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I have the following job in /etc/init/collector:

start on runlevel [2345]
stop on runlevel [!2345]

expect daemon

exec /usr/bin/twistd -y /path/to/my/tac/file

When I start the job with sudo service collector start, it hangs. If I ctrl-c and run initctl list, I see this:

collector start/killed, process 616

I can't see an instance of the twistd daemon in ps, and the HTTP server it's supposed to be providing does not exist.

I even tried this without 'expect daemon' and with a simple call to a one-line bash script using a script stanza, and it still doesn't work. I think I'm doing something very wrong. What could it be?

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No answer, but I'm struggling with a similar issue. It might even be a bug in Upstart: I don't know how to get from this hanging state other then rebooting. Also I believe it has to do with the expect daemon line. – harm Apr 2 '12 at 16:10
up vote 11 down vote accepted

You can redirect stdout and stderr of the entire shell using the script pragma (instead of exec) in conjunction with exec >FILE 2>&1, like so:

    exec >/path/to/some_log_file 2>&1
    exec your_command_here
end script

That should hopefully give you better insight into what's going on. I've found this useful for catching all sorts of problems in my upstart scripts. You could pipe your command's stdout/stderr directly, but you'll miss out on errors originating in the shell (like syntax errors).

On the other hand, if service is hanging, it might not even be hitting your script, in which case none of this will help, of course.

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Thanks, this put me on the right track. In the end I piped the output to logger, so that I could just tail /var/log/syslog. – Cera Dec 5 '13 at 4:35

There's also the console log declarative, as defined here:

I don't know enough about upstart to know if it's enabled by default, but you can enable it on a per upstart job basis, it'll by default output to /var/log/upstart/<job>.log

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