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Server overview and installation


This is a documentation for Centrifugo v2. The latest Centrifugo version is v3. Go to the for v3 docs.

Centrifugo server written in Go language. It's an open-source software, the source code is available on Github.

Centrifugo is built around Centrifuge library for Go language. That library defines custom protocol and message types which must be sent over various transports (Websocket, SockJS). Server clients use that protocol internally and provide simple API to features - making persistent connection, subscribing on channels, calling RPC commands and more.

Server documentation covers a lot of server concepts in detail. Here we start with ways to install Centrifugo on your system.

Install from binary release

Binary releases available on Github. Download latest release for your operating system, unpack it and you are done. Centrifugo is pre-built for:

  • Linux 64-bit (linux_amd64)
  • Linux 32-bit (linux_386)
  • MacOS (darwin_amd64)
  • Windows (windows_amd64)
  • FreeBSD (freebsd_amd64)
  • ARM v6 (linux_armv6)

Archives contain a single statically compiled binary centrifugo file which is ready to run:

./centrifugo -h

See version of Centrifugo:

./centrifugo version

Centrifugo server node requires configuration file with some secret keys. If you are new to Centrifugo then there is genconfig command which generates minimal required configuration file:

./centrifugo genconfig

It generates secret keys automatically and creates configuration file config.json in a current directory (by default) so you can finally run Centrifugo instance:

./centrifugo --config=config.json

We will talk about a configuration in detail in next sections.

You can also put or symlink centrifugo into your bin OS directory and run it from anywhere:

centrifugo --config=config.json

Docker image

Centrifugo server has docker image available on Docker Hub.

docker pull centrifugo/centrifugo


docker run --ulimit nofile=65536:65536 -v /host/dir/with/config/file:/centrifugo -p 8000:8000 centrifugo/centrifugo centrifugo -c config.json

Note that docker allows setting nofile limits in command-line arguments which is pretty important to handle lots of simultaneous persistent connections and not run out of open file limit (each connection requires one file descriptor). See also OS tuning chapter.

Docker-compose example

Create configuration file config.json:

  "v3_use_offset": true,
  "token_hmac_secret_key": "my_secret",
  "api_key": "my_api_key",
  "admin_password": "password",
  "admin_secret": "secret",
  "admin": true

Create docker-compose.yml:

  container_name: centrifugo
  image: centrifugo/centrifugo:latest
    - ./config.json:/centrifugo/config.json
  command: centrifugo -c config.json
    - 8000:8000
      soft: 65535
      hard: 65535

Run with:

docker-compose up

Kubernetes Helm chart

Official Kubernetes Helm chart available and located on Github. Follow instructions in repository README to bootstrap Centrifugo inside your Kubernetes cluster.

RPM and DEB packages for Linux

Every time we make new Centrifugo release we upload rpm and deb packages for popular linux distributions on

At moment, we support versions of the following distributions:

  • 64-bit Debian 8 Jessie
  • 64-bit Debian 9 Stretch
  • 64-bit Debian 10 Buster
  • 64-bit Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial
  • 64-bit Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic
  • 64-bit Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa
  • 64-bit Centos 7
  • 64-bit Centos 8

See full list of available packages and installation instructions.

Centrifugo also works on 32-bit architecture, but we don't support packaging for it since 64-bit is more convenient for servers today.

With brew on MacOS

If you are developing on MacOS then you can install Centrifugo over brew:

brew tap centrifugal/centrifugo
brew install centrifugo

Build from source

You need Go language installed:

git clone
cd centrifugo
go build