Skip to content
This repository


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with HTTPS or Subversion.

Download ZIP

Run rails applications reliably as runit services

branch: master
Runit services for heavy-duty Rails hosting

Here's a bunch of scripts for deploying a full production Rails app
that runs under runit.

This scheme is currently used to run several large production
Rails apps, including, and it
has workd very nicely for a couple of years now.  More reliable
than system-wide init.d scripts, and fewer permission headaches.

How to use it

Create an unprivileged user for your Rails app, then set up a
system-wide Runit service to manage user-specific services for
that user -- see the following page for details:

All further steps assume that you are working as the unprivileged user.

Now, clone this project into the user's home directory:

 git clone git://

Symlink your rails app's root directory to this directory with the
name 'app':

 ln -s ~appuser/releases/current ~/rails-runit/app

Now you can create some services:

 cd ~/rails-runit
 ./add-mongrel 4001
 ./add-mongrel 4002
 ./add-mongrel 4003
 ./add-haproxy 4000
 ./add-nginx 4020 4000

This creates (potential) runit services under ~/rails-runit/service.
Symlink them to ~/service, and runit will start them for you.

Once started, you can set your system-wide web server to proxy requests
for your Rails app to port 4000 (haproxy => mongrel * 3), or to port 4020
(nginx => haproxy => mongrel * 3).

Browse to port 3998 (= haproxy port - 2) to see the haproxy status

You can then easily restart your app (e.g. as part of a capistrano
deployment) like this:

  sv restart ~/service/mongrel-*

Further "add-*" and "*-run" scripts are provided for varnish and


The haproxy service assumes that the mongrels will be found on
the 10 ports higher than itself.

The use of the 'production' RAILS_ENV is hard-coded, so look out
for that if you try it on your own machine.

The entire scheme is subject to change -- see below.

Future plans

I'd like to rewrite all this in ruby so we can have templates for the
config files in ERB, and to make the port mapping a bit more flexible.
The 'run' scripts would then look up their config templates under
RAILS_ROOT/config first, and fall back to ~/rails-runit/ if necessary.

It'd be nice to automatically generate monitrc fragments that could
be included by a system-wide monit instance for the purposes of
monitoring the app.
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.