I've been playing around with Node.js for a while but I never got far enough to deploy an app to production.
Dave Winer recently released River4 which is the latest in a line of excelent River of News aggregators.
Previous versions ran on the OPML Editor which I've been having a harder and harder time keeping alive. So I was very happy to see River4 was a Node.js app.
The only issue is that step 4 of his instructions says:
Launch river4.js on a node.js system.
If you've never done this before it's somewhat vexing. Dave has some links to resources about Heroku, but I have a Linux server sitting in my basement that I wanted to use, so how should I keep the app running as a long term service?
After some digging I found the glorious app forever which is "A simple CLI tool for ensuring that a given script runs continuously (i.e. forever)."
Installing and using it was very easy. After following steps 1-3 from the River4 repo I ran:
git clone https://github.com/scripting/river4 /var/www/river4 sudo npm install forever -g cd /var/www/river4 forever start river4.js
This will launch River4 as a background process, keep an eye on it and restart it if it crashes. Then I finished the rest of the steps 5-8.
When Dave releases an updated version it's simple to upgrade:
cd /var/www/river4 forever stopall git pull forever start river4.js
I currently have 5 rivers running but my main one is river.andrewshell.org.
Published June 25, 2014