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Another success story about Ruby On Rails working with Apache

This procedure does not guarantee anything and should be considered approximate. However this should be fairly enough for someone familiar with Apache environments.

Ruby environment

We install Ruby via apt-get

sudo apt-get install ruby libzlib-ruby rdoc irb

At this point, you can run Ruby scripts like you did with Python or Perl.


Gems are like perl's CPAN or PHP's PEAR. We install it from source in order to enjoy the whole Gems repository (instead of being limited to packaged gems only).

wget ""
tar -xvzf rubygems-x.x.x.tgz
rm rubygems-x.x.x.tgz
cd rubygems-x.x.x
sudo ruby setup.rb
cd ..
rm -r rubygems-1.2.0
sudo ln -s /usr/bin/gem1.8 /usr/bin/gem

(DO NOT use sudo ruby rubygemsx.x.x/setup.rb)

sudo gem update --system

We will install additionnal applications... those depend on your needs. The Gems are compiled on the fly, therefore development packages are usually required along.

Ruby on Rails

sudo gem install rails --include-dependencies

Mysql support

sudo apt-get install libmysql-ruby libmysqlclient15-dev
sudo gem install mysql

ImageMagick support

sudo apt-get install librmagick-ruby1.8 libmagick9-dev
sudo gem install rmagick

Integrate with Apache

sudo apt-get install apache2-prefork-dev

Enable additionnal modules

a2enmod rewrite
a2enmod suexec
a2enmod include

I might have missed some.. Some tutorials recommend Fast-CGI.

Install Phusion Passenger (mod_rails)

Usually, RubyOnRails has its own web server (Mongrel) on port 3000. It is also quite common to have a cluster of processes with load balancing and Apache proxy...

But you may want to do something very simple that just integrates within Apache. Here comes Phusion Passenger!

sudo gem install passenger
sudo passenger-install-apache2-module

(following the instructions, or look at the [[|user guide]]).

At the end, the wizard tells you to add some lines in httpd.conf. I recommend the following method instead, which splits those lines into a module that you can enable / disable.

Create two files : * /etc/apache2/mods-available/mod_rails.load

LoadModule passenger_module /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/passenger-2.0.2/ext/apache2/
  • /etc/apache2/mods-available/mod_rails.conf

    PassengerRoot /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/passenger-2.0.2
    PassengerRuby /usr/bin/ruby1.8

Enable this new module

sudo a2enmod mod_rails

Create your VirtualHost

The DocumentRoot must point to the public folder of your Ruby On Rails application.

  • If your Ruby application is alone, your apache site will be something like this

    <virtualhost *:80>
        ServerName yourapp
        DocumentRoot /var/rails/yourapp/public/
        ErrorLog /var/rails/yourapp/log/apache.log
        <directory /var/rails/yourapp/public>
           Options ExecCGI FollowSymLinks
           AddHandler cgi-script .cgi
           AllowOverride all
           Order allow,deny
           Allow from all
  • If you want it a subfolder of your current DocumentRoot, look at this.

  • The simplest for me was to setup a sub-domain. Don't forget to update your DNS information.

Relax ! Restart Apache and that's it !

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