GitHub on Unicorn

Chris Wanstrath chris at
Sat Sep 19 19:07:02 EDT 2009

Just wanted to say that GitHub has been running on Unicorn for about
two weeks now. In that time it's successfully served millions of pages
and has survived two separate DDoS attacks.

Here's the config file we currently use (complete with a fun hack to
gracefully kill the old master when a new worker pool is ready):

(Tom's thread with the `backlog` fix concerns our new servers, which
aren't yet in production.)

I plan to do a writeup on our transition from mongrel_cluster to
Unicorn in the near future, in case others are interested. I'll post
the link here when it's available.

Also: I'm keeping a mirror of the project at for any other GH users who want to
watch updates in their generalized feed. I update it semi-regularly.

Long live fork(2)! And thanks again for the project.


Chris Wanstrath

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