I have several application running on my server; they are built in meteor.js so they are nodejs process and I run them using forever npm module;

I currently launch forever for all of them using the same user whose group owns all the websites directories; now that this is gonna become a production server, I'd like to understand better about security issues this can cause; are there some general security rules to follow to launch nodejs process? Is my current approach possibly dangerous?


Assuming that your application doesn't need write access to the application data (which it really shouldn't), we do the following:

We break the users into two classes - node-<app>-runtime and node-<app>-data. <app> being the application name. They are both part of a group node-<app>. Those aren't the actual names we use for the nosy ones out there.

We do the following:

1) For building the application, we always build on a separate machine, and then have a npm dist script which places only the files needed to run the application into a /dist directory and ships a tarred copy of this directory to our deploy server. The advantage of this is twofold - we know exactly what's going into the deploy and we can make sure that any dev-deps in node_modules, .git directories, and other data doesn't get added to production machines. It also means that when GitHub/Npm/etc. goes down, it doesn't break autoscaling etc. - our deploy server just delivers the prebuilt tarball.

2) We use our configuration management system to create a log directory in a standardized location which can be written to by node-<app>-runtime with permissions 640. The path is provided to the application by a standard Environment Variable. Our log processing daemon automatically picks these up and ships them to a remote server.

3) Our deploy system places the application files in a specific place and sets them to be owned by node-<app>-data with permissions 640. The path is provided to the application by a standard Environment Variable.

The only other bit of advice I have is to always make sure you are setting NODE_ENV=production. Many node modules use this convention to turn off debugging symbols, or improve performance (express comes to mind).

  • I would also use PM2 over forever for production management (actually, I would really use the inbuilt system manager and cluster.js) as it will let your application fully use a multi-core machine and do rolling HUP's. – Brennen Smith Oct 22 '16 at 18:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.