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Instructions on how to get up and running with nginx and passenger on Ubuntu 8.04 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 loadig of .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

$ wget
$ tar xvfz ruby-enterprise-1.8.6-20090201.tar.gz 
$ rm ruby-enterprise-1.8.6-20090201.tar.gz 
$ ruby-enterprise-1.8.6-20090201/
$ sudo ./installer

Add Ruby Enterprise bin to PATH

$ echo "export PATH=/opt/ruby-enterprise-1.8.6-20090201/bin:$PATH" >> .profile

Verify the ruby installation

$ ruby -v
ruby 1.8.6 (2008-08-08 patchlevel 286) [i686-linux]

Installning git

$ sudo apt-get install git-core


$ sudo /opt/ruby-enterprise-1.8.6-20090201/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 to add ---with-http_ssl_module

$ sudo /opt/ruby-enterprise-1.8.6-20090201/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...

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

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

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 ipadress and see if you can acess the rails application

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