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Last pushed: 10 months ago
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Runit, Syslog-ng and Node.js with an init script.


The docker is started using /sbin/initsh as the master process (PID 1), it does the following:

  • checks the /startup folder for any startup .sh scripts.
  • starts runsvdir, runit then starts the services in the docker.
  • when the docker is shutdown initsh signals all runit services to stop, then waits 2 seconds, then shuts down.
  • also handles zombie processes.


runit is used for starting / stopping and logging of services.

To make runit start a service you either link or copy a sh script called "run" into:
/etc/services/[service name]/run

Nginx exmaple would be:

#!/bin/sh -e
exec nginx -g "daemon off;" 2>&1


  • nginx is not started as a daemon process, you should try to do this for any processes because we want runsvdir to get stdout.
  • stderr is piped to stdout. '2>&1'

startup folder

"/sbin/initsh" script checks for the existance of a directory '/startup' and will execute any scripts that end with ".sh".

  • the startup scripts run before runit services.
  • if any script exits with a non-zero code the docker will exit with the same code and not start runit.


This example makes docker output the message 'meh lets not run' and exits with 35 when you try to run metocean/aroha.

create /tmp/startup/ with:

echo 'meh lets not run'
exit 35

run docker with the /startup folder mounted.

docker run -v /tmp/startup:/startup metocean/aroha

output will be

meh lets not run
INIT ERROR: script /startup/ exited with code 35


Processes / services started in this docker are expected to output logs to stdout. Initsh (PID 1) then pipes this back to the host running the docker.

Syslog-ng is used for piping dmesg to the initsh (PID 1).

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