Socket.io connection timing out

May 5, 2015 6.6k views
Nginx Node.js Ubuntu

I've made a small application that has a chat feature using node.js + socket.io to communicate. It works perfectly on my local ubuntu machine but I can't seem to getting working on my droplet. The websocket communication just times out.

I've tried following multiple tutorials including http://nginx.com/blog/nginx-nodejs-websockets-socketio/ to no avail. I've spent two days so far on this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The app is written using the php framework Laravel, and node.js + socket.io is being used on the back end. The /etc/nginx/sites-available/default file is as below by default: (I have reverted all my attempts at fixing the problem)

server {
listen 80 defaultserver;
name default;
root /home/forge/default/public;

# ssl_certificate;
# ssl_certificate_key;

ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;

index index.html index.htm index.php;

charset utf-8;

location / {
  try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

  proxy_http_version 1.1;
  proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
  proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";

location = /favicon.ico { access_log off; log_not_found off; }
location = /robots.txt  { access_log off; log_not_found off; }

access_log off;
error_log  /var/log/nginx/default-error.log error;

error_page 404 /index.php;

location ~ \.php$ {
    fastcgi_param APP_KEY "SomeRandomString";
    fastcgi_param APP_DEBUG "true";
    fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
    fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
    fastcgi_index index.php;
    include fastcgi_params;

location ~ /\.ht {
    deny all;


  • Were you ever able to find a solution? I'm having the same issues.

  • Hey @kevnk,
    the solution had to do with setting up the ports required for the communication.
    By default, all ports except :80 are blocked.
    I'm sorry, but it's been too long for me to remember the specifics.

2 Answers

I realized by default digital ocean droplets have ports closed.

I opened up the port to fix my timing out issue using the following command:
iptables -I INPUT 1 -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 8080 -j ACCEPT

I added a proxy pass in my nginx config: (replace PRIVATE_IP with your private IP)

    location /socks/ {
        proxy_pass http://PRIVATE_IP:8080/;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;

Then when setting up the node app on the same server I had to configure socket.io with that /socks/:8080 namespace like so: (notice io.of('/socks/:8080');)

var http = require('http')
var server = http.Server();

var io = require('socket.io')(server);
var nsp = io.of('/socks/:8080');
var Redis = require('ioredis');
var redis = new Redis();


redis.on('message', function(channel, data){
  console.log('Message received', arguments);
  message = JSON.parse(data);
  nsp.emit(channel + ':' + message.event, message.data);

server.listen(8080, process.env.SOCKET_PRIVATE_HOST)
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