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October 8, 2012

Adding an nginx init script to auto start in Ubuntu

Assumption

I am assuming you have installed nginx from source using the default options.
If you have used other options or have place the nginx binary in a directory other than /usr/local/sbin/ then you may need to adjust the script shown below.

Stop

If you have nginx running then stop the process using:
sudo kill `cat /usr/local/nginx/logs/nginx.pid`

Init script

The script shown below is from an Ubuntu 10.04LTS 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

case "$1" in
  start)
        echo -n "Starting $DESC: "
        start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --pidfile /usr/local/nginx/logs/$NAME.pid \
                --exec $DAEMON -- $DAEMON_OPTS
        echo "$NAME."
        ;;
  stop)
        echo -n "Stopping $DESC: "
        start-stop-daemon --stop --quiet --pidfile /usr/local/nginx/logs/$NAME.pid \
                --exec $DAEMON
        echo "$NAME."
        ;;
  restart|force-reload)
        echo -n "Restarting $DESC: "
        start-stop-daemon --stop --quiet --pidfile \
                /usr/local/nginx/logs/$NAME.pid --exec $DAEMON
        sleep 1
        start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --pidfile \
                /usr/local/nginx/logs/$NAME.pid --exec $DAEMON -- $DAEMON_OPTS
        echo "$NAME."
        ;;
  reload)
      echo -n "Reloading $DESC configuration: "
      start-stop-daemon --stop --signal HUP --quiet --pidfile /usr/local/nginx/logs/$NAME.pid \
          --exec $DAEMON
      echo "$NAME."
      ;;
  *)
        N=/etc/init.d/$NAME
        echo "Usage: $N {start|stop|restart|force-reload}" >&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 is located so nginx can be started correctly.
It also defines where to find the nginx.pid file so the process and be correctly stopped and restarted.

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 ...
   /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 it having it automatically start on a reboot.
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