How do you run a Python script as a service in Windows?


Question

I am sketching the architecture for a set of programs that share various interrelated objects stored in a database. I want one of the programs to act as a service which provides a higher level interface for operations on these objects, and the other programs to access the objects through that service.

I am currently aiming for Python and the Django framework as the technologies to implement that service with. I'm pretty sure I figure how to daemonize the Python program in Linux. However, it is an optional spec item that the system should support Windows. I have little experience with Windows programming and no experience at all with Windows services.

Is it possible to run a Python programs as a Windows service (i. e. run it automatically without user login)? I won't necessarily have to implement this part, but I need a rough idea how it would be done in order to decide whether to design along these lines.

Edit: Thanks for all the answers so far, they are quite comprehensive. I would like to know one more thing: How is Windows aware of my service? Can I manage it with the native Windows utilities? What is the equivalent of putting a start/stop script in /etc/init.d?

1
242
2/27/2018 9:29:18 PM

Accepted Answer

Yes you can. I do it using the pythoncom libraries that come included with ActivePython or can be installed with pywin32 (Python for Windows extensions).

This is a basic skeleton for a simple service:

import win32serviceutil
import win32service
import win32event
import servicemanager
import socket


class AppServerSvc (win32serviceutil.ServiceFramework):
    _svc_name_ = "TestService"
    _svc_display_name_ = "Test Service"

    def __init__(self,args):
        win32serviceutil.ServiceFramework.__init__(self,args)
        self.hWaitStop = win32event.CreateEvent(None,0,0,None)
        socket.setdefaulttimeout(60)

    def SvcStop(self):
        self.ReportServiceStatus(win32service.SERVICE_STOP_PENDING)
        win32event.SetEvent(self.hWaitStop)

    def SvcDoRun(self):
        servicemanager.LogMsg(servicemanager.EVENTLOG_INFORMATION_TYPE,
                              servicemanager.PYS_SERVICE_STARTED,
                              (self._svc_name_,''))
        self.main()

    def main(self):
        pass

if __name__ == '__main__':
    win32serviceutil.HandleCommandLine(AppServerSvc)

Your code would go in the main() method—usually with some kind of infinite loop that might be interrupted by checking a flag, which you set in the SvcStop method

240
11/14/2016 4:26:45 AM

Although I upvoted the chosen answer a couple of weeks back, in the meantime I struggled a lot more with this topic. It feels like having a special Python installation and using special modules to run a script as a service is simply the wrong way. What about portability and such?

I stumbled across the wonderful Non-sucking Service Manager, which made it really simple and sane to deal with Windows Services. I figured since I could pass options to an installed service, I could just as well select my Python executable and pass my script as an option.

I have not yet tried this solution, but I will do so right now and update this post along the process. I am also interested in using virtualenvs on Windows, so I might come up with a tutorial sooner or later and link to it here.


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