Run a Rasa Bot

Rasa is the leading open-source machine learning toolkit that lets developers expand bots beyond answering simple questions with minimal training data. At the core, Rasa bot has a machine learning model which trained on example conversations.

Rasa is developed with Python but for the most part, you don't need to know Python to design the basic conversational flows. You will need Python knowledge only when creating custom actions in Rasa which call external actions.

Quick start guide

The fastest way to start with Rasa is using Rasa starter kit. The starter kit uses webhooks to communicate between Rasa and Rocket.Chat.

1. clone the starter repo

git clone
cd rasa-kick-starter/

2. configure the bot

  • open the rasa-kick-starter/bot_rasa folder and update the credentials.yml file with Rasa bot's username, password, and Rocket.Chat URL:

user: "<RASA USER NAME>"
password: "<RASA USER PASS>"
server_url: "<ROCKETCHAT HOST>"
  • train the bot's Machine Learning Model:

docker run -it -v $(pwd)/bot_rasa:/app rasa/rasa train

After the training, the machine learning model will be created inside the bot_rasa/models folder.

3. run the bot

docker-compose up bot_rasa

You should see the following output:

$ docker-compose up bot_rasa
Starting rasa-kick-starter_bot_rasa_1 ... done
Attaching to rasa-kick-starter_bot_rasa_1
bot_rasa_1 | 2019-10-31 21:23:24 INFO root - Starting Rasa server on http://localhost:5005

Open your browser and navigate to http://localhost:5005. You should see the response from the running Rasa bot:

Hello from Rasa: 1.5.0a1

If you have Rocket.Chat running on the same machine, the bot's URL is http://bot_rasa:5005. This guide uses a remote Rocket.Chat instance, so it is necessary to get a public URL for the Rasa bot to be able to link it properly. It is recommended to use ngrok for this purpose.

‚ÄčDownload ngrok, open terminal in the folder you downloaded ngrok to and execute the following command:

./ngrok http 5005

You should see the following output:

Session Status online
Session Expires 7 hours, 59 minutes
Version 2.3.35
Region United States (us)
Web Interface
Forwarding -> http://localhost:5005
Forwarding -> http://localhost:5005

Public URL will be provided next to Forwarding column. In this case,

4. configure Rocket.Chat webhook

Go to Administration > Integrations. Click New Integration button in the top right corner and then select Outgoing WebHook.

Select Message Sent Event Trigger from the dropdown list. Complete the configuration with the following settings:

  • Enabled: True

  • Channel: #general

  • URLs: http://<ngrok_public_url>/webhooks/rocketchat/webhook

  • Post as: <RASA USER NAME>

NOTE: Make sure you replace the URL with a valid public URL obtained on the previous step using ngrok.

Click Save changes in the top right corner.

5. talk to your bot

On the server, login as a regular user (not the BOT user), go to general room, and try to talk to your bot by typing @bot_rasa hello:

Rasa bot is talking
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