Python – Communicating with a running python daemon

daemonpython

I wrote a small Python application that runs as a daemon. It utilizes threading and queues.

I'm looking for general approaches to altering this application so that I can communicate with it while it's running. Mostly I'd like to be able to monitor its health.

In a nutshell, I'd like to be able to do something like this:

python application.py start  # launches the daemon

Later, I'd like to be able to come along and do something like:

python application.py check_queue_size  # return info from the daemonized process

To be clear, I don't have any problem implementing the Django-inspired syntax. What I don't have any idea how to do is to send signals to the daemonized process (start), or how to write the daemon to handle and respond to such signals.

Like I said above, I'm looking for general approaches. The only one I can see right now is telling the daemon constantly log everything that might be needed to a file, but I hope there's a less messy way to go about it.

UPDATE: Wow, a lot of great answers. Thanks so much. I think I'll look at both Pyro and the web.py/Werkzeug approaches, since Twisted is a little more than I want to bite off at this point. The next conceptual challenge, I suppose, is how to go about talking to my worker threads without hanging them up.

Thanks again.

Best Solution

Yet another approach: use Pyro (Python remoting objects).

Pyro basically allows you to publish Python object instances as services that can be called remotely. I have used Pyro for the exact purpose you describe, and I found it to work very well.

By default, a Pyro server daemon accepts connections from everywhere. To limit this, either use a connection validator (see documentation), or supply host='127.0.0.1' to the Daemon constructor to only listen for local connections.

Example code taken from the Pyro documentation:

Server

import Pyro.core

class JokeGen(Pyro.core.ObjBase):
        def __init__(self):
                Pyro.core.ObjBase.__init__(self)
        def joke(self, name):
                return "Sorry "+name+", I don't know any jokes."

Pyro.core.initServer()
daemon=Pyro.core.Daemon()
uri=daemon.connect(JokeGen(),"jokegen")

print "The daemon runs on port:",daemon.port
print "The object's uri is:",uri

daemon.requestLoop()

Client

import Pyro.core

# you have to change the URI below to match your own host/port.
jokes = Pyro.core.getProxyForURI("PYROLOC://localhost:7766/jokegen")

print jokes.joke("Irmen")

Another similar project is RPyC. I have not tried RPyC.