pm2/pm2.log /home/user/.pm2/logs/*.log {
        rotate 12
        create 0640 user user

Max Memory Threshold Auto Reload

PM2 allows to reload (auto fallback to restart if not in cluster) an application based on a memory limit/ Please note that the PM2 internal worker (which checks memory), starts every 30 seconds, so you may have to wait a bit before your process gets restarted automatically after reaching the memory threshold.


pm2 start api.js --max-memory-restart 300M

Config file (ecosystem.config.js):

module.exports = {
  apps: [{
    name: 'api',
    script: 'api.js',
    max_memory_restart: '300M'

Note: Units can be K(ilobyte), M(egabyte), G(igabyte).

Monitoring CPU/Memory

PM2 gives you a simple way to monitor the resource usage of your application. You can monitor memory and CPU easily and straight from your terminal:

pm2 monit

If you manage your Node.js application with PM2, we invite you to try It makes monitoring and managing applications accross servers easier than ever.

pm2 monitor

Feel free to try it: Discover the monitoring dashboard for PM2


PM2 can be used programmatically, allowing to manage processes straight from the code.


Note: To release connection to PM2 and make your application auto exit, make sure to disconnect from pm2 with pm2.disconnect()

First add PM2 as a dependency:

npm install pm2 --save

Then create a script called app.js and pm2-control.js containing this:

const pm2 = require('pm2')

pm2.connect(function(err) {
  if (err) {

    script    : 'api.js',
    name      : 'api'
  }, function(err, apps) {
    if (err) {
      return pm2.disconnect()

    pm2.list((err, list) => {
      console.log(err, list)

      pm2.restart('api', (err, proc) => {
        // Disconnects from PM2
  • This will spawn or connect to local PM2
  • Then start app.js with name api
  • Display all applications managed with PM2
  • Then restart the app with name api
  • And disconnect from PM2

API Methods

pm2.connect([no_daemon_mode], fn)

Connect to local PM2 or spawn a new PM2 instance.

Param Type Default Description
[no_daemon_mode] boolean false if true, it will run an independant PM2 that will auto exit at end
fn function   Callback
  • noDaemonMode: If true is passed for the first argument, pm2 will not be run as a daemon and will die when the related script exits. By default, pm2 stays alive after your script exits. If pm2 is already running, your script will link to the existing daemon but will die once your process exits.


Disconnect from local PM2

pm2.start(process, fn)

Start a process

Param Type Description
process string/object script path (relative) or object via options
fn function Callback

pm2.stop(process, fn)

Stop a process

Param Type Description
process string/number target process ID or Name
fn function Callback

pm2.restart(process, [options], fn)

Restart a process

Param Type Description
process string/number target process ID or Name
[options] object options (also add updateEnv: true to force update)
fn function Callback

pm2.reload(process, fn)

Reload a process

Param Type Description
process string/number target process ID or Name
fn function Callback

pm2.delete(process, fn)

Delete a process

Param Type Description
process string/number target process ID or Name
fn function Callback


Kills the pm2 daemon (same as pm2 kill). Note that when the daemon is killed, all its processes are also killed. Also note that you still have to explicitly disconnect from the daemon even after you kill it.

pm2.describe(process, fn)

Get all metadata from a target process

Param Type Description
process string/number target process ID or Name
fn function Callback


Retrieve all processes managed with PM2

Advanced Methods


Send data to target process.

Param Type Description number target process ID
packet.type string must be process:msg
packet.topic boolean must be true object object data that will be sent to target process

Data will be received by target process via:

process.on('message', function(packet) {})


This allow to receive message from process managed with PM2.

const pm2 = require('pm2')

pm2.launchBus(function(err, pm2_bus) {
  pm2_bus.on('process:msg', function(packet) {

Then from a process managed with PM2:

  type : 'process:msg',
  data : {
    success : true

pm2.sendSignalToProcessName(signal, process, fn)

Send custom system signal to target process name

Param Type Description
signal string system signal name
process string target process Name
fn function Callback(err, process)

pm2.sendSignalToProcessId(signal, process, fn)

Send custom system signal to target process id

Param Type Description
signal string system signal name
process number target process id
fn function Callback(err, process)

Process structure

When calling any of the above methods, a mutated process array is returned. This object contains:

  • processDescription - An array of objects with information about the process. Each object contains the properties:
    • name - The name given in the original start command.
    • pid - The pid of the process.
    • pm_id - The pid for the pm2 God daemon process.
    • monit - An object containing:
      • memory - The number of bytes the process is using.
      • cpu - The percent of CPU being used by the process at the moment.
    • pm2_env - The list of path variables in the process’s environment. These variables include:
      • pm_cwd - The working directory of the process.
      • pm_out_log_path - The stdout log file path.
      • pm_err_log_path - The stderr log file path.
      • exec_interpreter - The interpreter used.
      • pm_uptime - The uptime of the process.
      • unstable_restarts - The number of unstable restarts the process has been through.
      • restart_time
      • status - “online”, “stopping”, “stopped”, “launching”, “errored”, or “one-launch-status”
      • instances - The number of running instances.
      • pm_exec_path - The path of the script being run in this process.


Send message to process


const pm2 = require('pm2')

pm2.connect(function() {
    // id of procces from "pm2 list" command or from pm2.list(errback) method
    id   : 1,

    // process:msg will be send as 'message' on target process
    type : 'process:msg',

    // Data to be sent
    data : {
      some : 'data'

    topic: true
  }, function(err, res) {

// Listen to messages from application
pm2.launchBus(function(err, pm2_bus) {
  pm2_bus.on('process:msg', function(packet) {


process.on('message', function(packet) {
    type : 'process:msg',
    data : {
     success : true

PM2 comes with a handy development tool that allow you to start an application and restart it on file change:

# Start your application in development mode
# it print the logs and restart on file change too

# Two way of running your application :
pm2-dev start my-app.js

# or

pm2-dev my-app.js

Expose RPC Methods: Process Actions

Exposing RPC Methods will allow you to interact in real-time with a running process.

This is usefull for:

  • Changing behavior (e.g. switching log to debug)
  • Retrieving data structure
  • Triggering actions

Quick Start

First install tx2 module:

$ npm install tx2

Then create an application called rpc.js:

const tx2 = require('tx2')

tx2.action('hello', (reply) => {
  reply({ answer : 'world' })

setInterval(function() {
  // Keep application online
}, 100)

And start it with PM2:

$ pm2 start rpc.js

Now to trigger process actions, use the command:

$ pm2 trigger <application-name> <action-name>
# pm2 trigger rpc hello

Listing available RPC methods

To list all available RPC methods:

pm2 show <application-name>
# pm2 show rpc

Passing a parameter

To pass a parameter to the remote function, just add the param attribute to the callback:

var tx2 = require('tx2')

tx2.action('world', function(param, reply) {
  reply({success : param})

Restart your application and call this process function with PM2:

pm2 trigger <application-name> <action-name> [parameter]
# pm2 trigger rpc world somedata

Triggering from Web Dashboard

All RPC methods exposed from your application, once connected to will be displayed and actionnable from a web interface.

TX2 API Documentation

Managing applications states

With PM2 you can easily start/restart/reload/stop/list applications in background.


To start an application:

$ pm2 start api.js


You can also start any kind of application like bash commands, script, binaries:

$ pm2 start "npm run start"
$ pm2 start "ls -la"
$ pm2 start

Start and display log stream

To start an app and check logs stream use the --attach option:

$ pm2 start api.js --attach

When quitting via Ctrl-C, the app will still run in background.

Passing arguments

All option passed after -- will be passed as argument to the app:

$ pm2 start api.js -- arg1 arg2

Configuration File

When managing multiple application at the same time or having to specify multiple options, you can use a configuration file. Example with this ecosystem.config.js file:

module.exports = {
  apps : [{
    name   : "limit worker",
    script : "./worker.js",
    args   : "limit"
    name   : "rotate worker",
    script : "./worker.js",
    args   : "rotate"

Then to start both apps:

$ pm2 start ecosystem.config.js

Read more about configuration file.


To restart an application:

$ pm2 restart api

To restart all applications:

$ pm2 restart all

Updating environment variables and options

To update environment variables or PM2 options, specify the --update-env CLI option:

$ NODE_ENV=production pm2 restart web-interface --update-env


To stop a specified application:

$ pm2 stop api
$ pm2 stop [process_id]

To stop them all:

$ pm2 stop all

Note: this will not delete the application from PM2 application list. See next section to delete an application.


To stop and delete an application:

$ pm2 delete api

To delete them all:

$ pm2 delete all

Listing Applications

To list all running applications:

$ pm2 list
# Or
$ pm2 [list|ls|l|status]


To specify which order you want the application to be listed:

$ pm2 list --sort name:desc
# Or
$ pm2 list --sort [name|id|pid|memory|cpu|status|uptime][:asc|desc]

Terminal Dashboard

PM2 gives you a simple way to monitor the resource usage of your application. You can monitor memory and CPU easily and straight from your terminal with:

pm2 monit

Showing application metadata

To display metadata about an application:

$ pm2 show api


Reset restart count

To reset the restart counter:

$ pm2 reset all

Expose Metrics

By plugging custom metrics onto your code, you will be able to monitor in-code values, in realtime.

Quick Start

First install tx2 module:

$ npm install tx2

Then create and app called monit.js:

const tx2 = require('tx2')
const http = require('http')

let meter = tx2.meter({
  name      : 'req/sec',
  samples   : 1,
  timeframe : 60

http.createServer((req, res) => {
  res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'})
  res.write('Hello World!')

And start it with PM2:

$ pm2 start monit.js

Now show the metrics with the command:

$ pm2 show [app]
# pm2 show monit

Note: metrics are in the section “Custom Metrics”.

or you can use the Terminal based interface:

$ pm2 monit

Metrics helper available

Then you can program your very own metrics to track important informations. 4 differents probes are available:

  • Simple metrics: Values that can be read instantly
    • eg. Monitor variable value
  • Counter: Things that increment or decrement
    • eg. Downloads being processed, user connected
  • Meter: Things that are measured as events / interval
    • eg. Request per minute for a http server
  • Histogram: Keeps a resevoir of statistically relevant values biased towards the last 5 minutes to explore their distribution
    • eg. Monitor the mean of execution of a query into database

API Documentation

Note: Refer to the TX2 API Documentation


Simple Metric: Simple value reporting

This allows to expose values that can be read instantly.

const tx2 = require('tx2')

// Here the value function will be called each second to get the value
var metric = tx2.metric({
  name    : 'Realtime user',
  value   : function() {
    return Object.keys(users).length

// Here we are going to call valvar.set() to set the new value
var valvar = tx2.metric({
  name    : 'Realtime Value'


Counter: Sequential value change

Values that increment or decrement.

Example to count Active Http Requests:

const tx2 = require('tx2')
var http = require('http')

var counter = tx2.counter({
  name : 'Active requests'

http.createServer(function (req, res) {

  req.on('end', function() {
    // Decrement the counter, counter will eq 0
  res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'})
  res.write('Hello World!')

Meter: Average calculated values

Values that are measured as events / interval.

Example to count number of queries per second:

const tx2 = require('tx2')
var http = require('http')

var meter = tx2.meter({
  name      : 'req/sec',
  samples   : 1,
  timeframe : 60

http.createServer(function (req, res) {
  res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'})
  res.write('Hello World!')

samples option is the rate unit. Defaults to 1 sec. timeframe option is the timeframe over which events will be analyzed. Defaults to 60 sec.


Keeps a resevoir of statistically relevant values biased towards the last 5 minutes to explore their distribution.

const tx2 = require('tx2')

var histogram = tx2.histogram({
  name        : 'latency',
  measurement : 'mean'

var latency = 0

setInterval(function() {
  latency = Math.round(Math.random() * 100)
}, 100)

Restart strategies

When starting application with PM2, application are automatically restarted on auto exit, event loop empty (node.js) or when application crash. But you can also configure extra restart strategies like:

  • Restart app at a specified CRON time
  • Restart app when files have changed
  • Restart when app reach a memory threshold
  • Delay a start and automatic restart
  • Disable auto restart (app are always restarted with PM2) when crashing or exiting by default)
  • Restart application automatically at a specific exponential increasing time

Restart at cron time

Via CLI:

$ pm2 start app.js --cron-restart="0 0 * * *"
# Or when restarting an app
$ pm2 restart app --cron-restart="0 0 * * *"

Via configuration file, use the cron_restart attribute:

module.exports = {
  apps : [{
    name: 'Business News Watcher',
    script: 'app.js',
    instances: 1,
    cron_restart: '0 0 * * *',
    env: {
      NODE_ENV: 'development'
    env_production: {
      NODE_ENV: 'production'

Restart on file change

PM2 can automatically restart your application when a file is modified in the current directory or its subdirectories:

Via CLI:

$ pm2 start app.js --watch

Note: If an application is started with the --watch option, stopping the app will not prevent it to be restarted on file change. To totally disable the watch feature, do: pm2 stop app --watch or toggle the watch option on application restart via pm2 restart app --watch.

Via configuration file, use the watch: true attribute:

module.exports = {
  script: "app.js",
  watch: true

You can specify which folder to watch for change, ignore folder and watch files interval with these options:

module.exports = {
  script: "app.js",
  // Specify which folder to watch
  watch: ["server", "client"],
  // Specify delay between watch interval
  watch_delay: 1000,
  // Specify which folder to ignore 
  ignore_watch : ["node_modules", "client/img"],

Memory based restart strategy

PM2 allows to reload (auto fallback to restart if not in cluster) an application based on a memory limit/ Please note that the PM2 internal worker (which checks memory), starts every 30 seconds, so you may have to wait a bit before your process gets restarted automatically after reaching the memory threshold.


$ pm2 start api.js --max-memory-restart 300M

Via configuration file, use the max_memory_restart attribute:

module.exports = {
  script: 'api.js',
  max_memory_restart: '300M'

Note: Units can be K(ilobyte) (e.g. 512K), M(egabyte) (e.g. 128M), G(igabyte) (e.g. 1G).

Restart Delay

Set a delay between auto restart with the Restart Delay strategy:


$ pm2 start app.js --restart-delay=3000

Via configuration file, use the restart_delay attribute:

module.exports = {
  script: 'app.js',
  restart_delay: 3000

No Auto Restart

This is useful in case we wish to run 1-time scripts and don’t want the process manager to restart our script in case it’s completed running.


$ pm2 start app.js --no-autorestart

Via configuration file, use the autorestart attribute:

module.exports = {
  script: 'app.js',
  autorestart: false

Skip Auto Restart For Specific Exit Codes

Sometimes you might want the application to automatically restart in case of failure (i.e. non-zero exit code), while not wanting the process manager to restart it when it shuts down properly (i.e. exit code equal to 0).

In this case, you can still use PM2 just fine with a stop_exit_codes option set to exit codes that should skip auto restart:


$ pm2 start app.js --stop-exit-codes 0

Or via configuration file, use the stop_exit_codes attribute:

module.exports = [{
  script: 'app.js',
  stop_exit_codes: [0]

Exponential Backoff Restart Delay

A new restart mode has been implemented on PM2 Runtime, making your application restarts in a smarter way. Instead of restarting your application like crazy when exceptions happens (e.g. database is down), the exponential backoff restart will increase incrementaly the time between restarts, reducing the pressure on your DB or your external provider… Pretty easy to use:


$ pm2 start app.js --exp-backoff-restart-delay=100

Via configuration file, use the exp_backoff_restart_delay attribute:

module.exports = {
  script: 'app.js',
  exp_backoff_restart_delay: 100

When an application crash unexpectedly and the option --exp-backoff-restart-delay is activated, you will be able to see a new application status waiting restart.

By running pm2 logs you will also see the restart delay being incremented:

PM2      | App [throw:0] will restart in 100ms
PM2      | App [throw:0] exited with code [1] via signal [SIGINT]
PM2      | App [throw:0] will restart in 150ms
PM2      | App [throw:0] exited with code [1] via signal [SIGINT]
PM2      | App [throw:0] will restart in 225ms

As you can see the restart delay between restarts will increase in an exponential moving average, till reaching the maximum of 15000ms between restarts.

When the application will then get back to a stable mode (uptime without restarts of more than 30 seconds), the restart delay will automatically reset to 0ms.

Serve static file over http

PM2 can serve static file very easily with the pm2 serve feature. It support serving raw files from a specified folder or you can serve a SPA (Single Page Application) with it.


Serve your static files (like a frontend app) over http with a simple command :

pm2 serve <path> <port>

The current folder will be used if you don’t precise <path>, for the port the default one is 8080. You can use the same options as a normal application like --name or --watch.

Process file

You can declare in a process file that you want a special dir to be served, to do so :

module.exports = {
  script: "serve",
  env: {
    PM2_SERVE_PATH: '.',
    PM2_SERVE_PORT: 8080

You just need to add PM2_SERVE_PATH and PM2_SERVE_PORT to env variables to specify the path and the port, the default are the same as the CLI.

Serving SPA: redirect all to index.html

To automatically redirect all queries to the index.html use the --spa option:

pm2 serve --spa

Via a process file:

module.exports = {
  script: "serve",
  env: {
    PM2_SERVE_PATH: '.',
    PM2_SERVE_PORT: 8080,
    PM2_SERVE_SPA: 'true',
    PM2_SERVE_HOMEPAGE: './index.html'

Protect access with password

To basic protect the access to the exposed files you can use the --basic-auth-username and --basic-auth-password:

pm2 serve --basic-auth-username <username> --basic-auth-password <password>

Via a process file:

module.exports = {
  script: "serve",
  env: {
    PM2_SERVE_PATH: '.',
    PM2_SERVE_PORT: 8080,
    PM2_SERVE_BASIC_AUTH: 'true',
    PM2_SERVE_BASIC_AUTH_USERNAME: 'example-login',
    PM2_SERVE_BASIC_AUTH_PASSWORD: 'example-password'

CLI completion

Tab-completion for PM2:

pm2 completion install

Or manually append completion script to your ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc file:

pm2 completion >> ~/.bashrc # or ~/.zshrc

Then source your .bashrc or .zshrc file for current session:

source ~/.bashrc # or ~/.zshrc

You can add pm2 completion to your current session this way:

. <(pm2 completion)

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.

Configure the kill timeout

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

pm2 start app.js --kill-timeout 3000

Via application declaration use the kill_timeout attribute:

module.exports = {
  apps : [{
    name: 'app',
    script: './app.js',
    kill_timeout : 3000

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.

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)
  // Here we send the ready signal to PM2

Then start the application:

pm2 start app.js --wait-ready

Configure the ready timeout

By default, PM2 wait 3000ms for the ready signal.

Via CLI, this will lengthen the timeout to 10000ms:

pm2 start app.js --wait-ready --listen-timeout 10000

Via application declaration use the listen_timeout and wait_ready attribute:

module.exports = {
  apps : [{
    name: 'app',
    script: './app.js',
    wait_ready: true,
    listen_timeout: 10000

Graceful start using http.Server.listen

There is still the default system that hooks into http.Server.listen method. When your http server accepts a connection, it will automatically state your application as ready. You can increase the PM2 waiting time the listen using the same variable as --wait-ready graceful start : listen_timeout entry in process file or --listen-timeout=XXXX via CLI.

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.

The signal SIGINT can be replaced on any other signal (e.g. SIGTERM) by setting environment variable PM2_KILL_SIGNAL.

Windows graceful stop

When signals are not available your process gets killed. In that case you have to use --shutdown-with-message via CLI or shutdown_with_message in Ecosystem File and listen for shutdown events.

Via CLI:

pm2 start app.js --shutdown-with-message

Via application declaration use the listen_timeout and wait_ready attribute:

module.exports = {
  apps : [{
    name: 'app',
    script: './app.js',
    shutdown_with_message: true

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)

If you use BabelJS, Typescript or any other Javascript superset you may have noticed that when an exception occurs, the stacktrace is not meaningful at all. To get useful information you need to generate source map files.

Once these source map files are generated, PM2 will automatically detect them and will help you inspect errors.

Source map

Since version 1.0.2, PM2 embeds a mechanism to support javascript source maps.

PM2 automatically detects javascript source map files if you start app.js, it will expect to exist as well.

If you have a different layout, you can force source map support by starting your application:

Via CLI:

pm2 start app.js --source-map-support

Or via JSON file:

module.exports = {
   name: 'babel-app',
   script: 'app.js',
   source_map_support: true

Inspect exceptions

Exceptions are logged into your application error log file.

To check your logs to detect exceptions, you can type:

pm2 logs main

Otherwise, use to have a clean listing and notifications of new alerts.

Disable source map support

If you do not want PM2 to automatically support javascript source maps you can use the option --disable-source-map-support.

This is supported both via CLI and via a JSON file.

Listening on port 80 w/o root

It’s a general rule that you should not run node as root. However only root can bind to ports less than 1024. This is where authbind comes in. Authbind allows non-root users to bind to ports less than 1024. Replace %user% with the user that will be running pm2.

sudo apt-get install authbind
sudo touch /etc/authbind/byport/80
sudo chown %user% /etc/authbind/byport/80
sudo chmod 755 /etc/authbind/byport/80

You should also add an alias to the user that runs pm2 profile, e.g. ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc (note you will need to run source ~/.bashrc or source ~/.zshrc immediately after):

+alias pm2='authbind --deep pm2'

Finally ensure that pm2 is updated with authbind:

authbind --deep pm2 update

Or simply pm2 update if you added the alias to your user’s profile.

Now you can start applications using PM2 that can bind to port 80 without being root!

Multiple PM2 on the same server

The client and daemon communicate via socket files available in $HOME/.pm2/pub.sock and $HOME/.pm2/rpc.sock.

You can start multiple PM2 instances by changing the PM2_HOME environment variable.

PM2_HOME='.pm2' pm2 start echo.js --name="echo-node-1"
PM2_HOME='.pm3' pm2 start echo.js --name="echo-node-2"

This will start two different PM2 instances. To list processes managed by each different instances do:

PM2_HOME='.pm2' pm2 list
PM2_HOME='.pm3' pm2 list

Launch PM2 in no deamon

Make sure you kill any PM2 instance before starting PM2 in no deamon mode (pm2 kill).

Launching PM2 without daemonizing itself:

pm2 start app.js --no-daemon

There is also the CLI pm2-runtime installed by default at PM2 installation, that is a drop-in replacement of the Node.js binary.

Stateless apps

It is a general rule that your production application should be stateless. Every data, states, websocket session, session data, must be shared via any kind of database or PUB/SUB system.

If not, your application will be painfull to scale on the same server and accross multiple servers.

For example you could use connect-redis to share sessions.

We also recommend you to follow the 12 factor convention:

Setup pm2 on a server

How To Use pm2 to Setup a Node.js Production Environment On An Ubuntu VPS.

Log and PID files

By default, logs (error and output), pid files, dumps, and PM2 logs are located in ~/.pm2/:

├── dump.pm2
├── pm2.log
├── logs
└── pids

Enabling Harmony ES6

The --node-args option allows the addition of arguments to the node interpreter. To enable harmony for a process type the following command:

pm2 start my_app.js --node-args="--harmony"

And within a JSON declaration:

  "name" : "ES6",
  "script" : "es6.js",
  "node_args" : "--harmony"


CoffeeScript v1

pm2 install coffee-script 
pm2 start

CoffeeScript v2

pm2 install coffeescript
pm2 start

That’s all!

Piping JSON



read -d '' my_json <<_EOF_
    "name"       : "app1",
    "script"     : "/home/projects/pm2_nodetest/app.js",
    "instances"  : "4",
    "error_file" : "./logz/child-err.log",
    "out_file"   : "./logz/child-out.log",
    "pid_file"   : "./logz/",
    "exec_mode"  : "cluster_mode",
    "port"       : 4200

echo $my_json | pm2 start -

Process title

You can specify the env variable PROCESS_FILE when start an application with PM2, it will be set a process title. It pretty useful when trying to get specific data from the process, for example you can use ps -fC name.


Refer to Using transpilers with PM2 tutorial.

User tips from issues

External resources and articles

Persistent applications: Startup Script Generator

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

Generating a Startup Script

To automatically generate and configuration a startup script just type the command (without sudo) pm2 startup:

$ pm2 startup
[PM2] You have to run this command as root. Execute the following command:
      sudo su -c "env PATH=$PATH:/home/unitech/.nvm/versions/node/v14.3/bin pm2 startup <distribution> -u <user> --hp <home-path>

Then copy/paste the displayed command onto the terminal:

sudo su -c "env PATH=$PATH:/home/unitech/.nvm/versions/node/v14.3/bin pm2 startup <distribution> -u <user> --hp <home-path>

Now PM2 will automatically restart at boot.

Note: You can customize the service name via the --service-name <name> option (#3213)

Saving the app list to be restored at reboot

Once you have started all desired apps, save the app list so it will respawn after reboot:

pm2 save

Manually resurrect processes

To manually bring back previously saved processes (via pm2 save):

pm2 resurrect

Disabling startup system

To disable and remove the current startup configuration:

pm2 unstartup

Specifics to know

Updating startup script after Node.js version upgrade

When you upgrade the local Node.js version, be sure to update the PM2 startup script, so it runs the latest Node.js binary you have installed.

First disable and remove the current startup configuration (copy/paste the output of that command):

$ pm2 unstartup

Then restore a fresh startup script:

$ pm2 startup

User permissions

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

Just change the -u <username> option and the --hp <user_home>:

pm2 startup ubuntu -u www --hp /home/ubuntu

Specifying the init system

You can specify the platform you use by yourself if you want to (where platform can be either one of the cited above):

pm2 startup [ubuntu | ubuntu14 | ubuntu12 | centos | centos6 | arch | oracle | amazon | macos | darwin | freebsd | systemd | systemv | upstart | launchd | rcd | openrc]

SystemD installation checking

# Check if pm2-<USER> service has been added
$ systemctl list-units
# Check logs
$ journalctl -u pm2-<USER>
# Cat systemd configuration file
$ systemctl cat pm2-<USER>
# Analyze startup
$ systemd-analyze plot > output.svg

To wait efficiently that machine is online for PM2 to run:




Windows startup script

To generate a Windows compatible startup script have a look to the excellent pm2-installer

Init systems supported

  • systemd: Ubuntu >= 16, CentOS >= 7, Arch, Debian >= 7
  • upstart: Ubuntu <= 14
  • launchd: Darwin, MacOSx
  • openrc: Gentoo Linux, Arch Linux
  • rcd: FreeBSD
  • systemv: Centos 6, Amazon Linux

These init systems are automatically detected by PM2 with the pm2 startup command.

Updating PM2

Updating PM2 is extremely fast (less than few seconds) and seamless.

Process to update PM2

Install the latest PM2 version:

npm install pm2 -g

You can now update the in-memory PM2 daemon via command:

pm2 update

Node.js version upgrade

When you upgrade your Node.js installation, make sure to also update Node.js version starting PM2.

To update the PM2 startup script run:

$ pm2 unstartup
$ pm2 startup

Using PM2/Keymetrics in AWS Elastic Beanstalk

This page will guide you step by step through the PM2/Keymetrics integration in a Beanstalk environment. We recommend using the eb cli for easier deployment.

We created a repository for easy testing: pm2-ebs-demo.

Setup Beanstalk

Go to your application directory and use eb init to setup Beanstalk.

We need to make sure Beanstalk will try to launch your application by using npm start. To do so, add a file called Procfile at the root of your source bundle to specify the command that starts your application.


web: npm start

Integrate PM2

The easiest and less invasive way to monitor your application using PM2 is by requiring it as a npm module. We will simply change the package.json structure to let pm2 start the application. Just add pm2 to your app dependencies: npm install pm2 --save

Then we will need to change the startup scripts. We call PM2 from the node_modules folder:

"scripts": {
  "start": "./node_modules/pm2/bin/pm2-runtime app.js",
  "poststart":  "node ./node_modules/pm2/bin/pm2 logs"
  • Customize the "start" script to fit your needs.
  • The "poststart" script is optional, but allows simple log checking directly on the AWS dashboard.

That’s all! Run eb deploy to get a PM2 instance on your ElasticBeanstalk instances with minimal overhead.

Integrate PM2 with Keymetrics

We need to pass two variables to PM2 from the environment to link it with Keymetrics: KEYMETRICS_PUBLIC and KEYMETRICS_SECRET.

  • When creating the environment from the cli: eb create --envvars KEYMETRICS_PUBLIC=XXXXX,KEYMETRICS_SECRET=XXXXXX
  • You can also add those variables in the AWS dashboard in the Software Configuration options.

Then follow-up the pm2 integration procedure, and pm2 will auto-link the application at start.

Using PM2 on Cloud Providers

You might find yourself in a situation in which you do not have access to the CLI to start your Node.js applications.

In such a situation, pm2 must be added as a dependency and must be called with the start script.

Prepare your app

Set your ecosystem file

Generate an ecosystem.config.js template with:

pm2 init

Modify the ecosystem file to match your needs:

module.exports = {
  apps : [{
    name: "app",
    script: "./app.js",
    env: {
      NODE_ENV: "development",
    env_production: {
      NODE_ENV: "production",

Learn more about ecosystem file here.

Add PM2 as a module

Add pm2 as a dependency to your project.

With npm:

npm install pm2

With yarn:

yarn add pm2

Start script in package.json

In your package.json, modify your start script like the following:

  "scripts": {
    "start": "pm2-runtime start ecosystem.config.js --env production"

Deploy your app

You can now deploy your application in your cloud providers like you would have done for a regular node.js app.

Auto restart apps on file change

PM2 can automatically restart your application when a file is modified in the current directory or its subdirectories:

pm2 start app.js --watch

Or via configuration file set the option watch: true.

If an application is started with the --watch option, stopping the app will not prevent it to be restarted on file change. To totally disable the watch feature, do: pm2 stop app --watch or toggle the watch option on application restart via pm2 restart app --watch.

To watch specific paths, please use a Ecosystem File, watch can take a string or an array of paths. Default is true:

module.exports = {
  apps: [{
    script: "app.js",
    watch: ["server", "client"],
    // Delay between restart
    watch_delay: 1000,
    ignore_watch : ["node_modules", "client/img"],
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