Unicorn future plans

John-Paul Bader hukl at berlin.ccc.de
Mon Jun 14 16:58:02 EDT 2010


your plans sound great except for ignoring FreeBSD ;)

Seriously many many Servers, including many which I administrate run on FreeBSD and they do so very well. I'm not very familiar with the internals of the FreeBSD Kernel but I can assure you that it runs perfectly on 8 and 16 core machines and I would extremely happy if I could continue to use unicorn on them.

It should be easier to maintain a FreeBSD version as they (FreeBSD developers) tend to aim for more consistency across releases than Linux. You said once that you don't run any BSD machines but I'd be happy to offer you access to one of my BSD servers for testing.

Furthermore since Mac OS X and FreeBSD share many features like kqueue and many Ruby developers are running macs it would make even more sense to at least care about BSD even if its not you primary platform. 

I don't want to start a flame war or say that one OS is better than another. Linux is certainly great but so is FreeBSD. For the SMP part I recommend the following page on freebsd.org:


And maybe specifically:


To conclude I can only say that I'm running unicorn on several FreeBSD hosts and so far I couldn't be happier with it. As stated before, I'd be more than happy to continue using that setup.

Kindest regards and thanks for all you efforts,


On 14.06.2010, at 21:46, Eric Wong wrote:

> Hi all,
> Some of you are wondering about the future of the project, especially
> since we're nearing a 1.0 release.
> == 1.x - bugfixes and Rack-compatibility synchronization
> The 1.x series will focus mainly on bug fixes and compatibility with
> Rack as it evolves.
> If Rack drops the rewindability requirement of "rack.input", Unicorn
> will follow ASAP and allow TeeInput to be optional middleware with
> newer Rack versions.
> Rubinius should be fully-supported soon, as it's already mostly working
> except for a few corner-case things Rubinius doesn't implement (issues
> filed on their bug tracker).
> == 2.x - the fun and crazy stuff
> First off, there'll be internal API cleanups + sync with
> Rainbows!/Zbatery This won't be user visible, but it'll be less ugly
> inside.
> === Scalability improvements
> I don't know if we'll see hundreds/thousands of CPUs in a single
> application server any time soon, but 2.x will have internal changes
> that'll make us more ready for that.  It could be 5-10 years before
> massively multi-core machines are viable for web apps, but it'd
> certainly be fun to max out Unicorn on those.
> I'll be less shy about sacrificing portability for massive scalability.
> Correct me if I'm wrong, but Linux is the only Free kernel that scales
> to monster multicore machines right now, so I'll primarily focus on
> working with features in Linux.
> Currently, 8-16 cores seems to be the sweet spot (and has been for a
> while), and present-day Unicorn handles that fine as-is.
> === Features (for Rainbows!, mainly)
> IPv6 support and SSL will come, too.   These features will mainly be to
> support Rainbows!, though some LANs could benefit from those, too.  I'll
> have to review the MRI code for those, but I'm leaning towards only
> these new features under 1.9.2+.
> Multi-VM (MVM, Ruby 1.9 experimental branch) support will probably
> happen only in Rainbows! rather than Unicorn.  A true fork() is still
> safer in the event of a crash (but less memory-efficient).
> == Miscellaneous
> I have no plans to provide commercial support, but I'll continue
> offering free support on the mailing list (or private email if you're
> shy).
> As some of you may have noticed; I don't endorse commercial products or
> services at all.  This won't change.  However, there will probably be
> more commercial support available from 3rd parties after a 1.0 release.
> Thanks for reading!
> -- 
> Eric Wong
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