Over the last few days I've posted a couple of pieces for the braintrust, asking questions about what desktop people like for Ubuntu, and soliciting advice for launching a Node app so it persists and stays out of the way. I've got some progress to report.
I punted on installing a desktop at least for the first release. I never managed to get it working. Too complicated. Need to approach this again. Maybe the second time will be gold.
I am running two processes on the poets machine, one that runs River4, accessible on port 80, though it's running on port 1337; and the other a background app that watches for updates from a fixed location, giving me the ability to update the River4 software while the servers are running. This was very important for the previous generation of EC2 for Poets.
I am using the software suggested by Dan MacTough to daemonize a Node app. It was simple and worked the first time. I also had good luck with a suggestion from Andrew Shell for node-foreman. I'm likely to use this on my own server first, so I can get comfortable. It looks solid, well-designed and simple.
On the other hand there still seems to be a role for forever. I am both deploying and developing on my production servers. Always making changes. It has to be easy for me to get a process to restart. Forever does that well, and it appears perhaps node-foreman doesn't? Not sure.
I thought maybe if I learned how to run shell commands from my Node code that I could have one thing that runs at startup which launches lots of other things, but I am being reminded of how important the concept of a terminal session is on Unix. Anything you launch in your app only has an existence within your app. Just had a thought that maybe using fork instead of exec might get me the performance I want. Hmmm.
Anyway, I'll let you know how it progresses.