Running River4 with forever

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:

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:

I currently have 5 rivers running but my main one is river.andrewshell.org.

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Author: Andrew Shell

Madison, WI developer, Co-Founder and CTO of Pinpoint Software, founder of Madison PHP.