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A Scala web server powered by Netty networking and AKKA processing.
Scala JavaScript CSS Other

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An embedded Scala web server powered by Netty networking and Akka processing.


We are currently working on a HTML5 style app called MashupBots.

We wanted an open source, lightweight and embeddable Scala web server that can serve static files and support RESTful APIs to our business logic implemented in Akka.

We do not need a web application framework: server side templating, caching, session management, etc.

We couldn't find a web server that exactly meets our requirements, so we decided to write one.

We hope you find it as useful as we do.

What is Socko?

Socko is:

  • Intended for Akka developers

    • who wish to expose their Akka actors as REST endpoints
    • who wish to serve static files and/or HTML 5 applications from the same web server hosting their REST endpoints
  • Embedded

    • Socko runs within your Scala application.
    • Routing DSL like Unfilted and Play2 Mini. Route by HTTP method, host, path and querystring. See example.
    • Configurable from inside your code and/or via settings in Akka's configuration file.
  • Lightweight (assuming you are already using Akka)

    • ~1,300 lines of Scala code (and ~2,600 lines of Java code which will be removed once Akka moves to the upcoming Netty 4.0).
    • Socko has no external dependencies outside Akka 2.0 Remote (which includes Netty).
  • Fast-ish

    • Socko handles and processes incoming HTTP requests in an asynchronous and event driven manner thanks to Netty and Akka.
    • Initial benchmarking results
  • Supportive of HTTP and HTML5 Standards

    • HTTP/S and WebSockets
    • HTTP compression
    • HTTP headers
    • Decoding HTTP POST, file uploads and query strings
  • Open Source

What Socko is NOT

  • Socko is not a standalone web server. It must be embedded within your application.

  • Socko is not a servlet container. It will not run your servlet or JSP pages.

  • Socko is not a web application or MVC framework like Lift or Play. It does not perform server side HTML templating. We use client side javascript libraries like EmberJS and BackboneJS instead.

Quick Start

object HelloApp extends Logger {

  // STEP #1 - Define actors and start Akka
  // See `HelloProcessor` below
  val actorSystem = ActorSystem("HelloExampleActorSystem")

  // STEP #2 - Define routes. 
  val routes = Routes({
    case GET(httpRequest) => {
      actorSystem.actorOf(Props[HelloProcessor]) ! httpRequest

  // STEP #3 - Start and Stop web server.
  def main(args: Array[String]) {
    val webServer = new WebServer(WebServerConfig(), routes)

    Runtime.getRuntime.addShutdownHook(new Thread {
      override def run { webServer.stop() }

    System.out.println("Open your browser and navigate to http://localhost:8888"); 

class HelloProcessor extends Actor {
  def receive = {
    case request: HttpRequestProcessingContext =>
      request.writeResponse("Hello from Socko (" + new Date().toString + ")")

Developer Information

Getting the Source

Get the source code from github

$ git clone
$ cd socko

Run Unit Tests

$ sbt test

Run Examples

$ sbt 
> project socko-examples
> run

Editing the Source Code

  • We are currently using Eclipse 3.7 Indigo with Scala IDE nightly build

  • Generate eclipse project files: sbt eclispse

  • Start Eclipse

  • From the top memu, select File | Import

    • Select General | Existing Projects into Workspace.
    • Click Next.
    • Select the socko source code directory as the root
    • Should see socko-examples and socko-webserver under Projects
    • Click Finish
  • To run the scalatest unit test cases, just right click on a test class file and select Run As JUnit Test.


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