Vert.x 3 Web easy as Pi

Vert.x Web dis­tin­guishes it­self from tra­di­tional ap­pli­ca­tion servers like JavaEE by just being a sim­ple ex­ten­sion toolkit to Vert.x, which makes it quite light­weight and small but nev­er­the­less very pow­er­ful.

One can cre­ate sim­ple ap­pli­ca­tions tar­get­ing small de­vices such as Rasp­berry Pi with­out hav­ing to write much code but still very fast as it is ex­pected from any Vert.x ap­pli­ca­tion.

Let’s for ex­am­ple think of mak­ing a re­al­time cpu load vi­su­al­iza­tion web app. For this ex­am­ple we need a few things:

To boot­strap this project we start by cre­at­ing the pom.xml file. A good start is al­ways to con­sult the ex­am­ples, and you should end up with some­thing like:




At this mo­ment you can start cod­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion using the stan­dard maven source src/main/java and re­source src/main/resouces lo­ca­tions. And add a the class­ti­cle to the project:

public class RPiVerticle extends AbstractVerticle {

  private static final OperatingSystemMXBean osMBean;

  static {
    try {
      osMBean = ManagementFactory.newPlatformMXBeanProxy(ManagementFactory.getPlatformMBeanServer(),
          ManagementFactory.OPERATING_SYSTEM_MXBEAN_NAME, OperatingSystemMXBean.class);
    } catch (IOException e) {
      throw new RuntimeException(e);

  public void start() {

    Router router = Router.router(vertx);

        .bridge(new BridgeOptions().addOutboundPermitted(new PermittedOptions().setAddress("load"))));



    vertx.setPeriodic(1000, t -> vertx.eventBus().publish("load",
        new JsonObject()
            .put("creatTime", System.currentTimeMillis())
            .put("cpuTime", osMBean.getSystemLoadAverage())));

So let’s go through the code, first in the sta­tic con­struc­tor we ini­tial­ize the MXBean that will allow us to col­lect the cur­rent System Load Average, then on the start method we cre­ate a Vert.x Web Router and de­fine that for all re­quests start­ing with /eventbus should be han­dled by the SockJS server, which we then bridge to the Vert.x EventBus and allow out­bound mes­sages ad­dressed to the load ad­dress.

Since our ap­pli­ca­tion is a web ap­pli­ca­tion we will also server some sta­tic con­tent with the StaticHandler and we fi­nally start a HTTP server lis­ten­ing on port 8080.

So now all we are miss­ing is a way to push real time data to the client so we end up cre­at­ing a Periodic task that re­peats every 1000 mil­lisec­onds and sends some JSON pay­load to the ad­dress "load".

If you run this ap­pli­ca­tion right now you won’t see much since there is no fron­tend yet, so let’s build a very basic index.html:

var eb = new vertx.EventBus(window.location + "eventbus");

eb.onopen = function () {
  eb.registerHandler("load", function (msg) {
    if (data.length === 25) {
      // when length of data equal 25 then pop data[0]
      "creatTime": new Date(msg.creatTime),
      "cpuTime": msg.cpuTime

Let’s walk again the code, we start by open­ing a EventBus bridge over SockJS and reg­is­ter a han­dler data to con­sume mes­sages sent to that ad­dress. Once such a mes­sage ar­rives we do some house keep­ing to avoid fill­ing our browser mem­ory and then add the in­com­ing mes­sage to the data queue and triger a ren­der­ing of the data. There is how­ever one in­ter­est­ing issue here, since the mes­sage pay­load is JSON there is no na­tive sup­port for Date ob­jects so we need to do some pars­ing from what ar­rives from the server. In this case the server sends a sim­ple time since epoch num­ber, but one can choose any for­mat he likes.

At this mo­ment you can build and pack­age your app like mvn clean package, then de­ploy it to your rasp­ber­rypi like: scp target/rpi-1.0-fat.jar [email protected]:~/ and fi­nally run it: java -jar rpi-1.0-fat.jar.

Open a browser to see the re­al­time graph!


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