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Using WebSockets with and Node.js on Koyeb

7 min

With native support for WebSockets, Koyeb is a good place to run real-time applications globally in minutes. Get started for free.


Many types of applications depend on real-time communication: chat, gaming, live-streaming, and collaborative tools to name a few. To develop real-time applications using Node.js, you can use WebSockets or abstraction libraries like provides a simple and easy-to-use API to create real-time applications. It enables real-time, bidirectional, and event-based communication between a server and clients. Using as an abstraction layer, you get built-in capabilities such as rooms, namespaces, and automatic reconnection out of the box.

In this guide, we will create a simple chat application with Express and and deploy it on Koyeb using git. Koyeb provides built-in support for WebSocket connections, making it the ideal place to deploy your WebSocket applications.


To successfully follow and complete this guide, you need:

  • A local development environment with Node.js installed
  • A GitHub account to version and deploy your application code on Koyeb
  • A Koyeb account to deploy and run the application


This guide will cover how to deploy an application using WebSockets with and Node.js on Koyeb through the following steps:

  1. Initialize the project to use with Express
  2. Create the server
  3. Create the client
  4. Preview the app
  5. Deploy on Koyeb

Initialize the project to use with Express

To get started, open your terminal and navigate to a location of your choice. Create the directory that will hold the application code:

mkdir socketio-on-koyeb
cd socketio-on-koyeb

Inside your app folder, create and initialize the package.json file. The package.json contains various metadata, gives npm information to identify the project, handles the project's dependencies, etc.

In your terminal run the following command:

$ npm init --yes

  "name": "socketio-on-koyeb",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  "author": "",
  "license": "ISC"

As our application uses the Express framework and, we need to add them as dependencies of our project. In your terminal, run:

npm install express --save

Last, open the package.json file and add the following entry to the scripts section to be able to run the application running npm run start:

  "name": "socketio-on-koyeb",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "start": "node server.js", 
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  "author": "",
  "license": "ISC",
  "dependencies": {
    "express": "^4.18.2",
    "": "^4.6.1"

The project environment is now ready, we can now start writing our application.

Create the server using Express and Socket.IO

Create and open a file named server.js and copy the content below:

const express = require('express')
const app = express()

const port = process.env.PORT || 8000

app.get('/', function (req, res) {
  res.sendFile(__dirname + '/index.html')

app.listen(port, () => {
  console.log(`App listening on port ${port}`)

The code above creates a simple Express web server that serves an index.html file when a request is made to the root path /.

The next step is to initialize a new instance of to be able to listen to incoming WebSocket connections. We will also add the logic to handle client connection, disconnection, and emit an event of type message to all connected clients when a message is emitted by a client.

const express = require('express')
const app = express()
const http = require('http').Server(app) 
const io = require('')(http) 

const port = process.env.PORT || 8000

app.get('/', function (req, res) {
  res.sendFile(__dirname + '/index.html')

io.on('connection', (socket) => { 
  console.log('Client connected') 
  socket.on('disconnect', () => { 
    console.log('Client disconnected') 

  socket.on('message', (msg) => { 
    io.emit('message', msg) 

app.listen(port, () => { //[!code --]
http.listen(port, () => { 
  console.log(`App listening on port ${port}`)

The server is ready and properly integrated with We can now create a minimalistic index.html page that clients will use to connect to the server and send messages to each other.

Create the client using Socket.IO

In the current app directory, create a file named index.html and copy the content below:

    <ul id="messages"></ul>
    <form id="form" action=""><input id="input" autocomplete="off" /><button>Send</button></form>
    <script src="/"></script>
      var socket = io()

      var form = document.getElementById('form')
      var input = document.getElementById('input')

      form.addEventListener('submit', function (e) {
        if (input.value) {
          socket.emit('message', input.value)
          input.value = ''

      socket.on('message', function (msg) {
        var item = document.createElement('li')
        item.textContent = msg
        window.scrollTo(0, document.body.scrollHeight)

Preview the app

Launch the app running the following command:

npm run start

Open two different browser windows and navigate to http://localhost:8000 on each to see the chat application. Each time you send a message, the server will emit a message event to all connected clients. The client will then append the message to the list of messages displayed on the page.

This means that by sending a message from your first browser window, the message will also appear in the second one and vice-versa.

We can now deploy the application on Koyeb.

Deploy the application on Koyeb

We are going to deploy the application using git. If you want to learn how Koyeb automatically builds your application from git, read our how we build from git documentation.

Initialize a new git repository on your local machine running:

git init

Add a new remote pointing to your GitHub repository:


Last, add the server.js, package.json, package-lock.json and index.html files to your repository and commit & push your changes:

git add server.js package.json package-lock.json index.html
git commit -m "Initial commit"
git push -u origin main

Next, you can deploy the app on Koyeb using the control panel or Koyeb CLI.

Via the control panel

From the Koyeb Console, on the Overview tab, click on the Create Web Service button to import your project and configure your deployment.

  1. Select GitHub as your deployment method.
  2. Pick your GitHub repository from the list.
  3. Name your App, for example socketio-on-koyeb.

When you are done configuring your application, click the Deploy button to deploy your application. You land on the deployment page where you can follow the progress of your application's deployment. Once the build and deployment are completed, you can access your application by clicking the App URL ending with in the Koyeb control panel.

Via the CLI

To deploy the app on Koyeb using the Koyeb CLI, you will need the Koyeb CLI installed. Once installed, run the following command in your terminal:

koyeb app init socketio-on-koyeb \
  --git-branch main \
  --ports 8080:http \
  --routes /:8080 \
  --env PORT=8080

Make sure to replace <YOUR_GITHUB_USERNAME>/<YOUR_REPOSITORY_NAME> with your GitHub username and repository name.

Access deployment logs

To track the app deployment and visualize build logs, execute the following command:

koyeb service logs socketio-on-koyeb/socketio-on-koyeb -t build

Access your app

Once the deployment of your application has finished, you can retrieve the public domain to access your application by running the following command:

$ koyeb app get socketio-on-koyeb
ID      	NAME           	  STATUS 	DOMAINS                               CREATED AT
2b3c4170	socketio-on-koyeb	HEALTHY	[""]	30 Mar 23 09:06 UTC

Access runtime logs

With your app running, you can track the runtime logs by running the following command:

koyeb service logs socketio-on-koyeb/socketio-on-koyeb -t runtime


In this tutorial, we demonstrated how to deploy a real-time application using and Express on Koyeb. We explained how to integrate with Express, add the logic to handle client connection, disconnection, and emit events.

Thanks to Koyeb native support for WebSockets, you can easily deploy real-time applications globally effortlessly.

You can learn more about and explore implementations in other languages by looking at the official documentation.


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