How to run a Java Program as a daemon (service) on Linux (openSUSE) using a shell script

Written .

The following alternatives may be used to run a Java program as a daemon on Linux:

  • Use the Java Service Wrapper.
  • Use the Apache Jakarta Commons Daemon package (Jsvc).
  • Use a shell script.

This article describes how to use a shell script. The disadvantage of the Java Wrapper and the Commons Daemon package is that they both make use of C programs. These C programs have to be compiled (or a matching binary distribution has to be found) and have to be compatible with the operating system and the installed Java runtime environment. A shell script, on the other hand, is easier to adapt to changing OS and Java environments.


The shell script ( provides the following functionality:

  • Start/stop the Java daemon process, according to the Linux system init script convention.
  • Run the Java daemon as a different (non-root) Linux user.
  • Log error messages and redirect StdOut/StdErr output into a log file.
  • Install/uninstall the daemon as a Linux service. (The "install" procedure installs the script in /etc/init.d, enables the service in the configured default runlevels, creates the "rc" command (symlink) and creates the Linux user (as a system account) and group if necessary).

Installation Instructions

Example of how to install the JavaDaemonTest service (SUSE Linux, execute as root): (Tested with SUSE/openSUSE 9.1, 10.0 and 11.1)

mkdir -p /var/local/javaDaemonTest
cd /var/local/javaDaemonTest
tar -xzf javaDaemonTest.tar.gz
./ install
rcjavaDaemonTest start
rcjavaDaemonTest status
... wait a bit to let the test program write some output lines into the log file ...
rcjavaDaemonTest stop
rcjavaDaemonTest status
less /var/log/javaDaemonTest.log

To uninstall:

rcjavaDaemonTest stop
rcjavaDaemonTest uninstall
rm -R /var/local/javaDaemonTest
rm /var/log/javaDaemonTest.log

Download start/stop shell script (for SUSE Linux) a dummy Java daemon program, used for testing the script

javaDaemonTest.tar.gz the whole package as a tar/gzip file

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