Actionhero v22 removes the built-in actionhero start and actionhero start cluster commands, and adds a single server.ts entrypoint for your applications. We are also removing support for boot.ts|js.

For years, Actionhero has shipped with a robust runtime solution, handling graceful restarts, clustering, and more... however. as the node.js ecosystem has matured, the community has:

  1. Created excellent process management tools, like PM2 which handle running and monitoring your processes, including integration with OS process managers
  2. Moved to serverless/PASS/Docker deployments which prefer to mange the running of the application directly.

To better integrate with the above, Actionhero will now run from a new server.ts file, which will be required in your project @ /src/server.ts:

import { Process } from "actionhero";

// load any custom code, configure the env, as needed

async function main() {
  // create a new actionhero process
  const app = new Process();

  // handle unix signals and uncaught exceptions & rejections

  // start the app!
  // you can pass custom configuration to the process as needed
  await app.start();


When developing, there is no change to your workflow:

  • npm run dev will continue to hot-compile your typescript code and run it.
  • npm run build will compile your TS into JS
  • npm start will now run your ./dist/server.js instead of running ./node_modules/.bin/actoinhero

This change should also make it easier to distribute your actionhero projects as you can modify a base config collection from this file, and you can use tools like pkg to compile your projects.

Now that we have this single entrypoint for your applications, we no longer need boot.js|ts. You can now directly run any setup code you need, modify the environment, etc directly in server.ts.

The Actionhero Binary

Actionhero also includes an optional binary which can help you with lifecycle tasks, like generating a new project, actions, tasks, and more. The help for this binary is as follows:

$ (npx) actionhero help

Usage: actionhero [options] [command]

  -V, --version                   output the version number
  -h, --help                      display help for command

  actions                         List the actions defined on this server
  console                         Start an interactive REPL session with the api object in-scope
  generate                        Generate a new Actionhero Project in an empty directory
  generate-action [options]       Generate a new Action
  generate-cli [options]          Generate a new cli command
  generate-initializer [options]  Generate a new Initializer
  generate-plugin                 Generate the structure of a new actionhero plugin in an empty directory
  generate-server [options]       Generate a new Server
  generate-task [options]         Generate a new Task
  task-enqueue [options]          Enqueue a defined Task into your actionhero cluster
  help [command]                  display help for command

Environments and Config

By default, Actionhero will use the settings found in the exports.default blocks in /config/. However, you can set environment-specific overrides or changes. Actionhero inspects process.env.NODE_ENV to load up runtime configuration overrides from exports.#{env} blocks in your configuration files. This is the recommended way to have separate settings for staging and production.

The load order of configs is:

  • default values in /config
  • environment-specific values in /config

When using CLI commands, you can also set process.env.ACTIONHERO_CONFIG_OVERRIDES. In these cases, ACTIONHERO_CONFIG_OVERRIDES should be stringified JSON.

// from ./config/namespace.js
export const DEFAULT = {
  namespace: function () {
    return {
      enabled: true,
      safe: false,

export const production = {
  namespace: function () {
    return {
      safe: true,

In the example above, we are defining config.namespace.enabled and In all environments (NODE_ENV) config.namespace.enabled = true Only in production would = true, it is false everywhere else.


If your server.ts has used app.registerProcessSignals(), you should be ready to handle the most common unix signals:

   * Register listeners for process signals and uncaught exceptions & rejections.
   * Try to gracefully shut down when signaled to do so
  registerProcessSignals() {
    function awaitHardStop() {
      const timeout = process.env.ACTIONHERO_SHUTDOWN_TIMEOUT
        ? parseInt(process.env.ACTIONHERO_SHUTDOWN_TIMEOUT)
        : 1000 * 30;
      return setTimeout(() => {
          `Process did not terminate within ${timeout}ms. Stopping now!`
      }, timeout);

    // handle errors & rejections
    process.on("uncaughtException", (error: Error) => {
      log(error.stack, "fatal");

    process.on("unhandledRejection", (rejection: Error) => {
      log(rejection.stack, "fatal");

    // handle signals
    process.on("SIGINT", async () => {
      log(`[ SIGNAL ] - SIGINT`, "notice");
      let timer = awaitHardStop();
      await this.stop();

    process.on("SIGTERM", async () => {
      log(`[ SIGNAL ] - SIGTERM`, "notice");
      let timer = awaitHardStop();
      await this.stop();

    process.on("SIGUSR2", async () => {
      log(`[ SIGNAL ] - SIGUSR2`, "notice");
      let timer = awaitHardStop();
      await this.restart();

You can of course add custom handlers as well to handle additional signals. Note that the environment variable ACTIONHERO_SHUTDOWN_TIMEOUT can be used to change how long the process waits to shut down gracefully.


    Actionhero was built from the ground up to include all the features you expect from a modern API framework.

    Open Source

    The Actionhero server is open source, under the Apache-2 license

    Actionhero runs on Linux, OS X, and Windows

    You always have access to the Actionhero team via Slack and Github

    Premium Training & Review

    We provide support for corporate & nonprofit customers starting at a flat rate of $200/hr. Our services include:

    • Remote training for your team
    • Code Reviews
    • Best Practices Audits
    • Custom plugin & Feature Development

    We have packages appropriate for all company sizes. Contact us to learn more.

    Premium Training & Review

    We provide support for corporate & nonprofit customers starting at a flat rate of $200/hr. Our services include:

    • Remote training for your team
    • Code Reviews
    • Best Practices Workshops
    • Custom plugin & Feature Development

    We have packages appropriate for all company sizes. Contact us to learn more.


    For larger customers in need of a support contract, we offer an enterprise plan including everything in the Premium plan plus:

    • 24/7 access to core members of the Actionhero Team
    • Emergency response packages
    • Deployment support
    • ...and custom development against Actionhero’s core as needed.