Node.js daemons

This tutorial shows how to set up Node.js applications as daemon services under Linux. Specifically the following would apply:

  • The daemon application is a Node.js web app
  • Daemon is set up as a SystemD services
  • Node.js app is accessed as a Nginx virtual domain
  • Updates are deployed using git

Even though this tutorial uses a web app as the service daemon, then the same approach can be used for deploying any kind of services.

1. Application

The application code is simple, it consists only from two files, the application script and package.json. It’s a Node.js app that serves web requests at port 3000. For demo purposes the app uses npmlog as a dependency that is only needed to demonstrate deploying dependencies.

// index.js
const http = require('http');
const log = require('npmlog')

const hostname = '';
const port = 3000;

const server = http.createServer((req, res) => {
  res.statusCode = 200;
  res.setHeader('Content-Type', 'text/plain');
  res.end('Hello World\n');
  log.http('App', req.url);

server.listen(port, hostname, () => {'App', `Server running at http://${hostname}:${port}/`);
  "name": "demo-app",
  "private": true,
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "main": "index.js",
  "dependencies": {
    "npmlog": "^4.1.2"
  "license": "ISC"

2. Setting up git

Assuming we have these two files in a directory, let’s set up git repository

$ git init
  Initialized empty Git repository in ~/demo-app/.git/
$ git add .
$ git commit -m Initial
  [master (root-commit) 057e7f3] initial
   2 files changed, 27 insertions(+)
   create mode 100644 index.js
   create mode 100644 package.json

For now we do not set up remote repository, let’s leave this for later.

3. Setting up server