Jeremy Smith on May 05, 2017

Managing Sidekiq Processes with Upstart

I normally use resque for background jobs in Rails (with capistrano-resque for managing resque processes). But I decided to switch to Sidekiq on a new application.

I spent some time familiarizing myself with the best practices and came across this post by Mike Perham, Sidekiq’s author.

The best and most reliable way to manage multiple Sidekiq processes is with Upstart. Many developers know little to nothing about Upstart so I wanted to write up how to integrate Sidekiq with Upstart.

Deployment should do two things: quiet Sidekiq as early as possible and restart as late as possible.

We don’t need to daemonize. Modern daemons should never daemonize themselves.

We don’t need PID files. PID files are legacy from years ago and their use should signal that something is wrong.

In other words, stop reinventing the wheel and let the operating system do the hard work for you!

The big takeaway for me was that I should be treating Upstart as a first-class tool that I rely on for managing processes, instead of finding ways around it. Capistrano should be doing as little as possible to simply ensure that the appropriate processes are restarted when a deployment requires code to be reloaded.

I took the example scripts provided, and a set of scripts I found to manage many Sidekiq services, and modified them for my needs:

I set up /etc/init/appname-workers.conf to manage the Sidekiq workers specifically for my application. (If I have another application on the same server, I’ll just create another config file like this.)

description "Manages APPNAME Sidekiq workers"

start on runlevel [2345]
stop on runlevel [06]

pre-start script
  start sidekiq app=appname index=0
end script

post-stop script
  stop sidekiq app=appname index=0
end script

I added /etc/init/sidekiq.conf to start an individual Sidekiq worker (called by the script above).

description "Sidekiq Background Worker"

setuid deploy
setgid deploy
env HOME=/home/deploy

respawn limit 3 30
normal exit 0 TERM
kill timeout 15

instance ${app}-${index}

exec /bin/bash <<'EOT'
  source /home/deploy/.rvm/scripts/rvm
  logger -t sidekiq "Starting process: $app-$index"

  cd /var/www/${app}/current
  exec bundle exec sidekiq -i ${index} -e production
end script

Then, in my Rails application, I added the following to my config/deploy.rb

namespace :sidekiq do
  task :quiet do
    on roles(:app) do
      puts capture("pgrep -f 'sidekiq (.*) appname' | xargs kill -USR1")

  task :restart do
    on roles(:app) do
      sudo 'restart appname-workers'

after 'deploy:starting', 'sidekiq:quiet'
after 'deploy:reverted', 'sidekiq:restart'
after 'deploy:published', 'sidekiq:restart'

I anticipate that I may have multiple applications using sidekiq on this same server, so I changed the :quiet task to find the process with both sidekiq and appname in the name: pgrep -f 'sidekiq (.*) appname'

Because my deploy user is going to restart the appname-workers script, I needed to add password-less sudo permissions specifically for the restart appname-workers command by adding a file to be included in sudoers: /etc/sudoers.d/appname-workers_deploy

deploy ALL=NOPASSWD:/sbin/restart appname-workers

Capistrano’s documentation was helpful in understanding how this should be done.

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