Maurício Linhares has a great post espousing the virtues of Foreman, a Ruby gem for process management. I’ve benefited from Foreman’s
.env-file way of managing environment variables, but aside from adding
web: bundle exec unicorn -p $PORT to my Procfile I haven’t really used Foreman for its primary purpose, managing processes.
But I noticed this weekend that my laptop’s getting on in years and has been growing sluggish, and when I inspect what’s consuming its CPU cycles, I see processes like mysqld, postgres, mongod—things I need when developing specific projects but don’t necessarily want running 24/7, but since I’ve installed them as services that’s what they do.
Following Maurício’s advice, I set about uninstalling Postgres as a service, so it’s not going to be running all the time, and setting up Foreman to only run Postgres when I need it, i.e. when I’m running a local web server with
bundle exec foreman start.
I already had a Procfile for Heroku’s benefit, but since I only want to run Postgres in this way locally, I created a second Procfile.dev for local use. I tell Foreman to use this file by running
bundle exec foreman start -f Procfile.dev
I also followed Maurício’s advice and set up a separate Postgres database (both data and config) within my project directory, inside
vendor/postgresql. I like the idea of being able to tweak a single project’s Postgres config without contaminating that of other apps. To ensure anyone else running my app has this same setup, I’ve added this line to my app’s setup script:
pg_ctl init -D vendor/postgresql
Finally, I added the following line to my
postgresql: postgres -D vendor/postgresql
Now, I can start up a local development environment, Postgres-and-all, using the
foreman start line above, and when I’m finished and stop Foreman, Postgres is no longer consuming resources on my system.