Startup Script

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.

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.

Generating a startup script

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

# Detect available init system, generate configuration and enable startup system
pm2 startup

Do not pass sudo to this command! It will print the exact right command you will have to copy/paste into your terminal


$ 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/v4.3/bin pm2 startup <distribution> -u <user> --hp <home-path>

You simply have to copy/paste the line PM2 gives you and the startup script will be configured for your OS.

NOTE 1 : When upgrading to newer Node.js version, update the PM2 startup script! Use pm2 unstartup first then pm2 startup again

NOTE 2: You can customize the service name via the --service-name <name> option (#3213)

Saving current process list


Once you started all the applications you want to manage, you have to save the list you wanna respawn at machine reboot with:

pm2 save

It will save the process list with the corresponding environments into the dump file $PM2_HOME/.pm2/dump.pm2.

Manually resurrect processes

This brings back previously saved processes (via pm2 save):

pm2 resurrect

Disabling startup system

pm2 unstartup

The previous line code let PM2 detect your platform. Alternatively you can use another specified init system youself using:

pm2 unstartup

Updating Startup Script

pm2 unstartup


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 consideration

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

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