Services and daemons

When creating snapcraft.yaml to build a new snap, a snap’s executable component can be either exposed as a command or run as a background service or daemon.

For details on how to expose an executable from its constituent parts, see Defining a command.

A snap daemon or service behaves the same as a native daemon or service, and will start automatically at boot time and end when the machine is shutdown.

Defining a daemon

To define an executable as a daemon or service, add daemon: simple to its apps stanza:

    command: bin/
    daemon: simple

The value for daemon: can be one of the following:

  • simple
    Run for as along as the service is active - this is typically the default option.
  • oneshot
    Run once and exit after completion, although the process is still considered running.
  • forking
    The configured command calls fork() as part of its start-up and the parent process is then expected to exit when start-up is complete. This isn’t the recommended behaviour on a modern Linux system.
  • notify
    Assumes the command will send a signal to systemd to indicate that it’s running state. Note this requires usage of the daemon-notify interface.

In addition to the above types of daemon or service, the following can be set to help manage how a service is run, how it can be stopped, and what should happen after it stops:

  • post-stop-command
    Sets the command to run from inside the snap after a service stops.
  • restart-condition
    Defines when a service should be restarted, using values returned from systemd service exit status.
    Can be one of [on-failure|on-success|on-abnormal|on-abort|on-watchdog|always|never].
  • restart-delay
    The delay between service restarts. Defaults to unset. See the systemd.service manual on RestartSec for details.
    Time duration units can be 10ns, 10us, 10ms, 10s, 10m.
  • socket
    Requires an activated daemon socket, and works with the network-bind interface to map a daemon’s socket to a service and activate it.
  • socket-mode
    The mode of a socket in octal.
  • start-timeout
    Optional time to wait for daemon to start.
    Time duration units can be 10ns, 10us, 10ms, 10s, 10m.
  • stop-command
    Used to define a command from inside the snap to stop the service or daemon.
  • stop-timeout
    The length of time to wait before terminating a service.
    Time duration units can be 10ns, 10us, 10ms, 10s, 10m. Termination is via SIGTERM (and SIGKILL if that doesn’t work).
  • timer
    Declares that the service is activated by a timer and that the app must be a daemon. See Timer string format for syntax examples.
  • watchdog-timeout
    This value declares the service watchdog timeout. For watchdog to work, the application requires access to the systemd notification socket, which can be declared by listing a daemon-notify plug in the plugs section.
    Time duration units can be 10ns, 10us, 10ms, 10s, 10m.

For further details, see Snapcraft app and service metadata.

Last updated 7 months ago. Help improve this document in the forum.