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Node Bootstrap - a starter kit for Node.js 0.8.x(and later), Express.js and Twitter Bootstrap3, sprinkled with Node/Web development best-practices.

branch: master
README.md

Node Bootstrap is a project skeleton for Node.js 0.8.x+ and Express.js development with Twitter's Bootstrap (no pun intended) framework.

Project skeleton provides: common node.js webapp layout for responsive web development, suggests some common Node modules and best-practices, as well as provides two convenient shell scripts:

  • dev_start.sh will start your server.js node app in single-CPU mode with hot-realoading of code enabled.
  • start.sh will start your server.js without hot-reloading, but with as many child processes as you have CPU cores.

By default, dev_start.sh also lets Express.js handle static files so you don't have to have a web server. The production version: start.sh assumes you want your web-server (Nginx?) to take on this job.

Compatibility

We try to keep Node Bootstrap updated with the latest versions of Node, Express and Bootstrap. In some cases, where it makes sense, branches compatible with older versions are created: https://github.com/inadarei/nodebootstrap/branches to make upgrade path a little smoother.

Quick Test:

Assuming you already have node and npm installed (If not: this blog post can help on Debian/Ubuntu and you can figure out similar steps, with the help of HomeBrew on Mac):

> npm install supervisor -g
> npm install bower -g
> npm install
> bower install
> chmod u+x dev_start.sh
> ./dev_start.sh

You should see a simple "hello" at:

http://localhost:3000/hello

You can also customize it by visiting http://localhost:3000/hello?name=yourname, but really what you should probably do instead is dive into the code and see how it is put together.

Contextualizing Runtime Environment

Following environmental variables can affect the runtime behavior and startup mode:

  • NODE_LAUNCH_SCRIPT - defaults to "server.js"
  • NODE_ENV - defaults to "production"
  • NODE_CLUSTERED - defaults to 1 (on)
  • NODE_HOT_RELOAD - defaults to 0 (off)
  • NODE_SERVE_STATIC - defaults to 0 (off) - in production you should serve static content with NginX, not: Node.
  • NODE_CONFIG_DIR - defaults to "config" folder in the current folder
  • NODE_LOG_DIR - defaults to "logs" folder in the current folder

Customization:

It's not a bad idea to use more expressive name than default server.js for your main script. If you run multiple scripts on the server it can really help differentiate between various forever or "ps" processes. However, if you do rename server.js, please make sure to also update corresponding lines in start.sh script.

Most of the launch logic is located in start.sh. By looking at dev_start.sh you can see that it is just altering some environmental variables. Following this pattern you can easily create launch scripts for other environments e.g. stage_start.sh, if needed.

Hot Reloading vs. Daemon-izing Script.

In production environments it is a good idea to daemon-ize your Node process using Forever.js. Forever will restart the process if it accidentally crashes.

In development, it is much more important to have "hot-reloading" of code available. This feature can be provided with Supervisor.js package. If you set NODE_HOT_RELOAD to 1, start.sh will run in hot-reloading mode watching your main script, libs folder and config folder.

Unfortunately, Supervisor and Forever packages do not work nicely with each other, so you can only use one or the other, at this point. Setting NODE_HOT_RELOAD to 1 disables backgrounding of your script and runs your Node application in foreground (which, to be fair, in most cases, is what you probably want during development, anyway).

File Limits

Hot reloading uses native file watching features of *nix systems. This is extremely handy and efficient, but unfortunately most systems have very low limits on watched and open files. If you use hot reloading a lot, you should expect to see: "Error: watch EMFILE" or similar.

To solve the problem you need to raise your filesystem limits. This may be a two-step process. On Linux, there're hard limits (something root user can change in /etc/limits.conf or /ets/security/limits.conf) that govern the limits individual users can alter from command-line.

Put something like this (as root) in your /etc/limits.conf or /etc/security/limits.conf:

* hard nofile 10000

Then log out, log back in and run:

> ulimit -n 10000

You should probably put ulimit -n 10000 in your .profile file, because it does not persist between restarts.

For OS-X and Solaris-specific instructions see a Stackoverflow Answer

On certain Linux distributions you may also need to raise iNotify limit:

sysctl fs.inotify.max_user_instances=16384 && echo sysctl fs.inotify.max_user_instances=16384  | sudo tee /etc/rc.local  

And last, but not least, it's a good idea to also run:

> sudo sysctl -w kern.maxfiles=40960 kern.maxfilesperproc=20480

License

(The MIT License)

Copyright (c) 2012-2014 Irakli Nadareishvili @inadarei

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the 'Software'), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS', WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

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