Rails user? Dotdeb now supports Passenger

Let me introduce Passenger :

Phusion Passenger™ — a.k.a. mod_rails or mod_rack — makes deployment of Ruby web applications, such as those built on the revolutionary Ruby on Rails web framework, a breeze. It follows the usual Ruby on Rails conventions, such as “Don’t-Repeat-Yourself”.

  • Deployment is only a matter of uploading application files. No Ruby (on Rails)-specific server configuration required!
  • Supports both the industry standard Apache web server and the fast and lightweight Nginx web server.
  • Zero maintenance. No port management, server process monitoring or stale file cleanup required. Errors are automatically recovered whenever possible.
  • Designed for performance, stability and security. Phusion Passenger should never crash Apache even in case of crashing Rails applications.
  • Well-documented, for both system administrators and developers!


I’m glad to announce that Dotdeb now provides Passenger 3.0.7 packages for Debian 6.0 “Squeeze” and Debian 5.0 “Lenny” in amd64 and i386 flavours and I hope you’ll enjoy them.

The installation is very easy :

  • your Apache 2.2 server will support Passenger by installing the libapache2-mod-passenger package
  • Nginx will be updated to the 1.0.1 version and it will support Passenger in the nginx-extras package

Have fun!

(Thanks to the Brightbox team for their work on the Ubuntu packages)

11 replies on “Rails user? Dotdeb now supports Passenger”

how could i install your passenger without installing ruby1.8?

i compiled the 1.9.2 version and i’d still like to use it. Unfortunalty, an apt-get install nginx-extras is forcing the 1.8 version.
Is there a way to just install passenger with your nginx pkg?


I’ve installed nginx-extras, but nginx.conf doesn’t seem to have any Passenger related configuration in it. Should I simply edit this file according to to get it working? (I’m new to this kind of thing.)

@Synoptase, I’m using RVM which makes selecting Ruby versions a lot easier. My system Ruby is 1.8, but this is completely separated from the Ruby (1.9.2) that I’ll be using for my applications.

@Dadvid Olivier : no default passenger-related configuration is provided in nginx.conf. If you need some fine tuning or if you have to change some default values (such as passenger_root or passenger_ruby), I advise you to put it in your vhosts configuration files (/etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*).

@Guillaume, thanks. I did start to try configuring Passenger in nginx’s config, but I must admit that I’m struggling. A lot of tutorials deal with getting RVM and Passenger to play nicely together (i.e. use of different Gemsets) by having you set up nginx and Passenger by installing the Passenger Gem and then using ‘passenger-install-nginx-module’ which I believe downloads nginx as part of the process and then gives you some config to paste in where appropriate, so I’m thinking of starting afresh and trying it this way.

Alternatively, if it’s of advantage to use the dotdeb package for Passenger (is it?) maybe I should persevere or pay a sys admin/Ruby expert to set it up. Would you be interested in doing so?

I still haven’t managed to configure nginx/Passenger correctly. When I try to access the application I get:

“Cannot spawn application ‘/srv/www/essex-reptiles/essexreptile-rails’: Could not read from the spawn server: Connection reset by peer (104)”

passenger-status shows:

:29:in `require’: no such file to load — phusion_passenger (LoadError)
from :29:in `require’
from /usr/sbin/passenger-status:27:in `’

I’ve tried passenger_root paths like:


My passenger_ruby is:


Any guidance appreciated – thanks!

@David Oliver : from my experience, using another ruby interpreter than the /usr/bin/ruby from ruby1.8 with both passenger and nginx from Dotdeb led to some instability (sorry for that). Take a look at the log/ directory of your application.

@David Oliver : i found i had to install the passenger-common and passenger-dev packages from dotdeb as well and manually place the following lines in my nginx.conf file (assuming ruby is in default path/install)

passenger_root /usr/lib/phusion-passenger;
passenger_ruby /usr/bin/ruby;

i then added the following to my vhost for which passenger was needed:

passenger_enabled on;

at this point i also set the rails_env if it is needed, so far i haven’t had issues with it

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