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Eric Wong authored Jun 11, 2010
1 = Unicorn: Rack HTTP server for fast clients and Unix
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2
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3 \Unicorn is an HTTP server for Rack applications designed to only serve
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4 fast clients on low-latency, high-bandwidth connections and take
5 advantage of features in Unix/Unix-like kernels. Slow clients should
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6 only be served by placing a reverse proxy capable of fully buffering
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7 both the the request and response in between \Unicorn and slow clients.
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8
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9 == Features
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10
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11 * Designed for Rack, Unix, fast clients, and ease-of-debugging. We
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12 cut out everything that is better supported by the operating system,
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13 {nginx}[http://nginx.net/] or {Rack}[http://rack.rubyforge.org/].
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14
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15 * Compatible with both Ruby 1.8 and 1.9. Rubinius support is in-progress.
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16
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17 * Process management: \Unicorn will reap and restart workers that
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18 die from broken apps. There is no need to manage multiple processes
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19 or ports yourself. \Unicorn can spawn and manage any number of
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20 worker processes you choose to scale to your backend.
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21
22 * Load balancing is done entirely by the operating system kernel.
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23 Requests never pile up behind a busy worker process.
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24
25 * Does not care if your application is thread-safe or not, workers
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26 all run within their own isolated address space and only serve one
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27 client at a time for maximum robustness.
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28
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29 * Supports all Rack applications, along with pre-Rack versions of
30 Ruby on Rails via a Rack wrapper.
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31
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32 * Builtin reopening of all log files in your application via
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33 USR1 signal. This allows logrotate to rotate files atomically and
34 quickly via rename instead of the racy and slow copytruncate method.
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35 \Unicorn also takes steps to ensure multi-line log entries from one
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36 request all stay within the same file.
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37
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38 * nginx-style binary upgrades without losing connections.
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39 You can upgrade \Unicorn, your entire application, libraries
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40 and even your Ruby interpreter without dropping clients.
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41
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42 * before_fork and after_fork hooks in case your application
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43 has special needs when dealing with forked processes. These
44 should not be needed when the "preload_app" directive is
45 false (the default).
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46
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47 * Can be used with copy-on-write-friendly memory management
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48 to save memory (by setting "preload_app" to true).
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49
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50 * Able to listen on multiple interfaces including UNIX sockets,
51 each worker process can also bind to a private port via the
52 after_fork hook for easy debugging.
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53
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54 * Simple and easy Ruby DSL for configuration.
55
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56 * Decodes chunked transfers on-the-fly, thus allowing upload progress
57 notification to be implemented as well as being able to tunnel
58 arbitrary stream-based protocols over HTTP.
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59
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60 == License
61
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62 \Unicorn is copyright 2009 by all contributors (see logs in git).
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63 It is based on Mongrel 1.1.5 and carries the same license.
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64
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65 Mongrel is copyright 2007 Zed A. Shaw and contributors. It is licensed
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66 under the Ruby (1.8) license and the GPL2. See the included LICENSE file
67 for details.
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68
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69 \Unicorn is 100% Free Software.
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70
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71 == Install
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72
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73 The library consists of a C extension so you'll need a C compiler
74 and Ruby development libraries/headers.
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75
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76 You may download the tarball from the Mongrel project page on Rubyforge
77 and run setup.rb after unpacking it:
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78
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79 http://rubyforge.org/frs/?group_id=1306
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80
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81 You may also install it via RubyGems on Gemcutter:
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82
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83 gem install unicorn
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84
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85 You can get the latest source via git from the following locations
86 (these versions may not be stable):
87
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88 git://bogomips.org/unicorn.git
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89 git://repo.or.cz/unicorn.git (mirror)
90
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91 You may browse the code from the web and download the latest snapshot
92 tarballs here:
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93
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94 * http://bogomips.org/unicorn.git (cgit)
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95 * http://repo.or.cz/w/unicorn.git (gitweb)
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96
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97 See the HACKING guide on how to contribute and build prerelease gems
98 from git.
99
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100 == Usage
101
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102 === non-Rails Rack applications
103
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104 In APP_ROOT, run:
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105
106 unicorn
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107
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108 === for Rails applications (should work for all 1.2 or later versions)
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109
110 In RAILS_ROOT, run:
111
112 unicorn_rails
113
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114 \Unicorn will bind to all interfaces on TCP port 8080 by default.
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115 You may use the +--listen/-l+ switch to bind to a different
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116 address:port or a UNIX socket.
117
118 === Configuration File(s)
119
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120 \Unicorn will look for the config.ru file used by rackup in APP_ROOT.
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121
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122 For deployments, it can use a config file for \Unicorn-specific options
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123 specified by the +--config-file/-c+ command-line switch. See
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124 Unicorn::Configurator for the syntax of the \Unicorn-specific options.
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125 The default settings are designed for maximum out-of-the-box
126 compatibility with existing applications.
127
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128 Most command-line options for other Rack applications (above) are also
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129 supported. Run `unicorn -h` or `unicorn_rails -h` to see command-line
130 options.
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131
132 == Disclaimer
133
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134 There is NO WARRANTY whatsoever if anything goes wrong, but
135 {let us know}[link:ISSUES.html] and we'll try our best to fix it.
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136
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137 \Unicorn is designed to only serve fast clients either on the local host
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138 or a fast LAN. See the PHILOSOPHY and DESIGN documents for more details
139 regarding this.
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140
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141 == Contact
142
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143 All feedback (bug reports, user/development dicussion, patches, pull
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144 requests) go to the mailing list/newsgroup. See the ISSUES document for
145 information on the {mailing list}[mailto:mongrel-unicorn@rubyforge.org].
146
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147 For the latest on \Unicorn releases, you may also finger us at
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148 unicorn@bogomips.org or check our NEWS page (and subscribe to our Atom
149 feed).
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