I was recently trying to figure out the best way to do a rolling restart of a cluster of Thin instances via Capistrano so as to allow for code launches without downtime. My cluster is running behind nginx, which is just providing load balancing like so:

    # Production
    upstream thin_production_cluster {

      server unix:/tmp/thin.production_1.0.sock;
      server unix:/tmp/thin.production_1.1.sock;

      server unix:/tmp/thin.production_2.0.sock;
      server unix:/tmp/thin.production_2.1.sock;

      server unix:/tmp/thin.production_3.0.sock;
      server unix:/tmp/thin.production_3.1.sock;


As you can see, I’ve broken my cluster into 3 subclusters: production_1, production_2, and production_3. This allows them to be restarted one at a time via the following Capistrano task:

  desc "Restart the application server cluster"
  task :restart_app, :roles => :app do

    p "Detecting Thin clusters..."
    num_clusters = 0
    run "#{try_sudo} ls /etc/thin | grep production.*yml | wc -l" do |ch, stream, data|
      if stream == :err
        raise "Error detecting clusters!"
      elsif stream == :out
        num_clusters = data.to_i

    p "Initiating rolling restart for #{num_clusters} clusters.."

    (1..num_clusters).each do |n|
      p "Restarting cluster ##{n}..."
      run "#{try_sudo} thin stop -C /etc/thin/production_#{n}.yml"
      run "#{try_sudo} thin start -C /etc/thin/production_#{n}.yml"
      sleep 5

    p "Rolling restart complete."

The nice thing about this approach is that so long as you stick to the naming convention for Thin config files (production_N.yml), no changes need to be made to the Capistrano task if you add/remove subclusters. Changes do unfortunately need to be made to the nginx.conf though.