README.txt 22 KB

  1. NSSM: The Non-Sucking Service Manager
  2. Version 2.21, 2013-11-24
  3. NSSM is a service helper program similar to srvany and cygrunsrv. It can
  4. start any application as an NT service and will restart the service if it
  5. fails for any reason.
  6. NSSM also has a graphical service installer and remover.
  7. Full documentation can be found online at
  9. Since version 2.0, the GUI can be bypassed by entering all appropriate
  10. options on the command line.
  11. Since version 2.1, NSSM can be compiled for x64 platforms.
  12. Thanks Benjamin Mayrargue.
  13. Since version 2.2, NSSM can be configured to take different actions
  14. based on the exit code of the managed application.
  15. Since version 2.3, NSSM logs to the Windows event log more elegantly.
  16. Since version 2.5, NSSM respects environment variables in its parameters.
  17. Since version 2.8, NSSM tries harder to shut down the managed application
  18. gracefully and throttles restart attempts if the application doesn't run
  19. for a minimum amount of time.
  20. Since version 2.11, NSSM respects srvany's AppEnvironment parameter.
  21. Since version 2.13, NSSM is translated into French.
  22. Thanks François-Régis Tardy.
  23. Since version 2.15, NSSM is translated into Italian.
  24. Thanks Riccardo Gusmeroli.
  25. Since version 2.17, NSSM can try to shut down console applications by
  26. simulating a Control-C keypress. If they have installed a handler routine
  27. they can clean up and shut down gracefully on receipt of the event.
  28. Since version 2.17, NSSM can redirect the managed application's I/O streams
  29. to an arbitrary path.
  30. Since version 2.18, NSSM can be configured to wait a user-specified amount
  31. of time for the application to exit when shutting down.
  32. Since version 2.19, many more service options can be configured with the
  33. GUI installer as well as via the registry.
  34. Since version 2.19, NSSM can add to the service's environment by setting
  35. AppEnvironmentExtra in place of or in addition to the srvany-compatible
  36. AppEnvironment.
  37. Since version 2.22, NSSM can rotate existing output files when redirecting I/O.
  38. Since version 2.22, NSSM can set service display name, description, startup
  39. type and log on details.
  40. Since version 2.22, NSSM can manage existing services.
  41. Usage
  42. -----
  43. In the usage notes below, arguments to the program may be written in angle
  44. brackets and/or square brackets. <string> means you must insert the
  45. appropriate string and [<string>] means the string is optional. See the
  46. examples below...
  47. Note that everywhere <servicename> appears you may substitute the
  48. service's display name.
  49. Installation using the GUI
  50. --------------------------
  51. To install a service, run
  52. nssm install <servicename>
  53. You will be prompted to enter the full path to the application you wish
  54. to run and any command line options to pass to that application.
  55. Use the system service manager (services.msc) to control advanced service
  56. properties such as startup method and desktop interaction. NSSM may
  57. support these options at a later time...
  58. Installation using the command line
  59. -----------------------------------
  60. To install a service, run
  61. nssm install <servicename> <application> [<options>]
  62. NSSM will then attempt to install a service which runs the named application
  63. with the given options (if you specified any).
  64. Don't forget to enclose paths in "quotes" if they contain spaces!
  65. If you want to include quotes in the options you will need to """quote""" the
  67. Managing the service
  68. --------------------
  69. NSSM will launch the application listed in the registry when you send it a
  70. start signal and will terminate it when you send a stop signal. So far, so
  71. much like srvany. But NSSM is the Non-Sucking service manager and can take
  72. action if/when the application dies.
  73. With no configuration from you, NSSM will try to restart itself if it notices
  74. that the application died but you didn't send it a stop signal. NSSM will
  75. keep trying, pausing between each attempt, until the service is successfully
  76. started or you send it a stop signal.
  77. NSSM will pause an increasingly longer time between subsequent restart attempts
  78. if the service fails to start in a timely manner, up to a maximum of four
  79. minutes. This is so it does not consume an excessive amount of CPU time trying
  80. to start a failed application over and over again. If you identify the cause
  81. of the failure and don't want to wait you can use the Windows service console
  82. (where the service will be shown in Paused state) to send a continue signal to
  83. NSSM and it will retry within a few seconds.
  84. By default, NSSM defines "a timely manner" to be within 1500 milliseconds.
  85. You can change the threshold for the service by setting the number of
  86. milliseconds as a REG_DWORD value in the registry at
  87. HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\<service>\Parameters\AppThrottle.
  88. NSSM will look in the registry under
  89. HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\<service>\Parameters\AppExit for
  90. string (REG_EXPAND_SZ) values corresponding to the exit code of the application.
  91. If the application exited with code 1, for instance, NSSM will look for a
  92. string value under AppExit called "1" or, if it does not find it, will
  93. fall back to the AppExit (Default) value. You can find out the exit code
  94. for the application by consulting the system event log. NSSM will log the
  95. exit code when the application exits.
  96. Based on the data found in the registry, NSSM will take one of three actions:
  97. If the value data is "Restart" NSSM will try to restart the application as
  98. described above. This is its default behaviour.
  99. If the value data is "Ignore" NSSM will not try to restart the application
  100. but will continue running itself. This emulates the (usually undesirable)
  101. behaviour of srvany. The Windows Services console would show the service
  102. as still running even though the application has exited.
  103. If the value data is "Exit" NSSM will exit gracefully. The Windows Services
  104. console would show the service as stopped. If you wish to provide
  105. finer-grained control over service recovery you should use this code and
  106. edit the failure action manually. Please note that Windows versions prior
  107. to Vista will not consider such an exit to be a failure. On older versions
  108. of Windows you should use "Suicide" instead.
  109. If the value data is "Suicide" NSSM will simulate a crash and exit without
  110. informing the service manager. This option should only be used for
  111. pre-Vista systems where you wish to apply a service recovery action. Note
  112. that if the monitored application exits with code 0, NSSM will only honour a
  113. request to suicide if you explicitly configure a registry key for exit code 0.
  114. If only the default action is set to Suicide NSSM will instead exit gracefully.
  115. Stopping the service
  116. --------------------
  117. When stopping a service NSSM will attempt several different methods of killing
  118. the monitored application, each of which can be disabled if necessary.
  119. First NSSM will attempt to generate a Control-C event and send it to the
  120. application's console. Batch scripts or console applications may intercept
  121. the event and shut themselves down gracefully. GUI applications do not have
  122. consoles and will not respond to this method.
  123. Secondly NSSM will enumerate all windows created by the application and send
  124. them a WM_CLOSE message, requesting a graceful exit.
  125. Thirdly NSSM will enumerate all threads created by the application and send
  126. them a WM_QUIT message, requesting a graceful exit. Not all applications'
  127. threads have message queues; those which do not will not respond to this
  128. method.
  129. Finally NSSM will call TerminateProcess() to request that the operating
  130. system forcibly terminate the application. TerminateProcess() cannot be
  131. trapped or ignored, so in most circumstances the application will be killed.
  132. However, there is no guarantee that it will have a chance to perform any
  133. tidyup operations before it exits.
  134. Any or all of the methods above may be disabled. NSSM will look for the
  135. HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\<service>\Parameters\AppStopMethodSkip
  136. registry value which should be of type REG_DWORD set to a bit field describing
  137. which methods should not be applied.
  138. If AppStopMethodSkip includes 1, Control-C events will not be generated.
  139. If AppStopMethodSkip includes 2, WM_CLOSE messages will not be posted.
  140. If AppStopMethodSkip includes 4, WM_QUIT messages will not be posted.
  141. If AppStopMethodSkip includes 8, TerminateProcess() will not be called.
  142. If, for example, you knew that an application did not respond to Control-C
  143. events and did not have a thread message queue, you could set AppStopMethodSkip
  144. to 5 and NSSM would not attempt to use those methods to stop the application.
  145. Take great care when including 8 in the value of AppStopMethodSkip. If NSSM
  146. does not call TerminateProcess() it is possible that the application will not
  147. exit when the service stops.
  148. By default NSSM will allow processes 1500ms to respond to each of the methods
  149. described above before proceeding to the next one. The timeout can be
  150. configured on a per-method basis by creating REG_DWORD entries in the
  151. registry under HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\<service>\Parameters.
  152. AppStopMethodConsole
  153. AppStopMethodWindow
  154. AppStopMethodThreads
  155. Each value should be set to the number of milliseconds to wait. Please note
  156. that the timeout applies to each process in the application's process tree,
  157. so the actual time to shutdown may be longer than the sum of all configured
  158. timeouts if the application spawns multiple subprocesses.
  159. I/O redirection
  160. ---------------
  161. NSSM can redirect the managed application's I/O to any path capable of being
  162. opened by CreateFile(). This enables, for example, capturing the log output
  163. of an application which would otherwise only write to the console or accepting
  164. input from a serial port.
  165. NSSM will look in the registry under
  166. HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\<service>\Parameters for the keys
  167. corresponding to arguments to CreateFile(). All are optional. If no path is
  168. given for a particular stream it will not be redirected. If a path is given
  169. but any of the other values are omitted they will be receive sensible defaults.
  170. AppStdin: Path to receive input.
  171. AppStdout: Path to receive output.
  172. AppStderr: Path to receive error output.
  173. Parameters for CreateFile() are providing with the "AppStdinShareMode",
  174. "AppStdinCreationDisposition" and "AppStdinFlagsAndAttributes" values (and
  175. analogously for stdout and stderr).
  176. In general, if you want the service to log its output, set AppStdout and
  177. AppStderr to the same path, eg C:\Users\Public\service.log, and it should
  178. work. Remember, however, that the path must be accessible to the user
  179. running the service.
  180. File rotation
  181. -------------
  182. When using I/O redirection, NSSM can rotate existing output files prior to
  183. opening stdout and/or stderr. An existing file will be renamed with a
  184. suffix based on the file's last write time, to millisecond precision. For
  185. example, the file nssm.log might be rotated to nssm-20131221T113939.457.log.
  186. NSSM will look in the registry under
  187. HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\<service>\Parameters for REG_DWORD
  188. entries which control how rotation happens.
  189. If AppRotateFiles is missing or set to 0, rotation is disabled. Any non-zero
  190. value enables rotation.
  191. If AppRotateSeconds is non-zero, a file will not be rotated if its last write
  192. time is less than the given number of seconds in the past.
  193. If AppRotateBytes is non-zero, a file will not be rotated if it is smaller
  194. than the given number of bytes. 64-bit file sizes can be handled by setting
  195. a non-zero value of AppRotateBytesHigh.
  196. Rotation is independent of the CreateFile() parameters used to open the files.
  197. They will be rotated regardless of whether NSSM would otherwise have appended
  198. or replaced them.
  199. Environment variables
  200. ---------------------
  201. NSSM can replace or append to the managed application's environment. Two
  202. multi-valued string (REG_MULTI_SZ) registry values are recognised under
  203. HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\<service>\Parameters.
  204. AppEnvironment defines a list of environment variables which will override
  205. the service's environment. AppEnvironmentExtra defines a list of
  206. environment variables which will be added to the service's environment.
  207. Each entry in the list should be of the form KEY=VALUE. It is possible to
  208. omit the VALUE but the = symbol is mandatory.
  209. srvany only supports AppEnvironment.
  210. Managing services using the GUI
  211. -------------------------------
  212. NSSM can edit the settings of existing services with the same GUI that is
  213. used to install them. Run
  214. nssm edit <servicename>
  215. to bring up the GUI.
  216. NSSM offers limited editing capabilities for services other than those which
  217. run NSSM itself. When NSSM is asked to edit a service which does not have
  218. the App* registry settings described above, the GUI will allow editing only
  219. system settings such as the service display name and description.
  220. Managing services using the command line
  221. ----------------------------------------
  222. NSSM can retrieve or set individual service parameters from the command line.
  223. In general the syntax is as follows, though see below for exceptions.
  224. nssm get <servicename> <parameter>
  225. nssm set <servicename> <parameter> <value>
  226. Parameters can also be reset to their default values.
  227. nssm reset <servicename> <parameter>
  228. The parameter names recognised by NSSM are the same as the registry entry
  229. names described above, eg AppDirectory.
  230. NSSM offers limited editing capabilities for Services other than those which
  231. run NSSM itself. The parameters recognised are as follows:
  232. Description: Service description.
  233. DisplayName: Service display name.
  234. ImagePath: Path to the service executable.
  235. ObjectName: User account which runs the service.
  236. Name: Service key name.
  237. Start: Service startup type.
  238. Type: Service type.
  239. These correspond to the registry values under the service's key
  240. HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\<service>.
  241. Note that NSSM will concatenate all arguments passed on the command line
  242. with spaces to form the value to set. Thus the following two invocations
  243. would have the same effect.
  244. nssm set <servicename> Description "NSSM managed service"
  245. nssm set <servicename> Description NSSM managed service
  246. Non-standard parameters
  247. -----------------------
  248. The AppEnvironment and AppEnvironmentExtra parameters recognise an
  249. additional argument when querying the environment. The following syntax
  250. will print all extra environment variables configured for a service
  251. nssm get <servicename> AppEnvironmentExtra
  252. whereas the syntax below will print only the value of the CLASSPATH
  253. variable if it is configured in the environment block, or the empty string
  254. if it is not configured.
  255. nssm get <servicename> AppEnvironmentExtra CLASSPATH
  256. When setting an environment block, each variable should be specified as a
  257. KEY=VALUE pair in separate command line arguments. For example:
  258. nssm set <servicename> AppEnvironment CLASSPATH=C:\Classes TEMP=C:\Temp
  259. The AppExit parameter requires an additional argument specifying the exit
  260. code to get or set. The default action can be specified with the string
  261. Default.
  262. For example, to get the default exit action for a service you should run
  263. nssm get <servicename> AppExit Default
  264. To get the exit action when the application exits with exit code 2, run
  265. nssm get <servicename> AppExit 2
  266. Note that if no explicit action is configured for a specified exit code,
  267. NSSM will print the default exit action.
  268. To set configure the service to stop when the application exits with an
  269. exit code of 2, run
  270. nssm set <servicename> AppExit 2 Exit
  271. The Name parameter can only be queried, not set. It returns the service's
  272. registry key name. This may be useful to know if you take advantage of
  273. the fact that you can substitute the service's display name anywhere where
  274. the syntax calls for <servicename>.
  275. The ObjectName parameter requires an additional argument only when setting
  276. a username. The additional argument is the password of the user.
  277. To retrieve the username, run
  278. nssm get <servicename> ObjectName
  279. To set the username and password, run
  280. nssm set <servicename> ObjectName <username> <password>
  281. Note that the rules of argument concatenation still apply. The following
  282. invocation is valid and will have the expected effect.
  283. nssm set <servicename> ObjectName <username> correct horse battery staple
  284. The Start parameter is used to query or set the startup type of the service.
  285. Valid service startup types are as follows:
  286. SERVICE_AUTO_START: Automatic startup at boot.
  287. SERVICE_DELAYED_START: Delayed startup at boot.
  288. SERVICE_DEMAND_START: Manual service startup.
  289. SERVICE_DISABLED: The service is disabled.
  290. Note that SERVICE_DELAYED_START is not supported on versions of Windows prior
  291. to Vista. NSSM will set the service to automatic startup if delayed start is
  292. unavailable.
  293. The Type parameter is used to query or set the service type. NSSM recognises
  294. all currently documented service types but will only allow setting one of two
  295. types:
  296. SERVICE_WIN32_OWN_PROCESS: A standalone service. This is the default.
  297. SERVICE_INTERACTIVE_PROCESS: A service which can interact with the desktop.
  298. Note that a service may only be configured as interactive if it runs under
  299. the LocalSystem account. The safe way to configure an interactive service
  300. is in two stages as follows.
  301. nssm reset <servicename> ObjectName
  302. nssm set <servicename> Type SERVICE_INTERACTIVE_PROCESS
  303. Controlling services using the command line
  304. -------------------------------------------
  305. NSSM offers rudimentary service control features.
  306. nssm start <servicename>
  307. nssm stop <servicename>
  308. nssm status <servicename>
  309. Removing services using the GUI
  310. -------------------------------
  311. NSSM can also remove services. Run
  312. nssm remove <servicename>
  313. to remove a service. You will prompted for confirmation before the service
  314. is removed. Try not to remove essential system services...
  315. Removing service using the command line
  316. ---------------------------------------
  317. To remove a service without confirmation from the GUI, run
  318. nssm remove <servicename> confirm
  319. Try not to remove essential system services...
  320. Logging
  321. -------
  322. NSSM logs to the Windows event log. It registers itself as an event log source
  323. and uses unique event IDs for each type of message it logs. New versions may
  324. add event types but existing event IDs will never be changed.
  325. Because of the way NSSM registers itself you should be aware that you may not
  326. be able to replace the NSSM binary if you have the event viewer open and that
  327. running multiple instances of NSSM from different locations may be confusing if
  328. they are not all the same version.
  329. Example usage
  330. -------------
  331. To install an Unreal Tournament server:
  332. nssm install UT2004 c:\games\ut2004\system\ucc.exe server
  333. To run the server as the "games" user:
  334. nssm set UT2004 ObjectName games password
  335. To configure the server to log to a file:
  336. nssm set UT2004 AppStdout c:\games\ut2004\service.log
  337. To remove the server:
  338. nssm remove UT2004 confirm
  339. To find out the service name of a service with a display name:
  340. nssm get "Background Intelligent Transfer Service" Name
  341. Building NSSM from source
  342. -------------------------
  343. NSSM is known to compile with Visual Studio 2008 and later. Older Visual
  344. Studio releases may or may not work if you install an appropriate SDK and
  345. edit the nssm.vcproj and nssm.sln files to set a lower version number.
  346. They are known not to work with default settings.
  347. NSSM will also compile with Visual Studio 2010 but the resulting executable
  348. will not run on versions of Windows older than XP SP2. If you require
  349. compatiblity with older Windows releases you should change the Platform
  350. Toolset to v90 in the General section of the project's Configuration
  351. Properties.
  352. Credits
  353. -------
  354. Thanks to Bernard Loh for finding a bug with service recovery.
  355. Thanks to Benjamin Mayrargue ( for adding 64-bit support.
  356. Thanks to Joel Reingold for spotting a command line truncation bug.
  357. Thanks to Arve Knudsen for spotting that child processes of the monitored
  358. application could be left running on service shutdown, and that a missing
  359. registry value for AppDirectory confused NSSM.
  360. Thanks to Peter Wagemans and Laszlo Keresztfalvi for suggesting throttling restarts.
  361. Thanks to Eugene Lifshitz for finding an edge case in CreateProcess() and for
  362. advising how to build correctly in paths containing spaces.
  363. Thanks to Rob Sharp for pointing out that NSSM did not respect the
  364. AppEnvironment registry value used by srvany.
  365. Thanks to Szymon Nowak for help with Windows 2000 compatibility.
  366. Thanks to François-Régis Tardy for French translation.
  367. Thanks to Emilio Frini for spotting that French was inadvertently set as
  368. the default language when the user's display language was not translated.
  369. Thanks to Riccardo Gusmeroli for Italian translation.
  370. Thanks to Eric Cheldelin for the inspiration to generate a Control-C event
  371. on shutdown.
  372. Thanks to Brian Baxter for suggesting how to escape quotes from the command prompt.
  373. Thanks to Russ Holmann for suggesting that the shutdown timeout be configurable.
  374. Thanks to Paul Spause for spotting a bug with default registry entries.
  375. Thanks to BUGHUNTER for spotting more GUI bugs.
  376. Thanks to Doug Watson for suggesting file rotation.
  377. Licence
  378. -------
  379. NSSM is public domain. You may unconditionally use it and/or its source code
  380. for any purpose you wish.