Some people have been asking for our Unicorn god config.

Here it is:


rails_env = ENV['RAILS_ENV'] || 'production'
rails_root = ENV['RAILS_ROOT'] || "/data/github/current" do |w| = "unicorn"
  w.interval = 30.seconds # default

  # unicorn needs to be run from the rails root
  w.start = "cd #{rails_root} && /usr/local/bin/unicorn_rails -c #{rails_root}/config/unicorn.rb -E #{rails_env} -D"

  # QUIT gracefully shuts down workers
  w.stop = "kill -QUIT `cat #{rails_root}/tmp/pids/`"

  # USR2 causes the master to re-create itself and spawn a new worker pool
  w.restart = "kill -USR2 `cat #{rails_root}/tmp/pids/`"

  w.start_grace = 10.seconds
  w.restart_grace = 10.seconds
  w.pid_file = "#{rails_root}/tmp/pids/"

  w.uid = 'git'
  w.gid = 'git'


  w.start_if do |start|
    start.condition(:process_running) do |c|
      c.interval = 5.seconds
      c.running = false

  w.restart_if do |restart|
    restart.condition(:memory_usage) do |c|
      c.above = 300.megabytes
      c.times = [3, 5] # 3 out of 5 intervals

    restart.condition(:cpu_usage) do |c|
      c.above = 50.percent
      c.times = 5

  # lifecycle
  w.lifecycle do |on|
    on.condition(:flapping) do |c|
      c.to_state = [:start, :restart]
      c.times = 5
      c.within = 5.minute
      c.transition = :unmonitored
      c.retry_in = 10.minutes
      c.retry_times = 5
      c.retry_within = 2.hours

That's for starting and stopping the master. It's important to note that god only knows about the master - not the workers. The memory limit condition, then, only applies to the master (and is probably never hit).

To watch the workers we use a cute hack @mojombo came up with (though he promises first class support in future versions of code): we start a thread and periodically check the memory usage of workers. If a worker is gobbling up more than 300mb of RSS, we send it a QUIT. The QUIT tells it to die once it finishes processing the current request. Once that happens the master will spawn a new worker - we should hardly notice.

# This will ride alongside god and kill any rogue memory-greedy
# processes. Their sacrifice is for the greater good.

unicorn_worker_memory_limit = 300_000 do
  loop do
      # unicorn workers
      # ps output line format:
      # 31580 275444 unicorn_rails worker[15] -c /data/github/current/config/unicorn.rb -E production -D
      # pid ram command

      lines = `ps -e -www -o pid,rss,command | grep '[u]nicorn_rails worker'`.split("\n")
      lines.each do |line|
        parts = line.split(' ')
        if parts[1].to_i > unicorn_worker_memory_limit
          # tell the worker to die after it finishes serving its request
          ::Process.kill('QUIT', parts[0].to_i)
    rescue Object
      # don't die ever once we've tested this

    sleep 30

That's it! Don't forget the Unicorn Signals page when working with Unicorn.

Have feedback on this post? Let @github know on Twitter.

Need help or found a bug? Contact us.