Using Supervisord to Manage Streaming Filters

As of release m4_002, Social Feed Manager uses supervisord to manage the filterstream and streamsample processes. As streaming processes, these are intended to be run on a continuous, ongoing basis, to collect tweets over time. Supervisord is a process control system that, among other features, manages the SFM streaming processes independently from the SFM web application, and can restart these processes if they fail or after a system reboot.

Twitterfilters and/or streamsample can still be run independently of supervisord if desired (e.g. for testing), by invoking them at the command line as management commands.

Supervisord is installed as part of the standard SFM installation; it is one of SFM’s ubuntu package dependencies. However, it must be configured in order to use filterstreams.

To configure supervisord for SFM:

edit /etc/supervisor/supervisord.conf. Look for the [include] section (in a new instance of supervisor, this is usually at the bottom) and add supervisor.d/*.conf to the space-separated list of files:

files = /etc/supervisor/conf.d/*.conf <PATH_TO_YOUR_SFM>/sfm/sfm/supervisor.d/*.conf

create a /var/log/sfm directory. The supervisor-supervised processes will write log files to this directory.

$ sudo mkdir /var/log/sfm

edit to set DATA_DIR to the directory where you want stream output stored. Set SUPERVISOR_PROCESS_OWNER to a user who has rights to write to /var/log/sfm. You may also wish to adjust SAVE_INTERVAL_SETTINGS, which controls how often sfm will save data to a new file (default is every 15 minutes, specified in ``).

set the permissions on the sfm/sfm/supervisor.d directory to allow the sfm process owner to write to it. Since the sfm process may be running as a different user than the owner of the directory, we’re going to create a new ‘sfm’ group:

$ sudo groupadd sfm

and add the sfm process owner to this group. Edit /etc/group:

$ sudo vi /etc/group

You should see a new line at the end that looks something like this:

sfm:x:<a group number>:

Add the process owner, and optionally add your own user to this group:

sfm:x:<a group number>:www-data,<your user name>

Now change the group of the supervisor.d directory to sfm:

$ sudo chgrp sfm sfm/sfm/supervisor.d

Once the supervsiord.conf file and the respective permissions are setup, supervsiord needs to be configured to manage the sub-process under it.

Streamsample setup

A template streamsample configuration file “streamsample.conf.template” is included in the SFM distribution. To set up a streamsample process managed by supervisor:

Browse to the supervisord.d directory and copy streamsample.conf.template to streamsample.conf

$ cd sfm/sfm/supervisor.d
$ cp streamsample.conf.template streamsample.conf

Edit streamsample.conf to use the path to your sfm project, the value of the PATH environment variable set within your virtualenv, and to use your preferred system user account (to avoid having the output files owned by root).

To have supervisor refresh its list of configuration files and start the streamsample process, first run supervisorctl:

$ sudo supervisorctl

If you don’t see a line that reads something like:

streamsample RUNNING pid 889, uptime 21:45:25

then at the supervisor prompt, run ‘update’ to reload the config files:

$ supervisor> update

Running update should result in the following message:

streamsample: added process group

Now verify that streamsample has been started by viewing the status of the processes:

$ supervisor> status

This should result in a list of processes which includes streamsample, for example:

streamsample RUNNING pid 889, uptime 21:45:25

To stop the streamsample process, run supervisorctl and use the command

$ supervisor> stop streamsample

Filterstream setup

TwitterFilters in SFM are intended to create filterstream Twitter processes.

While streamsample must be started and stopped using supervisorctl, supervisor’s management of TwitterFilter processes is mediated by the SFM application.

SFM creates configuration files for filterstream processes when an administrative user adds new TwitterFilters in SFM. The files are created in the sfm/sfm/supervisor.d directory. SFM takes care of updating supervisor so that it starts the new filterstream process.

If an administrative user modifies an existing, active TwitterFilter, SFM deletes the old configuration file for that TwitterFilter’s filterstream process, writes a new configuration file containing the TwitterFilter’s updated parameters, and restarts the filterstream process.

If an administrative user deactivates or deletes a TwitterFilter, SFM deletes the configuration file for that TwitterFilter’s filterstream process, and stops the filterstream process.

OAuth constraints

To avoid triggering the Twitter API’s rate limiting constraints, every SFM streaming connection must use a different set of Twitter credentials. SFM does not allow active filterstreams to run using the same Twitter credentials as streamsample, or as any other active filterstream.

The streamsample process connects to the Twitter API using the TWITTER_DEFAULT_USERNAME set in Each Filterstream process connects to the Twitter API using the User configured in its TwitterFilter.