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gunicorn Cookbook

Build Status Cookbook Version

Installs and configures the latest version of Gunicorn (via pip), aka Green Unicorn, a Python WSGI HTTP Server for UNIX. It's a pre-fork worker model ported from Ruby's Unicorn project. Includes an LWRP for managing Gunicorn config files. By default Gunicorn is installed system-wide but you can target a particular virtualenv by overriding the node["gunicorn"]["virtualenv"] attribute.

Deprecation notice

This cookbook has been deprecated. It requires a major rewrite to work on current Chef. We have decided to deprecate it so we can focus our efforts on complex cookbooks that provide more value to the overall Chef community.



  • Debian/Ubuntu
  • RHEL/CentOS/Scientific/Amazon/Oracle


  • Chef 12.1+


  • python


  • node["gunicorn"]["virtualenv"] - the virtualenv you want to target Gunicorn installation into. The virtualenv will be created if it doesn't exist.


This cookbook includes LWRPs for managing gunicorn config files.


Creates a Gunicorn configuration file at the path specified. Meant to be deployed with a service init scheme/supervisor such as runit. Please see the appliation::gunicorn recipe for a complete working example. In depth information about Gunicorn's configuration values can be found in the Gunicorn documentation.


  • :create: create a Gunicorn configuration file.
  • :delete: delete an existing Gunicorn configuration file.

Attribute Parameters

  • path: name attribute. The path where the configuration file will be created
  • template: template to use when rendering the configuration file. default is (part of this cookbook)
  • cookbook: cookbook to look for template file in. default is this cookbook gunicorn
  • listen: the socket to bind to. A string of the form: 'HOST', 'HOST:PORT', 'unix:PATH'. default is or listen on port 8000 on all interfaces. Can also be an array of addresses.
  • backlog: The maximum number of pending connections. default is 2048
  • preload_app: Whether application code should be loaded before the worker processes are forked. default is false
  • worker_processes: The number of worker process for handling requests. default is 4
  • worker_class: The type of workers to use. default is sync
  • worker_timeout: The number of seconds to wait before a worker is killed and restarted. default is 60
  • worker_keepalive: The number of seconds to wait for requests on a Keep-Alive connection. default is 2
  • worker_max_requests: The maximum number of requests a worker will process before restarting. default is 0 or restarts disabled
  • worker_max_requests_jitter: The maximum jitter to add to the max_requests setting. default is 0
  • worker_threads: The number of worker threads for handling requests. default is 1
  • worker_connections: The maximum number of simultaneious clients. default is 1000
  • worker_graceful_timeout: Timeout for graceful workers restart. default is 30
  • limit_request_line: The maximum size of HTTP request line in bytes. default is 4094
  • limit_request_fields: Limit the number of HTTP headers fields in a request. default is 100
  • limit_request_field_size: Limit the allowed size of an HTTP request header field. default is 8190
  • server_hooks: A hash with whose values will be rendered as a Gunicorn server hook callables (functions) named after the hash item's key name. default is {} or no serves hooks
  • owner: The owner for the configuration file.
  • group: The group owner of the configuration file (string or id).
  • pid: A filename to use for the PID file. default is no pidfile
  • accesslog: The access log file to write to.
  • access_log_format: The access log format.
  • errorlog: The error log file to write to.
  • loglevel: The granularity of error log outputs.
  • logger_class: The logger you want to use to log events in gunicorn.
  • logconfig: The log config file to use.
  • secure_scheme_headers: A hash containing headers and values that the front-end proxy uses to indicate HTTPS requests.
  • forwarded_allow_ips: Front-end's IPs from which allowed to handle set secure headers. (comma separate).
  • proc_name: A base to use with setproctitle for process naming.
  • raw_env: An array of raw environment variables in the form of KEY=VALUE. default is nil.


# create a config with the default values
gunicorn_config "/etc/gunicorn/" do
  action :create

# tweak some worker related values...we're web scale baby
gunicorn_config "/etc/gunicorn/" do
  worker_processes 8
  backlog 4096
  action :create

# use the 'pre_fork' server hook to
# sleep for a second before forking
gunicorn_config "/etc/gunicorn/" do
  server_hooks({:pre_fork => 'import time;time.sleep(1)'})
  action :create


Simply include the recipe where you want Gunicorn installed.

License & Authors

Author: Cookbook Engineering Team (

Copyright: 2011-2016, Chef Software, Inc.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.