Upstart configuration for a Rack application

2015-06-24 · 2 min read

Let's start with the simplest possible Rack application.

run lambda {|env| [200, {'Content-Type'  => 'text/plain'}, ["Hello, Zaiste!"]]}

Run it with rackup and see if it works using curl:

curl localhost:9292
Hello, Zaiste!

Our goal is to create an Upstart configuration, so the application is managed through service command and starts whenever the server boots.

Upstart is a process initialization tool: it starts tasks and services during boot, stops them during shutdown and supervises them while the system is running. It replaces standard init daemon and brings additional features that simplify the initialization process management.

Each task (a process that performs one time, specific execution) or service (a process which runs in the background) is described using a configuration file. Here's an example of a service that manages our Rack application. Both tasks and services are named jobs in the Upstart realm.

User jobs run in the user's own session while system jobs run system-wide with PID 1 designation; their configuration is stored in the /etc/init/ directory.


description "Simple Rack application"
author      "Zaiste"

start on filesystem or runlevel [2345]
stop on shutdown

    export HOME="/home/zaiste"
    echo $$ > /var/run/
    exec /usr/local/bin/rackup /home/zaiste/
end script

pre-start script
    echo "[`date`] zaiste-rack starting..." >> /var/log/zaiste-rack.log
end script

pre-stop script
    rm /var/run/
    echo "[`date`] zaiste-rack stopping..." >> /var/log/zaiste-rack.log
end script

init-checkconf allows to test the syntax of our Upstart configuration file.

init-checkconf /etc/init/zaiste-rack.conf
File /etc/init/zaiste-rack.conf: syntax ok

From now on, we can use service command to manage our application, i.e.

  • sudo service zaiste-rack start to start it
  • sudo service zaiste-rack stop to stop it
  • sudo service zaiste-rack status to check its status
  • sudo service zaiste-rack restart to restart it