[Twisted-Python] Daemon processes on windows

David Bolen db3l.net at gmail.com
Sun Nov 8 21:45:28 EST 2009

Žiga Seilnacht <ziga.seilnacht at gmail.com> writes:

> It is possible to daemonize a process on Windows. I experimented with 
> adding that support to the twistd script, but got swamped with other 
> work and couldn't finish it. Below is the code that I have so far. You 
> can save it in a module and call the daemonize() function from your script.

While this process is certainly doable, I'll also point out that on
Windows, the more "natural" approach to this is to implement the
process as a service.  That also buys you some regular Windows
approaches to management (net stop/start from command line, services
UI from the control panel) and status inquiry (sc query from command
line).  So while it may be a little platform-specific code you're
final result will integrate more naturally into that environment for
any system administrators.

While I haven't done this with a twistd based Twisted service, I've
done it with a lot of Twisted code in general.  It's easiest if you have
pywin32 installed and can use it's utility service wrappers, for which
the pywin32 package has examples.

I've tended to offload the service definition to its own module, and
have it just import and execute the main code (with the twisted
reactor.run call) after the service gets started - that way you can
also manually run the twisted code without involving any of the
service support, or to support execution on non-Windows platforms.

Here's one example of a service object that invoices Twisted-based
code.  When stopping, you use callFromThread because the thread that
handles the request from the Windows service manager is separate from
the thread executing the main code (which is a thread created during
the startup process).

That's also why you start the reactor without signal initialization,
since it'll be in a secondary thread.  In SvcDoRun is where you could
import platform-generic modules to set up your twisted code, and then
this code starts the reactor.

Oh, and I left some code in that shows retrieving service-specific
parameters from the registry as is typical for Windows services
(stored in HKLM/System/CurrentControlSet/Services/<svc_name>/Parameters
if I recall corrrectly):

                              - - - - -

class DataImportService(win32serviceutil.ServiceFramework):

    __version__ = '1.0.0'

    _svc_name_ = 'fdi'
    _svc_display_name_ = 'SomeCompany Data Integration'

    stopping = False
    debug = False

    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        win32serviceutil.ServiceFramework.__init__(self, *args, **kwargs)
        self._stopped = threading.Event()
        self.log = None

    def initialize(self):
        # This is separate from __init__ so during debugging the bootstrap
        # code can override __init__ but still finish initialization.

    def _getOption(self, option, default):
        return win32serviceutil.GetServiceCustomOption(self._svc_name_,

    def SvcStop(self):
        print '%s Service stopping' % self._svc_display_name_
        print '%s Service stopped' % self._svc_display_name_
        if self.log:

    def SvcDoRun(self):
        """Main entry point for service execution"""

        if hasattr(sys, 'frozen'):
            home_dir = os.path.dirname(sys.executable)
            home_dir = os.path.dirname(__file__)

        # First, let's set up some logging
        if self.debug:
            dupstdout = True
            logprefix = None
            dupstdout = False
            logprefix = os.path.join(home_dir, 'logs', 'dataimport.log')

        self.log = LogClass(logprefix, dupstdout)

        # And then reroute stdout/stderr to that file object
        sys.stdout = self.log
        sys.stderr = self.log

        print '%s Service %s starting' % (self._svc_display_name_,


            # Process config file
            config_file = self._getOption('config',
                                          os.path.join(home_dir, 'data',

            # ... other service-related initialization ...

            # ... do any Twisted related initialization ...

            # Start everything up
            reactor.callLater(0, self.log.write,
                              '%s Service operational\n' %

            # We're shutting down.
            # ... do any shutdown processing ...

            # Flag that we're exiting so service thread can be more
            # accurate in terms of declaring shutdown.


            # For right now just log a traceback and abort
            # But try to gracefully close down log to let final traceback
            # information make it out to the log file.
            if self.log:

                              - - - - -

Your main startup code in the service wrapper module can use helper
functions from win32serviceutil for startup (see the pywin32 examples)
which provides some automatic support for installing/uninstalling the
service, or you can implement your own startup if you want to support
different options and what not.  This all works under py2exe as well
if you want to package things up and have a nice self-contained exe as
a Windows service.

-- David

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