Ubuntu and Debian - Adding an Nginx init Script


If you decided to install Nginx via source (see the previous article) you would have the latest and greatest version.

However, one disadvantage of installing from source is that init scripts are not created. No problem - let's go ahead and create one for easy control of Nginx, and to ensure it restarts on a reboot.

These instructions were written for Ubuntu Intrepid should apply to Debian and other versions of Ubuntu.

Contents

Assumption

I am assuming you have followed the previous article and installed Nginx from source.

If you have used other options or have placed the nginx binary in a directory other than '/usr/local/sbin/' then you will need to adjust the script shown below to match your installation.

Stop

If you have nginx running then stop the process using:

sudo kill `cat /usr/local/nginx/logs/nginx.pid`

Init script

The script I use below is from an Ubuntu Intrepid 'aptitude' install and has been adapted to take into account our custom install of nginx.

Let's go ahead and create the script:

sudo nano /etc/init.d/nginx

Inside the blank file place the following:

#! /bin/sh
 
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides:          nginx
# Required-Start:    $all
# Required-Stop:     $all
# Default-Start:     2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:      0 1 6
# Short-Description: starts the nginx web server
# Description:       starts nginx using start-stop-daemon
### END INIT INFO
 
PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin
DAEMON=/usr/local/sbin/nginx
NAME=nginx
DESC=nginx
 
test -x $DAEMON || exit 0
 
# Include nginx defaults if available
if [ -f /etc/default/nginx ] ; then
    . /etc/default/nginx
fi
 
set -e
 
. /lib/lsb/init-functions
 
case "$1" in
  start)
    echo -n "Starting $DESC: "
    start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --pidfile /usr/local/nginx/logs/$NAME.pid \
        --exec $DAEMON -- $DAEMON_OPTS || true
    echo "$NAME."
    ;;
  stop)
    echo -n "Stopping $DESC: "
    start-stop-daemon --stop --quiet --pidfile /usr/local/nginx/logs/$NAME.pid \
        --exec $DAEMON || true
    echo "$NAME."
    ;;
  restart|force-reload)
    echo -n "Restarting $DESC: "
    start-stop-daemon --stop --quiet --pidfile \
        /usr/local/nginx/logs/$NAME.pid --exec $DAEMON || true
    sleep 1
    start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --pidfile \
        /usr/local/nginx/logs/$NAME.pid --exec $DAEMON -- $DAEMON_OPTS || true
    echo "$NAME."
    ;;
  reload)
      echo -n "Reloading $DESC configuration: "
      start-stop-daemon --stop --signal HUP --quiet --pidfile /usr/local/nginx/logs/$NAME.pid \
          --exec $DAEMON || true
      echo "$NAME."
      ;;
  status)
      status_of_proc -p /usr/local/nginx/logs/$NAME.pid "$DAEMON" nginx && exit 0 || exit $?
      ;;
  *)
    N=/etc/init.d/$NAME
    echo "Usage: $N {start|stop|restart|reload|force-reload|status}" >&2
    exit 1
    ;;
esac
 
exit 0

There's not really the space to go into the workings of the script, but suffice to say, it defines where the main nginx binary and pid files are located so nginx can be started correctly.

Execute

As the init file is a shell script, it needs to have executable permissions.

We set them like so:

sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/nginx

update-rc

Now we have the base script prepared, we need to add it to the default run levels:

sudo /usr/sbin/update-rc.d -f nginx defaults

The output will be similar to this:

Adding system startup for /etc/init.d/nginx ...
 Adding system startup for /etc/init.d/nginx ...
   /etc/rc0.d/K20nginx -> ../init.d/nginx
   /etc/rc1.d/K20nginx -> ../init.d/nginx
   /etc/rc6.d/K20nginx -> ../init.d/nginx
   /etc/rc2.d/S20nginx -> ../init.d/nginx
   /etc/rc3.d/S20nginx -> ../init.d/nginx
   /etc/rc4.d/S20nginx -> ../init.d/nginx
   /etc/rc5.d/S20nginx -> ../init.d/nginx

Done.

Start, Stop and Restart

Now we can start, stop and restart nginx just as with any other service:

sudo /etc/init.d/nginx start
...
sudo /etc/init.d/nginx stop
...
sudo /etc/init.d/nginx restart

The script will also be called on a reboot so nginx will automatically start.

Summary

Adding a process to the run levels like this saves a lot of frustration and effort, not only in manually starting and stopping the process, but also in having it automatically start on a reboot.

Now let's look at mirroring the Debian-style layout for our source-installed nginx webserver.



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