1.2.5 • Public • Published

restyskeleton -- Spawning barebones openresty applications from the terminal using ancient witchcraft


WARNING -- proceed at your own peril

restyskeleton allows you to initialize a minimal openresty application with basic nginx configuration files and a straightforward directory structure that helps you organize your code. The default arrangement of files and directories is just a suggestion, not a standard or a best practice, nothing scary despite it's grim name, just a form that I've found useful in my own projects.


restyskeleton is intended to be used as a quick way to create openresty applications, without investing too much energy on a project layout upfront, so that you can jump straight into the good stuff. Creating either standalone openresty servers or applications that give new life to your existing servers with the help of programmable proxy magic.

restyskeleton allows you to leap over the graves,so to speak. In other words,if I may be allowed to illustrate with an analogy there's no need for you to roll up your sleeves and embark on a six feet deep, earth digging enterprise.

A side mission of the project is to give you ideas on how openresty code can be organized. Feel free to experiment with different ways of arranging your files and settle on a form that suits you best.


You must have node js installed on the system you wish to run restyskeleton on. Without node js the dead will lie peacefully in their grave and foil all our evil plans. It's a sacrifice that must be made. Our Lord demands blood.


To summon restyskeleton use the following spell

npm install -g restyskeleton

restyskleton is simple to use. For a minimal usage it requires you to specify a directory name in which your app is to be created. For example the following command:-

restyskleton -d sacrifice

will create an openresty skeleton in the directory named sacrifice and instantaneously bring it to life. By default your application's pulse can be felt on nerve 3125 for "http" connections and 4125 for "https" connections. If the spell is successful your screen will turn red and the following words shall be inscribed upon your terminal:-

[BEHOLD] Your app is running on http://localhost:3125

If you don't supply a project directory name a default directory called "restyskeleton" will be created for you and all the files will be thrown in there.

Without any other parameters restyskleton makes the following assumptions:-

  1. Port 3125 is available for http connections
  2. Port 4125 is available for https connections
  3. nginx binary (the one that comes with openresty distribution) is available in /usr/local/openresty/nginx/sbin/nginx

You can override all of these defaults with command line arguments.


  • -d allows you to specify a project directory name
  • -p allows you to specify a port number for http connections
  • -s allows you to specify a port number for https connections
  • -n allows you to specify a path to nginx distribution (in case you've moved it to a different location)
  • -w allows you to watch the project directory for changes and automatically restart nginx server if any change is detected

Here's an example that illustrates how to use the options

restyskeleton -d sacrifice -p 3000 -s 4000 -n nginx -w

The command above will manifest an application in the sacrifice directory,respirating on ports 3000 and 4000. If everything is successful your screen will burn with a bright purple flame and when the smoke settles following words shall be visible

[BEHOLD] Your app is running on http://localhost:3000

The parameters supplied as command line arguments will override the default values. Also note that if you've got nginx in your "path" you can simply supply that as an argument as well, no need to give the absolute location.

However I advice you to better turn back run away before you hurt yourself.


restyskeleton can manifest a spectre to keep a watch on your application with -w spell. If the apparition detects any mischief it'll chop nginx's head off and from the overflowing pool of thick black blood it'll spawn a new, horrific,terror ofa process to take it's place. Better not touch the configuration and lua files if you value your life.

The spectre may be summoned on a preexisting project directory by combining the -d and -w commands. Say your final prayers before typing the following spell on the terminal

restyskeleton -d test -w

[HARK!] test already exists
[BEHOLD!] Watching the project directory for changes


When restyskleton is summoned:-

  1. Two nginx master configuration files ,dev.ngx.conf and prod.ngx.conf,are created for development and production use respectively. The configuration directives for the two files are identical except for a couple of differences. Two different files allow you to independently test and simulate development and production environments. The errors in dev.ngx.conf are logged on the console. It's advised that you stay away from these files, as it has been reported that they possess a demonic energy that burn the eyes of the beholder. Remember that curiosity is the lust of mind.

  2. All the location level directives are placed in the files under the 'routes' directory. The files are organized as:- app_routes (for application routes), static_routes(for serving static files), proxy_routes(for configuring all the proxy locations). These files are automatically "included" in the master configurations. Once more, as your well wisher, I'd advice you to keep your distance from these scriptures as their spell have turned many a "curious cats" into dreadful stone gargoyles.

  3. All the lua code shunned to the 'lua' directory. There's a 'hello.lua' file that is served by a '/' location in the app_routes.conf file. You can check it out to see how it works. Just keep in mind that it's black magic. Don't be surprised if your eyes pop out as soon as you commit your changes.

  4. All the static files are stuffed into the "static" directory. Here you'll find the html pages, css files, scripts, images and all the other rot.

If you find any worms please preserve them in a jar and mail it to It is imperative that you mark the package as spam so that it may escape cursed gaze of those pesky bots at the sorting facility. I shall handle the rest.

To my lord, Count Dracula, a licence to bite


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