Tag: server

Nginx: Block access to certain parts of your app based on visitor country

It may be a good idea to enable some parts of your application based on a user country. You could do this on an application level:

require 'geoip'

# Controller code...
before_action do
  fail NotAllowed unless Country.allowed?(request.remote_ip)

But why would you want to store non-business logic like this in your app? ;) There's a much better solution: you can use the Nginx GeoIP Module.

To do so, you need to have Nginx compiled with a ngx_http_geoip_module. Run:

nginx -V

to see Nginx details. Look for --with-http_geoip_module. If you have it, you can use the GeoIP database with your Nginx instance.

Install the GeoIp database:

sudo apt-get install geoip-database libgeoip1
# you can also download it from here: http://geolite.maxmind.com

it will be stored in /usr/share/GeoIP/.

Now you need to edit /etc/nginx/nginx.conf file. Put following code in the http section:

geoip_country /usr/share/GeoIP/GeoIP.dat;
map $geoip_country_code $allowed_country {
  default no;
  PL yes;
  US yes;

We decided to blacklist every country except Poland and USA. Full list of countries and their appropriate codes can be found here. Of course instead of whitelisting you could always blacklist:

geoip_country /usr/share/GeoIP/GeoIP.dat;
map $geoip_country_code $allowed_country {
  default yes;
  PL no;
  US no;

This code won't block anything. It will just assign a yes/no value to a $geoip_country_code variable. You can then use it in your server block to allow/disallow access to certain parts of your application:

server {
  server_name  www.yourdomain.com;
  client_max_body_size 32M;
  keepalive_timeout 5;

  # Some other settings here

  error_page 403 /403.html;

  location /admin {
    if ($allowed_country = no) {
      return 403;

    if (-f $request_filename) {

    if (!-f $request_filename) {
      proxy_pass proxypasstargetsomewhere;

Running GitLab 7.1 using Puma instead of a Unicorn


Warning! Before you do this, please read why you should'nt: why did gitlab 6 switch back to unicorn?

So now, when


let's get started...

Gemfile updates

Nothing special here. Just add:

gem 'puma'

and then:

# From /home/gitlab/gitlab
sudo bundle install --no-deployment
sudo -u gitlab -H bundle install --deployment --without development test postgres

Puma config

Create a puma.rb file in your gitlab config dir and copy/paste this:

app_path = File.expand_path(File.dirname(File.dirname(__FILE__)))

rails_env = ENV['RAILS_ENV'] ||  'production'
environment rails_env

threads 4, 32
workers 2

daemonize true
bind                 "unix://#{app_path}/tmp/puma/sock"
state_path           "#{app_path}/tmp/puma/state"
pidfile              "#{app_path}/tmp/puma/pid"
activate_control_app "unix://#{app_path}/tmp/puma/ctlsock"
stdout_redirect      "#{app_path}/log/puma_access.log", "#{app_path}/log/puma_error.log"



mkdir /home/git/gitlab/tmp/puma

At this point, you should be able to execute puma worker:

# You should execute this from a git user
cd /home/git/gitlab && exec bundle exec puma -C /home/git/gitlab/config/puma.rb

[4419] Puma starting in cluster mode...
[4419] * Version 2.9.0 (ruby 2.1.2-p95), codename: Team High Five
[4419] * Min threads: 4, max threads: 32
[4419] * Environment: production
[4419] * Process workers: 2
[4419] * Preloading application
[4419] * Listening on unix:///home/git/gitlab/tmp/puma/sock

Init Script

To manage my Pumas I use Jungle. You can read more about it here. From this point, I assume that you have figured out a way to autostart GitLab Puma process (if not, you'll have to start it each time manually - good luck!).

Unfortunately it is not all. Default GitLab init script (provided with GitLab sources) will try to run Unicorn, so we need to silent it (but we need to keep the Sidekiq part).

To do so, we have to change the /etc/init.d/gitlab script.

start_gitlab() method (line 165) - we have to comment the else case:

  # Then check if the service is running. If it is: don't start again.
  if [ "$web_status" = "0" ]; then
    echo "The Unicorn web server already running with pid $wpid, not restarting."
  # else
    # Remove old socket if it exists
    # rm -f "$socket_path"/gitlab.socket 2>/dev/null
    # Start the web server
    # RAILS_ENV=$RAILS_ENV bin/web start

wait_for_pids() method (line 78) - we have to remote the first condition from while loop. We no longer check for web_server_pid_path:

  # We are sleeping a bit here mostly because sidekiq is slow at writing it's pid
  while [ ! -f $sidekiq_pid_path ]; do
    sleep 0.1;
    if [ $((i%10)) = 0 ]; then
      echo -n "."
    elif [ $((i)) = 301 ]; then
      echo "Waited 30s for the processes to write their pids, something probably went wrong."
      exit 1;

There are some other places that you could modify - so you would not get any warnings, but hey! Those are just warnings. What I did above is an absolute minimum for starting/stopping Sidekiq without any Unicorn errors.

Nginx server block

And an example Nginx server block (virtual host) config:

upstream git.server.name {
  server unix:///home/git/gitlab/tmp/puma/sock;

server {
  server_name git.server.name;
  client_max_body_size 32M;

  keepalive_timeout 5;

  root /home/git/gitlab/public;
  access_log /var/log/nginx/git.server.name.access.log;
  error_log  /var/log/nginx/git.server.name.error.log;

  location / {
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header Host $http_host;

    if (-f $request_filename) {

    if (!-f $request_filename) {
      proxy_pass http://git.server.name;

After that - you are ready to go! Good luck!

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