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The RPM Contrib Gem

The rpm_contrib gem contains instrumentation for the New Relic RPM agent contributed by the community of RPM users. It requires the RPM Agent to run.

To use the rpm_contrib gem, install the rpm_contrib gem from It will also install the required version of the newrelic_rpm gem if it's not already installed.

For Rails 3.0 and when using Bundler, add these dependencies to your Gemfile:

gem 'rpm_contrib'
gem 'newrelic_rpm'

For Rails 2.1 and later, add these dependencies to your in your environment.rb:

config.gem 'rpm_contrib'
config.gem 'newrelic_rpm'

For other frameworks, make sure you load rubygems if it isn't already, then just require the rpm_contrib gem:

require 'rubygems'
require 'rpm_contrib'

When you load the rpm_contrib gem, the newrelic_rpm gem will also be initialized. No need for a separate require statement for newrelic_rpm.

In non-Rails frameworks, it's important that the New Relic Agent gets loaded as late as possible, or that the final initialization hook is called after all other frameworks have loaded:


Troubleshooting Startup

If you've set up your gems to load as described above and you are still not seeing data in RPM, there may be a bug in detecting your framework. Try setting the environment variable NEWRELIC_DISPATCHER to the name of your app server (Camping, Resque, Rake, etc), and please report to us if this fixes the problem so we can fix the auto-detection logic.

If this does not help then set the log_level to debug in the newrelic.yml file and examine the newrelic_agent.log file for errors after restarting your app.

Supported Frameworks

A number of frameworks are supported in the contrib gem. They are all turned on by default but you can add settings to your newrelic.yml to disable any of them.


The gem will detect the underlying ActiveMessaging::Processor class and instrument the on_message method

It can be disabled with the disable_active_messaging flag in your newrelic.yml file.


The gem will instrument Cassandra so it should be visible in transaction traces and the web transactions page.

You can disable it with disable_cassandra_instrumentation in your newrelic.yml file.


The gem will detect a Camping app but you need to manually add the instrumentation to your configuration file. See RPMContrib::Instrumentation::Camping for more information.

In addition you will need to load the gems in the following order: 1) Camping, 2) rpm_contrib, 3) newrelic_rpm.


The gem will instrument the Crack parsers for JSON and XML - you should see them in transaction traces and the web transactions page.

You can disable it with disable_crack in your newrelic.yml file.


The gem will instrument both Curl::Easy and Curl::Multi - they should show up similarly to Net::HTTP in the UI

You can disable it with disable_curb in your newrelic.yml file.

Elastic Search

The gem will instrument ElasticSearch::Client. The metrics should show up in the UI

You can disable it with disable_elastic_search_instrumentation in your newrelic.yml file.


The gem will instrument KyotoTycoon.

You can disable it with disable_kyototycoon in your newrelic.yml file.


No special configuration required for Paperclip visibility.

You can disable it by setting disable_paperclip to true in your newrelic.yml file.


Our instrumentation works on the underlying 'Mongo' library.

You can disable it by setting 'disable_mongodb' to true in your newrelic.yml file.


To instrument jobs you no longer need to have your Job class inherit from Resque::Job or include the Resque::Plugins::NewRelicInstrumentation module. The module definition was left in for backward compatibility.

To disable resque, set 'disable_resque' to true in your newrelic.yml file.


Redis instrumentation will record operations as well as allWeb and allOther summary metrics under the Database/Redis metric namespace. This instrumentation supports Redis versions 1.x and 2.x.

To disable Redis instrumentation, set 'disable_redis' to true in your newrelic.yml file.


RiakClient is instrumented. Its opereations are recorded under Database in the the response time graph.

To disable Riak instrumentation, set 'disable_riak_client' to true in your newrelic.yml file.


Ripple is instrumented. Its opereations are recorded under Database in the the response time graph.

To disable Riak instrumentation, set 'disable_ripple' to true in your newrelic.yml file.

Sinatra view instrumentation

This adds instrumentation to the render methods in Sinatra::Base

You can disable it with disable_sinatra_template in your newrelic.yml file.

ThinkingSphinx instrumentation

This adds instrumentation to the initialize and results method of ThinkingSphinx::Search

You can disable it with disable_thinking_sphinx in your newrelic.yml file.

Typhoeus instrumentation

This adds instrumentation to the Typhoeus::Request class for 'GET' requests

You can disable it with disable_typhoeus in your newrelic.yml file.

Ultrasphinx instrumentation

This adds basic instrumentation to the run and results method of Ultrasphinx::Search

You can disable it with disable_ultrasphinx in your newrelic.yml file.


This adds instrumentation to the Workling::Base and all children, for all defined public methods not inherited from the Workling::Base class

You can disable it with disable_workling in your newrelic.yml file.


This adds instrumentation to the YAJL json parser

You can disable it with disable_yajl_instrumentation in your newrelic.yml file.


Get metrics on how S3 is performing for you in production. To disable AWS/S3, set 'disable_aws-s3' to true in your newrelic.yml file. For more information on this instrumentation, check out our blog.

How to Add Custom Instrumentation

We encourage contributions to this project and will provide whatever assistance we can to those wishing to develop instrumentation for other open source Ruby libraries.

When adding instrumentation to this gem, be sure and get familiar with the RPM Agent API and contact with any questions.

There are several extension points in the agent you can take advantage of with this gem.

  • Custom tracers which measure methods and give visibility to otherwise unmeasured libraries.
  • Samplers which sample some value about once a minute.
  • Dispatcher support for web request handlers which would otherwise be undetected. In order for the agent to turn on in 'auto' mode it needs to discover a web dispatcher, or be started manually.
  • Framework support, for alternatives to Rails like Camping or Ramaze

Custom Tracers

Custom tracers for frameworks should be added to the lib/rpm_contrib/instrumentation directory. These files are loaded at the time the Agent starts. They will not be loaded if the Agent does not start up.

It is important that you wrap any instrumentation with the checks necessary to determine if the code being instrumented is loaded. You can't add code to the contrib gem that will break when run in any other context besides yours.

For details on how to define custom tracers, refer to the support documentation on adding custom tracers. You can also get detailed information on the API from the Agent method tracing rdocs, especially the add_method_tracer docs.

A good example can be found in lib/rpm_contrib/instrumentation/paperclip.rb.


You can add samplers which will record metrics approximately once a minute. Samplers are useful for capturing generic instrumentation for display in custom views.

Samplers should extend the NewRelic::Agent::Sampler class. They should be placed in the samplers directory.

Refer to examples in the RPM agent to see how to get started.

Supporting New Dispatchers

If you want to add support for a new dispatcher which is not being recognized by default by the RPM agent, add code to the rpm_contrib/detection directory. This code needs to define a module in the NewRelic::LocalEnvironment class. This module will be accessed at the time environment detection takes place, when the agent is initialized.

This module should define the method discover_dispatcher and return the name of the dispatcher if detected, or defer to super. See rpm_contrib/detection/camping.rb for a good example.

Supporting New Frameworks

Supporting new frameworks can be pretty involved and generally involves both adding custom instrumentation as well as framework and dispatcher detection.

In addition it will be necessary to define a new control class with the same name as the framework. This control class must go in new_relic/control.

Refer to the camping example in this gem to see how this is done in general.

If you decide to tackle any new frameworks, contact and we'll be happy to help you work through it.

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • Add instrumentation files to lib/rpm_contrib/instrumentation. These files will be loaded when the RPM agent is initialized.
  • Add samplers to lib/rpm_contrib/samplers. These classes are installed automatically when the RPM agent is initialized.
  • Add tests.
  • Update
  • Commit, do not mess with the Rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)
  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.

Further Information

Refer to the Agent API Documentation at

See the support site faqs at for additional tips and documentation.

Contact for help.


Copyright (c) 2009-2010 New Relic. See LICENSE for details.