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####I'm looking for a new maintainer for this project. I have not been a good steward and it seems to be useful to people. Any takers?


Foreman is a gem released by Heroku that allows you to easily manage multiple processes with a Procfile. It ensures all processes launch successfully, colorizes output, and allows you to kill all processes with a simple CTL+C. It's simple and elegant.

Its not perfect however. For one, it doesn't handle running processes from a different directory. It also doesn't deal well with the complexity of running processes under a different RVM. You are probably thinking, "well, those aren't really Foreman's responsibilities". I agree with you. This gem fills that gap.


gem install subcontractor

or with bundler

gem 'subcontractor', '0.9.1'

The gem provides an executable called subcontract that you will use from your Procfile. You can see what it does by running subcontract --help

USAGE: subcontract [options] -- executable
    -r, --rvm RVM                    run in a specific RVM (use `.` for ruby from `PATH`)
    -b, --rbenv RBENV                run in a specific RBENV (use `.` for local rbenv)
    -h, --chruby CHRUBY              run in a specific CHRUBY
    -c, --choose-env ENV             run in either a specified RBENV, RVM or CHRUBY, whichever is present
    -d, --chdir PATH                 chdir to PATH before starting process
    -s, --signal SIGNAL              signal to send to process to kill it, default TERM

An example Procfile tells the story

rails: rails s
another_app: subcontract --rvm ruby-1.8.7-p249@another_app --chdir ../another_app --signal INT -- rails s -p 3001

Here another_app will be launch from the sibling directory another_app and will use the rvm ruby-1.8.7-p249@another_app. As you can see, the command that we wish to use to launch our application follows the double dashes (--).

You can also allow another_app to use its existing .rvmrc file. This will load the .rvmrc file out of the current folder once it has been changed to the folder specified by --chdir

rails: rails s
another_app: subcontract --rvm . --chdir ../another_app --signal INT -- rails s -p 3001

You can use specific rbenv version.

rbenv_app: bundle exec subcontract --rbenv 'ree-1.8.7-2012.02' --chdir ~/rbenv_app -- bundle exec rails server -p 3001

Or you can use whatever the local rbenv settings are for a project. This will load whatever rbenv local returns out of the current folder once it has been changed to the folder specified by --chdir

rbenv_app: bundle exec subcontract --rbenv . --chdir ~/rbenv_app -- bundle exec rails server -p 3001

If you have team members using both rvm and rbenv on a project then use --choose-env to use whatever version manager is present on the system. If both are present rbenv is chosen.

mixed_env_manager_app: bundle exec subcontract --choose-env . --chdir ~/mixed_env_manager_app -- bundle exec rails server -p 3001


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  • Send a pull request (bonus points for feature branches)



rvm aware process launcher for foreman






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