Say you have a JAR file and you need to run it as a service. Additionally, you want it to start automatically if/when system restarts.

Ubuntu has a built-in mechanism to create custom services, enabling them to get started at system boot time and start/stop them as a service. In this post, I am going to share a simple and elegant way to create a service wrapper for your JAR file so you can run it as a service. Here we go.

Step 1: Create a Service

sudo vim /etc/systemd/system/my-webapp.service


Copy/paste the following into the file /etc/systemd/system/my-webapp.service:

[Unit]
Description=My Webapp Java REST Service
[Service]
User=ubuntu
# The configuration file application.properties should be here:

#change this to your workspace
WorkingDirectory=/home/ubuntu/workspace

#path to executable. 
#executable is a bash script which calls jar file
ExecStart=/home/ubuntu/workspace/my-webapp

SuccessExitStatus=143
TimeoutStopSec=10
Restart=on-failure
RestartSec=5

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target


Step 2: Create a Bash Script to Call Your Service

Here’s the bash script that calls your JAR file: my-webapp

#!/bin/sh
sudo /usr/bin/java -jar my-webapp-1.0-SNAPSHOT.jar server config.yml


Don't forget to give your script execute permission: sudo chmod u+x my-webapp

Step 3: Start the Service

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable my-webapp.service
sudo systemctl start my-webapp
sudo systemctl status my-webapp


Step 4: Set Up Logging

First, run: sudo journalctl --unit=my-webapp . See real-time logs by using the -f option.

If you want to trim them, use -n <# of lines> to view the specified number of lines of the log:

sudo journalctl -f -n 1000 -u my-webapp


Tail the live log using the -f option:

sudo journalctl -f -u my-webapp


Stop the service by using:

sudo systemctl stop my-webapp


That's it! Enjoy and show your support if you like it. Thanks!