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Chef skeleton for provisioning rails servers with multiple apps per server.


Clone rails-suite to YOUR_DIR_NAME ('redde_servers' for example):

git clone YOUR_DIR_NAME
gem install chef librarian-chef knife-solo

Please use knife-solo version 0.3.0 or higher.


Choose template:

ls sample_roles

This directory contains skeletons for your servers named like:


Choose desired skeleton for your server and copy it:

cp sample_roles/mri-2.0.0-p247_postgres_unicorn.json roles/SERVER_NAME.json

Open SERVER_NAME.json with favorite editor:

  "json_class": "Chef::Role",
  "name": "mri-2.0.0-p247_postgres_unicorn",
  "description": "Rails application server testapp",
  "run_list": ["recipe[rails-stack]"],
  "default_attributes": {
    "nginx": {
      "version": "1.4.1",
      "init_style": "init"
    "users": [
      "user": "YOUR_APP_USER",
      "authorized_keys": ["YOUR_SSH_KEY"]
          "name": "YOUR_APP_NAME",
          "user": "YOUR_APP_USER",
          "ruby_version": "2.0.0-p247",
          "domain_names": ["DOMAIN_NAME"],
          "app_server": {
            "type": "unicorn",
            "timeout": "50",
            "workers": "2"
          "database": {
            "dbname": "DBNAME_production",
            "server": true,
            "type": "postgresql",
            "username": "DB_USERNAME",
            "password": "DB_PASSWORD",
            "host": "localhost"

Change name attribute to SERVER_NAME

users is an array containing info about users

Each user have these attributes:

  • user username of the user
  • authorized_keys contains array of ssh keys. Put needed keys here
  • known_hosts contains array of known_hosts

apps is an array containing info about your applications

Each app have these attributes:

  • name is the name of the app. This attribute will be used as folder for deploy
  • user is os user name
  • ruby_version is ruby version to install. Default is 2.0.0-p247
  • domain_names is domain names array used in nginx config. Use without www (eg '')
  • app_server block used to describe application server to use. type can be unicorn and puma.

For unicorn you can tune timeout and workers (Used inside unicorn.rb) For puma tou can set workers, min_threads, max_threads (Used inside puma.rb)

database block contains info about database, used for your app. Params:

  • type is postgresql or mysql
  • server is true or false. Install or not database server of the type
  • dbname is database name to use (used in database.yml file, eg 'app_production')
  • username is name of the user to connect to database
  • password is password of the user above
  • host is the host of the database

You are now ready to start provisioning your server


If you have clean server, use bootstrap script

knife solo bootstrap user@ip_address -r "role[SERVER_NAME]" -N "SERVER_NAME_NUMBER"

You can add -p 2222 if you have custom ssh port. If you are planning to use one server, you can user SERVER_NAME instead of SERVER_NAME_NUMBER. Parameter after -N will be used to create node info file. Also, you can user hostname insted of ip_address

If you need to update some server info, you can change params in role (or node) info and then run

knife solo cook user@ip_addres -r "role[SERVER_NAME]" -N "SERVER_NAME_NUMBER" 

This command will provision server for node and role configuration.

Multiapp server

If you want to install multiple applications, just add another element to apps array. You can even install different rubies for one user.


Chef skeleton for provisioning rails servers with multiple apps per server



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