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The bug has been fixed for about 2 years, let's be clear about it's state.

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April 28, 2020 09:09
October 4, 2018 18:29
April 28, 2020 09:09
April 28, 2020 10:18

Graceful process restarts in Go

It is sometimes useful to update the running code and / or configuration of a network service, without disrupting existing connections. Usually, this is achieved by starting a new process, somehow transferring clients to it and then exiting the old process.

There are many ways to implement graceful upgrades. They vary wildly in the trade-offs they make, and how much control they afford the user. This library has the following goals:

  • No old code keeps running after a successful upgrade
  • The new process has a grace period for performing initialisation
  • Crashing during initialisation is OK
  • Only a single upgrade is ever run in parallel

tableflip works on Linux and macOS.

Using the library

upg, _ := tableflip.New(tableflip.Options{})
defer upg.Stop()

go func() {
	sig := make(chan os.Signal, 1)
	signal.Notify(sig, syscall.SIGHUP)
	for range sig {

// Listen must be called before Ready
ln, _ := upg.Listen("tcp", "localhost:8080")
defer ln.Close()

go http.Serve(ln, nil)

if err := upg.Ready(); err != nil {


Please see the more elaborate graceful shutdown with net/http example.

Integration with systemd

Description=Service using tableflip

ExecStart=/path/to/binary -some-flag /path/to/pid-file
ExecReload=/bin/kill -HUP $MAINPID

See the documentation as well.

The logs of a process using tableflip may go missing due to a bug in journald, which has been fixed by systemd v244 release. If you are running an older version of systemd, you can work around this by logging directly to journald, for example by using go-systemd/journal and looking for the $JOURNAL_STREAM environment variable.