go get


Build Status


This repository contains the source code for a Go implementation of the Cloud Foundry router.

You can find the old router here


The original router can be found at cloudfoundry/router. The original router is backed by nginx, that uses Lua code to connect to a Ruby server that -- based on the headers of a client's request -- will tell nginx which backend it should use. The main limitations in this architecture are that nginx does not support non-HTTP (e.g. traffic to services) and non-request/response type traffic (e.g. to support WebSockets), and that it requires a round trip to a Ruby server for every request.

The Go implementation of the Cloud Foundry router is an attempt in solving these limitations. First, with full control over every connection to the router, it can more easily support WebSockets, and other types of traffic (e.g. via HTTP CONNECT). Second, all logic is contained in a single process, removing unnecessary latency.

Getting started

The following instructions may help you get started with gorouter in a standalone environment.

External Dependencies

Development Setup

Download gorouter:

go get -v
cd $GOPATH/src/

To install exactly the dependecies vendored with gorouter, use godep:

go get -v
godep restore ./...

Running Tests

We are using Ginkgo, to run tests.

Running scripts/test will:

  • Check for Go
  • Check that GOPATH is set
  • Download & Install gnatsd (or use the one already downloaded into the GOPATH)
  • Update the PATH to prepend the godep workspace
  • Install ginkgo (from the godep vendored sources into the godep workspace bin)
  • Run all the tests with ginkgo (in random order, without benchmarks, using the vendored godep dependencies)

Any flags passed into scripts/test will be passed into ginkgo.

# run all the tests

# run only tests whose names match Registry
scripts/test -focus=Registry

# run only the tests in the registry package
scripts/test registry

To run the tests using GOPATH dependency sources (bypassing vendored dependencies):

ginkgo -r


Building creates an executable in the gorouter/ dir:

go build


Installing creates an executable in the $GOPATH/bin dir:

go install


# Start NATS server in daemon mode
go get
gnatsd &

# Start gorouter


When the gorouter starts, it sends a router.start message. This message contains an interval that other components should then send router.register on, minimumRegisterIntervalInSeconds. It is recommended that clients should send router.register messages on this interval. This minimumRegisterIntervalInSeconds value is configured through the start_response_delay_interval configuration value. The gorouter will prune routes that it considers to be stale based upon a seperate "staleness" value, droplet_stale_threshold, which defaults to 120 seconds. The gorouter will check if routes have become stale on an interval defined by prune_stale_droplets_interval, which defaults to 30 seconds. All of these values are represented in seconds and will always be integers.

The format of the router.start message is as follows:

  "id": "some-router-id",
  "hosts": [""],
  "minimumRegisterIntervalInSeconds": 5,
  "prunteThresholdInSeconds": 120,

After a router.start message is received by a client, the client should send router.register messages. This ensures that the new router can update its routing table and synchronize with existing routers.

If a component comes online after the router, it must make a NATS request called router.greet in order to determine the interval. The response to this message will be the same format as router.start.

The format of the router.register message is as follows:

  "host": "",
  "port": 4567,
  "uris": [
  "tags": {
    "another_key": "another_value",
    "some_key": "some_value"
  "app": "some_app_guid",
  "stale_threshold_in_seconds": 120,
  "private_instance_id": "some_app_instance_id"

stale_threshold_in_seconds is the custom staleness threshold for the route being registered. If this value is not sent, it will default to the router's default staleness threshold. app is a unique identifier for an application that the route is registered for. It is used to emit router access logs associated with the app through dropsonde. private_instance_id is a unique identifier for an instance associated with the app identified by the app field. X-CF-InstanceID is set to this value on the request to the endpoint registered.

Such a message can be sent to both the router.register subject to register URIs, and to the router.unregister subject to unregister URIs, respectively.


Create a simple app

$ nohup ruby -rsinatra -e 'get("/") { "Hello!" }' &

Send a register message

$ nats-pub 'router.register' '{"host":"","port":4567,"uris":["",""],"tags":{"another_key":"another_value","some_key":"some_value"}}'

Published [router.register] : '{"host":"","port":4567,"uris":["",""],"tags":{"another_key":"another_value","some_key":"some_value"}}'

See that it works!

$ curl


Gorouter provides a /varz http endpoint for monitoring.

There is a deprecated healthz endpoint that provides no useful information about the router. To check on the health of the router, we currently recommend checking the status of TCP port 80.

The /routes endpoint returns the entire routing table as JSON. Each route has an associated array of host:port entries.

Aside from the two monitoring http endpoints (which are only reachable via the status port), specifying the User-Agent header with a value of HTTP-Monitor/1.1 also returns the current health of the router. This is particularly useful when performing healthchecks from a Load Balancer.

Because of the nature of the data present in /varz and /routes, they require http basic authentication credentials which can be acquired through NATS. The port, user and password (pass is the config attribute) can be explicitly set in the gorouter.yml config file's status section.

  port: 8080
  user: some_user
  pass: some_password

Example interaction with curl:

curl -vvv -A "HTTP-Monitor/1.1"
* About to connect() to port 80 (#0)
*   Trying connected
> GET / HTTP/1.1
> User-Agent: HTTP-Monitor/1.1
> Host:
> Accept: */*
< HTTP/1.1 200 OK
< Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2014 00:55:25 GMT
< Transfer-Encoding: chunked
* Connection #0 to host left intact
* Closing connection #0

curl -vvv "http://someuser:somepass@"
* About to connect() to port 8080 (#0)
*   Trying
* connected
* Connected to ( port 8080 (#0)
* Server auth using Basic with user 'someuser'
> GET /routes HTTP/1.1
> Authorization: Basic c29tZXVzZXI6c29tZXBhc3M=
> User-Agent: curl/7.24.0 (x86_64-apple-darwin12.0) libcurl/7.24.0 OpenSSL/0.9.8r zlib/1.2.5
> Host:
> Accept: */*
< HTTP/1.1 200 OK
< Content-Type: application/json
< Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2013 20:31:27 GMT
< Transfer-Encoding: chunked


The router's logging is specified in its YAML configuration file, in a steno configuration format. The meanings of the router's log levels are as follows:

  • fatal - An error has occurred that makes the current request unservicable. Examples: the router can't bind to its TCP port, a CF component has published invalid data to the router.
  • warn - An unexpected state has occurred. Examples: the router tried to publish data that could not be encoded as JSON
  • info, debug - An expected event has occurred. Examples: a new CF component was registered with the router, the router has begun to prune routes for stale droplets.


Please read the contributors' guide