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Jump start an application
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Jump start an application. solenoid is a binary script that does the following:

  • Start an app: solenoid start -p PIDFILE -u USERNAME -a APP_NAME -v APP_VERSION
  • Stop an app: solenoid stop -p PIDFILE
  • Restart an app: solenoid restart -p PIDFILE

Solenoid Start logic

When solenoid starts an application it performs the following operation:

  1. Creates the run direction options.runDir
  2. Creates the solenoid user
  3. Fetches the application snapshot to RUN_DIR/snapshot.tgz
  4. Unpacks the snapshot to RUN_DIR/snapshot/package
  5. Removes the packed snapshot at RUN_DIR/snapshot.tgz
  6. Reads the package.json at RUN_DIR/snapshot/package/package.json
  7. Determines the node engine. Defaults to options.engines.node.default || 0.6.x.
  8. Reads the ENVVARS from -e|--app-env (if any).
  9. Restricts the filesystem to the solenoid user
  10. Gets the uid and gid of the solenoid user
  11. Starts the application using aeternum and forza.

CLI Arguments

  -u, --app-user     Username of the owner of the application.
  -a, --app-name     Name of the application.
  -v, --app-version  Version of the application.
  -e, --app-env      Environment vars as serialized JSON.
  -p, --pidfile      Location of the pidfile on disk of the aeternum process.


solenoid expects a configuration file $HOME/.solenoidconf with the following options:

  "storage": {
    // Valid pkgcloud storage provider configuration
    "provider":  "rackspace",
    "username":  "rackspace-username",
    "apiKey":    "rackspace-apiKey",
    "container": "rackspace-container",
    "region":    "ord"
  "instruments": [
    // Instruments provider to send metrics and events to.
      "host": "",
      "port": 8556
  // Directory to run applications within.
  "runDir": "/opt/run"
  "engines": {
    "node": {
      "default": "0.6.x",
      "path": "/opt/engines/node"
Authors: Jarrett Cruger, Charlie Robbins
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