How do I get my Golang web server to run in the background?

Simple / Usable things first

If you want a start script without much effort (i.e. dealing with the process, just having it managed by the system), you could create a systemd service. See Greg’s answer for a detailled description on how to do that.
Afterwards you can start the service with

systemctl start myserver

Previously I would have recommended trying xinetd or something similar for finer granuarlity regarding resource and permission management but systemd already covers that.

Using the shell

You could start your process like this:

nohup ./myexecutable &

The & tells the shell to start the command in the background, keeping it in the job list.
On some shells, the job is killed if the parent shell exits using the HANGUP signal.
To prevent this, you can launch your command using the nohup command, which discards the HANGUP signal.

However, this does not work, if the called process reconnects the HANGUP signal.

To be really sure, you need to remove the process from the shell’s joblist.
For two well known shells this can be achieved as follows:


./myexecutable &
disown <pid>


./myexecutable &!

Killing your background job

Normally, the shell prints the PID of the process, which then can be killed using the kill command, to stop the server. If your shell does not print the PID, you can get it using

echo $!

directly after execution. This prints the PID of the forked process.

Leave a Comment