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June 15th 2020
Last Modified


Runitor runs the supplied command, captures its output, and based on its exit code reports successful or failed execution to is a web service for monitoring periodic tasks. It’s like a dead man’s switch for your cron jobs. You get alerted if they don’t run on time or terminate with a failure.


go get


runitor -uuid uuid -- command


	API base URL. Defaults to hosted service one
	Number of times an API request will be attempted
	Client timeout per request
	UUID of check. Takes precedence over CHECK_UUID env var
	When non-zero periodically run command at specified interval
	Don't tee stdout of the command to terminal
	Don't tee stout and stderr of the command to terminal
	Don't send start ping
	Don't send stdout and stderr with pings

Why Do I Need This Instead of Calling curl from a Shell Script?

In addition to clean separation of concerns from the thing that needs to run and the act of calling an external monitor, runitor packs a few neat extra features that are bit more involved than single line additions to a script.

It can capture the stdout and stderr of the command to send it along with execution reports, a.k.a. “pings”. When you respond to an alert you can quickly start investigating the issue with the relevant context already available.

It can be used as a long running process acting as a task scheduler, executing the command at specified intervals. This feature comes in handy when you don’t readily have access to a job scheduler like crond or systemd.timer. Works well in one process per container environments.

Example Use

Certificate Renewal:

runitor -uuid 2f9-a5c-0123 -- dehydrated --cron --config

Repository Maintenance:

# Run the maintenance script every 100 minutes (1 hour 40 minutes)

runitor -uuid 2f9-a5c-0123 -every 1h40m -- /script/git-maint


# Do not attach output to ping.
# Backup software may leak filenames and paths.

runitor -uuid 2f9-a5c-0123 -no-output-in-ping -- restic backup /home /etc

Triggering an Immediate Run in Periodic Mode

When invoked with -every <duration> flag, runitor will also act as a basic task scheduler.

Sometimes you may not want to restart the process or the container just to force an immediate run. Instead, you can send SIGALRM to runitor to get it run the command right away and reset the interval.

pkill -ALRM runitor

More on What Provides

  • It listens for HTTP requests (pings) from services being monitored.

  • It keeps silent as long as pings arrive on time. It raises an alert as soon as a ping does not arrive on time.

  • Pings can signal start of execution so run durations can be tracked.

  • Pings can explicitly signal failure of execution so an alert can be send.

  • Pings can attach up to 10KB of logs.

  • It can alert you via email, SMS, WhatsApp, Slack, and many more services.

  • It has a free tier with up to 20 checks (last checked April 2020)

  • Software behind the service is open source. You can run your own instance if you’d like to.