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September 3, 2023 10:39
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Centrifugo is an open-source scalable real-time messaging server. Centrifugo can instantly deliver messages to application online users connected over supported transports (WebSocket, HTTP-streaming, SSE/EventSource, GRPC, SockJS, WebTransport). Centrifugo has the concept of channel subscriptions – so it's a user-facing PUB/SUB server.

Centrifugo is language-agnostic and can be used to build chat apps, live comments, multiplayer games, real-time data visualizations, collaborative tools, etc. in combination with any backend. It is well suited for modern architectures and allows decoupling the business logic from the real-time transport layer.

Several official client SDKs for browser and mobile development wrap the bidirectional protocol. In addition, Centrifugo supports a unidirectional approach for simple use cases with no SDK dependency.


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Why Centrifugo

The core idea of Centrifugo is simple – it's a PUB/SUB server on top of modern real-time transports:

The hard part is to make this concept production-ready, efficient, flexible and available from different application environments. Centrifugo is a mature solution that already helped many projects with adding real-time features and scale towards many concurrent connections. Centrifugo provides a set of features not available in other open-source solutions in the area:

  • Real-time transports: WebSocket, HTTP-streaming, Server-Sent Events (SSE), GRPC, SockJS, WebTransport
  • Built-in scalability to many machines with Redis, KeyDB, Nats, Tarantool
  • Simple HTTP and GRPC server API to communicate with Centrifugo from the app backend
  • Flexible connection authentication mechanisms: JWT and proxy-like
  • Channel subscription multiplexing over a single connection
  • Different types of subscriptions: client-side and server-side
  • Various channel permission strategies, channel namespace concept
  • Hot message history in channels, with automatic message recovery upon reconnect
  • Online channel presence information, with join/leave notifications
  • A way to send RPC calls to the backend over the real-time connection
  • Strict and effective client protocol wrapped by several official SDKs
  • JSON and binary Protobuf message transfer, with optimized serialization
  • Beautiful embedded admin web UI
  • And much more, visit Centrifugo documentation site


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Also thanks to JetBrains for supporting OSS (most of the code here written in Goland):

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