Self Hosting SignalR

20 בJanuary 2013


Self Hosting SignalR


SignalR, as shown in the earlier posts, can be hosted within a regular ASP.NET application

(in other words, on IIS), but can also be self-hosted. You may want to do so if you don’t
want the SignalR hosting machine to have IIS installed. In this post I’ll show a simple way
of doing so with a console application. It won’t be much different with windows service
and I’ll explain how to do it there as well.


Step 1: Install Nuget packages


There are two nuget packages that you need to install:

1.  Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.Owin

2. Microsoft.Owin.Host.HttpListener

3. Microsoft.Owin.Hosting


These three packages will install also the OWIN package (dependency of all three packages),
Microsoft.Aspet.SignalR.Core (dependency of Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.Owin) and
Newtonsoft.Json (dependency of Microsoft.Aspet.SignalR.Core).


Step 2: Write your Hub / Connection code

In here, there is no difference between the hosting environments.You may find example on
some previous signalR posts.


Step 3: Start your Host

To start your host, use the Microsoft.Owin.Hosting.WebApplication class from Microsoft.Owin.Hosting
assembly. This class has static method named Start. This method has 3 overloads, we will use the generic
one and give it a custom class as type parameter. This class should contain a method named Configuration  
that expects IAppBuilder as a parameter. This parameter will be supplied by the Start method of
WebApplication class.

This is how the method call should look like:

using (WebApplication.Start<MyStartUp>(url))


  Console.WriteLine("Server is running, Press <Enter> to stop");




The Start method will use the url  parameter, call the Configuration method of

MyStartUp class and returna Disposable object. All we have to do here is wait

for some user action and until that don’t leave the using block,

so the Dispose method won’t get called.

In real-life you might use windows service to host SignalR. If so, you may use a

private IDisposable member on the service class. on the OnStart method of the

windows service call  the Start method initializing the IDisposable member

with its return value, and calling its Dispose method on the OnStop or Dispose

method of the service class.

Now, let’s look at MyStartup class

internal class MyStartUp


    public void Configuration(IAppBuilder app)





You can see above the call for MapHub method , very similar to the call we

make in ASP.NET application, on Global.asax file. However It is not the same

method. This method comes from Owin.OwinExtensions



Step 4: Consume

Your SignalR server is up and running, you may consume it’s services in any way you like.

No difference between the fact that it is hosted in a self hosting environment and not IIS.



Self-  hosting SignalR  is easy. Hosting it on a windows service comes with the regular

”headache’ of any windows service however the SignalR  code itself almost looks the same.


Update: I’d just realized that I’ve copied the wrong namespace of

System.Runtime.CompilerServices instead of Owin on step 4.

Thanks @davidfowl for correction.

kick it on

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  1. Gianni Bossini14 בFebruary 2013 ב 5:14

    I’d like to use SignalR to develop some features, but install IIS in same case, for some customers could be a problem.
    Could I use self-hosted in production or could be some limitations?

  2. Ran Wahle19 בFebruary 2013 ב 3:34

    Gianni, there are no limitation apart from heaving the customer’s machine running .Net framework 4 (minimum) and the user running the windows service has sufficient permission to register Http listeners (the same as in self hosting WCF service with Http binding or self fosting WebApi controller)