Notes on how to get Ubuntu up and running with nginx, passenger, postgres.
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My notes on setting up a simple production server with ubuntu 8.04 (hardy), nginx, passenger and postgres for rails.

Check Ubuntu Version with cat /etc/issue

Setup ssh public key authentification

mkdir ~/.ssh
touch ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
chmod go-rwx ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

On your local machine: ssh-keygen

Copy public key to remote machine: cd $HOME/.ssh cat | ssh remoteuser@remotehost "cat >> .ssh/authorized_keys"

Now you should be able to log in to your server without a password: ssh remoteuser@remotehost


My favourite aliases:

alias ls="ls -FG"
alias ll="ls -l"
alias la="ls -a"
alias lll="ls -al"
alias topc="top -o cpu"
alias psgrep="ps aux | grep"
alias cdw="cd $WORK_DIR"

alias gemi="sudo gem install --no-ri --no-rdoc"
alias gemu="sudo gem uninstall"
alias gem_search="gem search -r"

Add your aliases to .bash_aliases. Edit .bashrc and uncomment the loadig of .bash_aliases

Update and upgrade the system

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

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 postgres

(sudo) apt-get install postgresql postgresql-client postgresql-contrib postgresql-server-dev-8.3

Setup Database

(sudo) -u postgres psql postgres

Set a password for the "postgres" database role using the command:

\password postgres

Create database

 sudo -u postgres createdb <mydb>

Alternative Server Setup with 'ident sameuser' authentication

 sudo -u postgres createuser --superuser $USER

 createdb $USER
 Connecting to your own database to try out some SQL should now be as easy as:

 Creating additional database is just as easy, so for example, after running this:

 createdb amarokdb    


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

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

Ruby Enterprise Edition provides Debian install packages. Check for a current version at

Check out your System Architecture. There are Packages for 64 and 32 bit Ubuntu Systems. getconf LONG_BIT

dpkg -i ruby-enterprise_1.8.7-20090928_amd64.deb

Verify the ruby installation

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

Installing git

sudo apt-get install git-core



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


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.

Installing the Ruby Postgres Adapter

sudo gem install pg

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-6.5.0-0
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-enterprise-1.8.6-20090421/bin/ruby /opt/ruby-enterprise-1.8.6-20090421/bin/gem install rmagick

Test a rails applicaton with nginx

rails -d postgresql testapp  (leave -d blank for sqlite)
cd testapp

Enter your postgres 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 -e production

Copy the file "nginx" from this project to /etc/init.d (or get a new one from /usr/sbin/update-rc.d -f nginx defaults 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 ipadress and see if you can acess the rails application