Starting bliss automatically - Debian, Ubuntu and Upstart

Gargoyles - Dornoch Cathedral

I've been wanting to write some notes up about 'daemonizing' your bliss process for a while. I've already written about using Windows services to start bliss on startup. Now it's the turn for Ubuntu, Debian and any other Linux distro that uses the Upstart mechanism.

I'll start with a disclaimer: a daemon can mean different things to different people. For my purposes I simply mean a background process that is started at boot time and stopped when the computer is shutdown.

Upstart makes creating a daemon really easy. All that needs to be done is the creation of a configuration file in a special directory on your filesystem. This directory is /etc/init. Go take a look at it now... here's what mine looked like before I create the daemon:

gravelld@vm-ubuntu-server:~$ ls /etc/init
apport.conf              mounted-dev.conf                 setvtrgb.conf
atd.conf                 mounted-proc.conf                ssh.conf
console-setup.conf       mounted-run.conf                 tty1.conf
control-alt-delete.conf  mounted-tmp.conf                 tty2.conf
cron.conf                mounted-var.conf                 tty3.conf
dbus.conf                networking.conf                  tty4.conf
dmesg.conf               network-interface.conf           tty5.conf
failsafe.conf            network-interface-security.conf  tty6.conf
friendly-recovery.conf   plymouth.conf                    udev.conf
hostname.conf            plymouth-log.conf                udev-fallback-graphics.conf
hwclock.conf             plymouth-splash.conf             udev-finish.conf
hwclock-save.conf        plymouth-stop.conf               udevmonitor.conf
irqbalance.conf          plymouth-upstart-bridge.conf     udevtrigger.conf
module-init-tools.conf   procps.conf                      ufw.conf
mountall.conf            rc.conf                          upstart-socket-bridge.conf
mountall-net.conf        rcS.conf                         upstart-udev-bridge.conf
mountall-reboot.conf     rc-sysinit.conf                  ureadahead.conf
mountall-shell.conf      rsyslog.conf                     ureadahead-other.conf
mounted-debugfs.conf     screen-cleanup.conf              wait-for-state.conf

To create the daemon, we add a new .conf file in /etc/init. Here's the configuration file I am using at the moment:

# bliss - music file organiser

description     "Start bliss"

start on startup

	sh /opt/bliss/bin/
end script

To configure this to your own ends, edit the sh /opt/bliss/bin/ line and change the path to point to your own bliss installation, if necessary. Now, save this to /etc/init/bliss.conf.

Believe it or not, that's all you need to do to configure the daemon! You can check on the status of bliss straight away:

gravelld@vm-ubuntu-server:~$ status bliss
bliss stop/waiting

Starting the bliss daemon is simple, but make sure you do it as root:

gravelld@vm-ubuntu-server:~$ sudo start bliss
bliss start/running, process 1803

Now, let's just track back to our configuration file. The line start on startup was included. This is what tells Upstart to start bliss when the computer starts. Pro tip! Make sure the music library is accessible before bliss is started, otherwise bliss will attempt to access the library, fail and then give up. Now, try restarting your computer, and bliss should magically be restarted once your computer has booted. You can leave the start on startup line out if you like.

There are a further options to configuring Upstart that I haven't mentioned. If you think I've left out something important, let me know in the comments and I'll update the article to produce our canonical bliss startup script!

Hope that helps fix any Linux album art woes!

Thanks to foxypar4 for the image above.
tags: bliss daemon server linux

The Music Library Management blog

Dan Gravell

I'm Dan, the founder and programmer of bliss. I write bliss to solve my own problems with my digital music collection.