I use SpiderOak for online backup and file synchronisation (a la Dropbox.) I'm running it on my headless server via the SpiderOak --headless command.

At the moment, I have to start this manually inside a screen session to keep it running. This means I have to remember to start my backup software each time I restart the server (not ideal.)

How can I start SpiderOak automatically with the rest of the system processes? (For extra points, how can I monitor it to make sure it stays alive?)

I've tried adding a spideroak.conf file to the Upstart services in /etc/init as shown below, but it fails to start because SpiderOak needs to run as my normal user account (not root.)

root@helios:~/.SpiderOak# cat /etc/init/spideroak.conf
description "The SpiderOak automatic cloud backup service."

# Start when system starts.
start on runlevel [2345]
stop on runlevel [!2345]

exec SpiderOak --headless

1 Answer 1


This is what I use in order to get SpiderOak to automatically start after a reboot on my headless server (Ubuntu 12.04). I use cron with the following entry:

@reboot /sbin/start-stop-daemon -b -x /usr/bin/SpiderOak -S -- --headless

checking the syslog I can confirm it starts up and using top I can confirm its running after reboot.

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    What does the "-S" option do? It tells me there's "no such option". Also, why the "--" before the "--headless"?
    – colan
    Dec 5, 2013 at 20:50
  • 1
    Don't worry about it. I just realized that those are start-stop-daemon options, not SpiderOak options.
    – colan
    Dec 5, 2013 at 21:07

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