These cookbooks are all about setting up Ruby websocket servers
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Websockets on stable-v5

This bundle of custom cookbooks exists as a jumping off point for running a websocket server for use in a Rails application with the suggested best practices.

The primary focus of this setup revolves around serving websockets via Puma running on a dedicated server to reduce the strain on application servers.

Presently, the supported websocket configuration is ActionCable, but the changes necessary to use AnyCable or Faye are fairly trivial.

Note: While there's no reason that you couldn't customize the cookbooks further to allow for a multi-application setup, these cookbooks are meant to act on an environment that provides only a single Application.


There are a few items of note that one should consider before using these cookbooks:

  • As is the case with all custom cookbooks that we provide, these cookbooks are not officially supported. That said, if you try them out and have problems, we would very much appreciate it if you would create an issue on the repo, submit a support ticket, or both.
  • Given the above, it's worth noting that these are generalized forms of the cookbooks we use for the app that runs our monitoring system, and it has also been tested with a version of the Rails ActionCable Examples with updated dependencies.
  • At present, the only websocket system that is supported is Rails' own ActionCable.
  • This requires the addition of an upstream in the nginx config. This is done in /etc/nginx/http-custom.conf, so if you are already adding a custom configuration to that file, you'll want to merge it with the template in cookbooks/custom-websocket/templates/default/upstreams.conf.erb.
  • Much like above, the custom-env_vars cookbook is also used to set up some environment variables to help your application communicate with the websocket server. If you already use this cookbook, you will most likely want to merge this as well.
  • This requires a few changes to your application (detailed below in the "Installation" section, step 7).


  1. Boot an environment using the stable-v5 stack.
  2. Download the Engine Yard Core API client gem on your local machine.
  3. Clone this repository on your local machine.
  4. Customize the websocket configuration
  5. Upload the custom chef recipes from your local machine.
  6. Click Apply on the environment page on Engine Yard Cloud
  7. Update and deploy your application

1. Boot a stable-v5 environment

These cookbooks configure your websocket server to run on a specific utility instance. If your use case dictates that you need the websocket server running elsewhere, you will need to further customize it.

To use the default configuration, boot a utility instance named "websocket" on your environment. You can do this on a new environment or add the utility instance on an existing stable-v5 environment.

2. Download the engineyard gem

On your local machine, run gem install ey-core.

3. Clone the custom websocket chef recipes

On your local machine, run

git clone

If you have other custom coobooks for your environment, you'll need to do a bit of work to incorporate the websocket cookbooks into your custom cookbooks. Othwerwise, you can just upload from the ey-websocket-recipes directory.

4. Customize the websocket configuration

There are a few values that need to be changed across the cookbooks in this repo to actually use them with your app:


In cookbooks/custom-websocket/attributes/default.rb, you'll want to change at least the following values to match your application: websocket['app'] and websocket['mountpoint'].

The first of these is the name of your application (as it appears in the /data directory on your app instances).

The second is the URL path to which the websocket server should be mounted. Most typically, this is "/cable" for ActionCable-powered apps, but you can change this to just about anything that you'd like, so long as you configure your application to use the proper URL for cable connections.


While not strictly necessary, we've found that it works pretty well to configure the production cable URL and allowed hosts via environment variables. to that end, particularly if you're following this guide all the way through, you'll want to update cookbooks/custom-env_vars/files/default/env.custom with good values for WS_URL and ALLOWED_REQUEST_ORIGIN.

The first of these is the fully-qualified ws URL that clients should use to interact with your websocket server (ie 'ws://').

The second of these is basically just your app's primary URL (ie '').

5. Upload the custom chef recipes

On your local machine, cd to the directory that contains your cookbooks directory and run the following:

ey-core recipes upload -c account_name -e environment_name

6. Click Apply on the environment page on Engine Yard Cloud

Go to the environment page on Engine Yard Cloud. Click the Apply button. This will run the main chef recipes and custom chef recipes on a single chef run.

7. Update and deploy your application

The process so far has put the groundwork in place to be able to run a standalone websocket (ActionCable) server, but there are a few changes that are necessary to your application in order to make this setup work as intended. This mostly comes down to configuring your routes, configuring ActionCable within the app, and adding some deploy hooks to ensure that some configs are in place and that the websocket server gets restarted on each deploy.

After you make these changes to your application, you should push to your upstream git repo, deploy, and test the websocket-enabled portions of your app.


In development, it's usually advised that you mount ActionCable directly in your app's config/routes.rb via mount ActionCable.server => '/cable'. Unfortunately, that may conflict with the configuration that allows for an external websocket server to be used. That being the case, if you want to still have a handy /cable mountpoint in development, you might do that like so:

Rails.application.routes.draw do
  if Rails.env.development?
    mount ActionCable.server => '/cable'

  resources :posts, only: [:show]

  root to: 'posts#index'

ActionCable Configuration

In order for the app to know where it should tell clients to connect for websocket interactions, you need to configure this in your application's environment-specific configuration. This setup is intended primarily for production use cases, so it's advised that you configure this in config/environments/production.rb, but you might also want to do this for config/environments/staging.rb if you are using a "staging" environment.

The values that you'll want to configure are the url and allowed_request_origins for ActionCable. If you're not using env vars as suggested above, that might look like this:

config.action_cable.url = 'ws://'
config.action_cable.allowed_request_origins = ['']

If you're using the custom-env_vars cookbook as suggested above (or if you're using the Environment Variables UI in the Cloud dashboard), you would do this instead:

config.action_cable.url = ENV['WS_URL']
config.action_cable.allowed_request_origins = [ ENV['ALLOWED_REQUEST_ORIGIN'] ]

Deploy Hooks

If you look in the deploy directory in this repo, we've provided some boilerplate Ruby deploy hooks. Here's a rough breakdown of those:

  • before_migrate.rb - This stops the currently-running websocket server on the websocket utility instance. While this is incredibly nice-to-have, it's not required.
  • before_symlink.rb - This links the cable.yml generated by the custom-websocket cookbook into the application's config. This is absolutely required for the websocket connections to work properly.
  • after_restart.rb - This starts the websocket server on the websocket utility instance. This is nice-to-have, but is only required if you're stopping the websocket server in an earlier hook (like before_migrate.rb).

If you copy this deploy directory into your app's repo, push, and deploy, it will do the things that are necessary. The caveat here is that if you have changed the utility name in cookbooks/custom-websocket/attributes/default.rb, you will want to modify before_migrate.rb and after_restart.rb to use the correct instance name.