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Instructions on how to get up and running with nginx and passenger on Ubuntu server

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My notes on setting up a simple production server with ubuntu, nginx, passenger and mysql for rails.


echo "alias ll='ls -l'" >> ~/.bash_aliases

edit .bashrc and uncomment the loading of .bash_aliases

If you have trouble with PATH that changes when doing sudo, see then add the following line to the same file

echo "alias sudo='sudo env PATH=$PATH'" >> ~/.bash_aliases

Update and upgrade the system

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Configure timezone

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata
sudo apt-get install ntp
sudo ntpdate # Update time

Verify that you have to correct date and time with


Configure hostname

sudo hostname your-hostname

Add your-hostname

sudo vim /etc/hosts

Write your-hostname in

sudo vim /etc/hostname

Verify that hostname is set


Install mysql

This should be installed before Ruby Enterprise Edition becouse that will install the mysql gem.

sudo apt-get install mysql-server libmysqlclient15-dev


Add the following lines to ~/.gemrc, this will speed up gem installation and prevent rdoc and ri from being generated, this is not nessesary in the production environment.

gem: --no-ri --no-rdoc

Ruby Enterprise Edition

Check for newer version at

Install package required by ruby enterprise, C compiler, Zlib development headers, OpenSSL development headers, GNU Readline development headers

sudo apt-get install build-essential zlib1g-dev libssl-dev libreadline5-dev

Download and install Ruby Enterprise Edition

tar xvfz ruby-enterprise-X.X.X-ZZZZ.ZZ.tar.gz 
rm ruby-enterprise-X.X.X-ZZZZ.ZZ.tar.gz 
cd ruby-enterprise-X.X.X-ZZZZ.ZZ/
sudo ./installer

Change target folder to /opt/ruby for easier upgrade later on

Add Ruby Enterprise bin to PATH

echo "export PATH=/opt/ruby/bin:$PATH" >> ~/.profile && . ~/.profile

Verify the ruby installation

ruby -v
ruby 1.8.7 (2009-06-12 patchlevel 174) [x86_64-linux], MBARI 0x6770, Ruby Enterprise Edition 20090928

Verify rake using sudo

sudo rake --version

If you receive this message

sudo: rake: command not found  


cd /usr/local/bin
sudo ln -s /opt/ruby/bin/rake
sudo ln -s /opt/ruby/bin/ruby
sudo ln -s /opt/ruby/bin/gem
sudo ln -s /opt/ruby/bin/irb

Installing git

Check for newer version at

Download and install git

sudo apt-get build-dep git-core

tar -jxvf git-
cd git-
sudo make install

sudo apt-get install exuberant-ctags


sudo /opt/ruby/bin/passenger-install-nginx-module

Select option 1. Yes: download, compile and install Nginx for me. (recommended)

When finished, verify nginx source code is located under /tmp

$ ll /tmp/
drwxr-xr-x 8 deploy deploy    4096 2009-04-18 17:48 nginx-0.6.36
-rw-r--r-- 1 root   root    528425 2009-04-02 08:49 nginx-0.6.36.tar.gz
drwxrwxrwx 7   1169   1169    4096 2009-04-18 17:56 pcre-7.8
-rw-r--r-- 1 root   root   1168513 2009-04-18 17:51 pcre-7.8.tar.gz

Run the passenger-install-nginx-module once more if you want to add --with-http_ssl_module

$ sudo /opt/ruby/bin/passenger-install-nginx-module

Select option 2. No: I want to customize my Nginx installation. (for advanced users)

When installation script ask, "Where is your Nginx source code located?" Enter:


On, extra arguments to pass to configure script add


Nginx init script

More information on

git clone git://
sudo mv rails-nginx-passenger-ubuntu/nginx/nginx /etc/init.d/nginx
sudo chown root:root /etc/init.d/nginx

Verify that you can start and stop nginx with init script

sudo /etc/init.d/nginx start

  * Starting Nginx Server...

sudo /etc/init.d/nginx status

  nginx found running with processes:  11511 11510

sudo /etc/init.d/nginx stop

  * Stopping Nginx Server...

sudo /usr/sbin/update-rc.d -f nginx defaults

If you want, reboot and see so the webserver is starting as it should.

Installning ImageMagick and RMagick

If you want to install the latest version of ImageMagick. I used MiniMagick that shell-out to the mogrify command, worked really well for me.

# If you already installed imagemagick from apt-get
sudo apt-get remove imagemagick

sudo apt-get install libperl-dev gcc libjpeg62-dev libbz2-dev libtiff4-dev libwmf-dev libz-dev libpng12-dev libx11-dev libxt-dev libxext-dev libxml2-dev libfreetype6-dev liblcms1-dev libexif-dev perl libjasper-dev libltdl3-dev graphviz gs-gpl pkg-config

Use wget to grab the source from

Once the source is downloaded, uncompress it:

tar xvfz ImageMagick.tar.gz

Now configure and make:

cd ImageMagick-6.6.2-10
sudo make install

To avoid an error such as:

convert: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

sudo ldconfig

Install RMagick

sudo /opt/ruby/bin/ruby /opt/ruby/bin/gem install rmagick

Installing Vim 7.2 From Source

svn co
cd vim7.2/
./configure --with-features=huge --enable-gui=gnome2 --enable-cscope --enable-pythoninterp
sudo make install

Add plugins and snippets

git clone git:// ~/.vim    
cp .vim/vimrc ~/.vimrc

It is we would recommend changing the file .vimrc and change the colorscheme ir_black to desert.


sudo apt-get install monit

Make sure all of the monit files are in place — /etc/default/monit and /etc/init.d/monit — and then we can remove the package:

sudo apt-get remove monit

Install dependencies

sudo apt-get install bison flex

Once we’ve got the dependencies, we can download the source:

tar xzvf monit-5.2.1.tar.gz
cd monit-5.2.1
sudo make install

Now Monit 5 should be installed. We’ll need to update the init script and the configuration file to use the new Monit installation path:

sudo vim /etc/init.d/monit

Look for the PATH and DAEMON variables — change them so they look like this:


Configure monit and then edit /etc/default/monit and set the "startup" variable to 1 in order to allow monit to start


Edit monit configuration file in /etc/monit/monitrc. Inside it, add something like this:

set daemon  120
set logfile syslog facility log_daemon

set mailserver port 587 username "" password "userpassword" using tlsv1,
  with timeout 15 seconds

set eventqueue
    basedir /var/monit
    slots 1000

set mail-format { from: }

set alert

set httpd port 2812 and
   allow admin:monit

   check system localhost
      if loadavg (1min) > 3 then alert
      if loadavg (5min) > 2 then alert
      if memory usage > 60% then alert
      if cpu usage (user) > 70% then alert
      if cpu usage (system) > 30% then alert
      if cpu usage (wait) > 20% then alert

   ## nginx ##
   check process nginx with pidfile /opt/nginx/logs/
      start program = "/etc/init.d/nginx start"
      stop program  = "/etc/init.d/nginx stop"
      group server

   ## mysql ##
   check process mysql with pidfile /var/run/mysqld/
      start program = "/etc/init.d/mysql start"
      stop program = "/etc/init.d/mysql stop"
      group database

   ## redis ##
   check process redis-server with pidfile /var/run/
      start program = "/usr/bin/redis-server /etc/redis.conf"
      stop program = "/usr/bin/killall -9 redis-server"
      group redis

Start monit:

sudo /etc/init.d/monit start
=> Starting daemon monitor: monit.

If monit is working, you will watch it automatically restart. Don't forget to check out the web interface on

For more information about configure Monit, see

Test a rails applicaton with nginx

rails -d mysql testapp
cd testapp

Enter your mysql password

vim database.yml
rake db:create:all
ruby script/generate scaffold post title:string body:text
rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production

Check so the rails app start as normal

ruby script/server

sudo vim /opt/nginx/conf/nginx.conf

Add a new virutal host

server {
    listen 80;
    # server_name;
    root /home/deploy/testapp/public;
    passenger_enabled on;

Restart nginx

sudo /etc/init.d/nginx restart

Check you ipaddress and see if you can acess the rails application

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