1.1.0 • Public • Published

grunt-external-daemon Build Status

Grunt Task to start external background processes.

Getting Started

This plugin requires Grunt ~0.4.0

If you haven't used Grunt before, be sure to check out the Getting Started guide, as it explains how to create a Gruntfile as well as install and use Grunt plugins. Once you're familiar with that process, you may install this plugin with this command:

npm install grunt-external-daemon --save-dev

Once the plugin has been installed, it may be enabled inside your Gruntfile with this line of JavaScript:


This plugin was designed to work with Grunt 0.4.x. If you're still using grunt v0.3.x it's strongly recommended that you upgrade, but in case you can't please use v0.3.2.

External Daemon task

Run this task with the grunt external_daemon command.

Different daemons to run and options may be specified according to the grunt Configuring tasks guide.



Type: string

The command to run. If passed in a path, this will be normalized first. Can be a Grunt template.


Type: Array[String]

Arguments to pass to the command. This is passed to the underlying node child_process.spawn function.

Array items will be processed as Grunt templates.



Type: boolean Default: false

Print stderr and stdout output from the daemon process with the Grunt output. Even with this disabled, output can be viewed by running Grunt with the --verbose flag.


Type: object Default: {}

List of options to pass to the underlying node child_process.spawn command. See the node docs for more details.


Type: function(stdout, stderr) Default: function () { return true; }

A function to check whether the process has started up and is ready. It should return true when whatever criteria used to determine readiness are met. The default is a function that simply returns true, meaning it will assume your process is immediately ready to go upon starting. The task will block until this process returns true or the timeout has elapsed (see below).

This is useful when you are starting a daemon process in the middle of a Grunt task chain and subsequent tasks require this daemon to be running before executing themselves. For instance, starting a node server with grunt-develop that requires a running CouchDB instance.


Type: float Default: 0.5

The interval in seconds between startCheck invocations.


Type float Default: 5.0

The time in seconds before the task times out if startCheck has not yet returned true.

Setting this to false disables the timeout.


Type: string Default: SIGTERM

The signal sent to the process to kill it.


Type: fd Default: undefined

An open file descriptor to write stdout of the daemon process to.


Type: fd Default: undefined

An open file descriptor to write stderr of the daemon process to. Can be the same stream as options.stdout.

Usage Examples

Launch a CouchDB instance and wait for it to fully boot.

external_daemon: {
  couchdb: {
    options: {
      startCheck: function(stdout, stderr) {
        return /Apache CouchDB has started on/.test(stdout);
    cmd: "couchdb"

Launch a Redis server and get the config path from the Grunt config.

external_daemon: {
  redis: {
    cmd: "redis-server",
    args: ["<%= grunt.config.redis_config_file %>"]

Launch a verbose Memcached server and print the output.

external_daemon: {
  memcached: {
    options: {
      verbose: true,
      startCheck: function(stdout, stderr) {
        return /server listening/.test(stdout);
    cmd: "memcached",
    args: ['-vv']


Copyright (c) 2013 Joshua Lindsey. See LICENSE for details.




Package Sidebar


npm i grunt-external-daemon

Weekly Downloads






Last publish


  • jlindsey