Running Autopush


To run Autopush, you will need to run at least one connection node, one endpoint node, and a local storage system. The prior section on Autopush architecture documented these components and their relation to each other.

The recommended way to run the latest development or tagged Autopush release is to use docker. Autopush has docker images built automatically for every tagged release and when code is merged to master.

If you want to run the latest Autopush code from source then you should follow the developing instructions.

The instructions below assume that you want to run Autopush with a local Bigtable emulator for testing or local verification. The docker containers can be run on separate hosts as well.


#TODO rebuild the docker-compose.yaml files based off of syncstorage ones.

  • rebuild docker-componse.yaml
    • initialize tables
  • [] define steps here

Generate a Crypto-Key

As the cryptography section notes, you will need a CRYPTO_KEY to run both of the Autopush daemons. To generate one with the docker image:

$ docker run -t -i mozilla-services/autopush-rs autokey

Store the key for later use (including any trailing =).

Start Autopush

Once you've completed the setup and have a crypto key, you can run a local Autopush with a single command:

$ CRYPTO_KEY="hkclU1V37Dnp-0DMF9HLe_40Nnr8kDTYVbo2yxuylzk=" docker-compose up

docker-compose will start up three containers, two for each Autopush daemon, and a third for storage.

By default, the following services will be exposed:

ws://localhost:8080/ - websocket server

http://localhost:8082/ - HTTP Endpoint Server (See the HTTP API)

You could set the CRYPTO_KEY as an environment variable if you are using Docker. If you are running these programs "stand-alone" or outside of docker-compose, you may setup a more thorough configuration using config files as documented below.

Note: The load-tester can be run against it or you can run Firefox with the local Autopush per the test-with-firefox docs.


Autopush can be configured in three ways; by option flags, by environment variables, and by configuration files. Autopush uses three configuration files. These files use standard ini formatting similar to the following:

# A comment description

Options can either have values or act as boolean flags. If the option is a flag it is either True if enabled, or False if disabled. The configuration files are usually richly commented, and you're encouraged to read them to learn how to set up your installation of autopush.

Note: any line that does not begin with a \# or ; is considered an option line. if an unexpected option is present in a configuration file, the application will fail to start.

Configuration files can be located in:

  • in the /etc/ directory
  • in the configs subdirectory
  • in the $HOME or current directory (prefixed by a period '.')

The three configuration files are:

  • autopush_connection.ini - contains options for use by the websocket handler. This file's path can be specified by the --config-connection option.
  • autopush_shared.ini - contains options shared between the connection and endpoint handler. This file's path can be specified by the --config-shared option.
  • autopush_endpoint.ini - contains options for the HTTP handlers This file's path can be specified by the --config-endpoint option.

Sample Configurations

Three sample configurations, a base config, and a config for each Autopush daemon can be found at

These can be downloaded and modified as desired.

Config Files with Docker

To use a configuration file with docker, ensure the config files are accessible to the user running docker-compose. Then you will need to update the docker-compose.yml to use the config files and make them available to the appropriate docker containers.

Mounting a config file to be available in a docker container is fairly simple, for instance, to mount a local file autopush_connection.ini into a container as /etc/autopush_connection.ini, update the autopush section of the docker-compose.yml to be:

  - ./boto-compose.cfg:/etc/boto.cfg:ro
  - ./autopush_connection.ini:/etc/autopush_connection.ini

Autopush automatically searches for a configuration file at this location so nothing else is needed.

Note: The docker-compose.yml file provides a number of overrides as environment variables, such as CRYPTO_KEY. If these values are not defined, they are submitted as "", which will prevent values from being read from the config files. In the case of CRYPTO_KEY, a new, random key is automatically generated, which will result in existing endpoints no longer being valid. It is recommended that for docker based images, that you *always* supply a CRYPTO_KEY as part of the run command.

Notes on GCM/FCM support

Note: GCM is no longer supported by Google. Some legacy users can still use GCM, but it is strongly recommended that applications use FCM.

Autopush is capable of routing messages over Firebase Cloud Messaging for android devices. You will need to set up a valid FCM account. Once you have an account open the Google Developer Console:

  • create a new project. Record the Project Number as "SENDER_ID". You will need this value for your android application.

  • in the .autopush_endpoint server config file:

    • add fcm_enabled to enable FCM routing.
    • add fcm_creds. This is a json block with the following format:

    {"APP ID": {"projectid": "PROJECT ID NAME", "auth":"PATH TO PRIVATE KEY FILE"}, ...}

    (see Configuring for the Google GCM/FCM for more details)


app_id: the URL identifier to be used when registering endpoints. (e.g. if "reference_test" is chosen here, registration requests should go to

project id name: the name of the Project ID as specified on the Project Settings > General page.

path to Private Key File: path to the Private Key file provided by the Settings > Service accounts > Firebase Admin SDK page. NOTE: This is *NOT* the "google-services.json" config file.

Additional notes on using the FCM bridge are available on the wiki.