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Use sprinkle to automate setup of a VPS for Ruby on Rails
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tayloredsw_vps: Automate VPS setup for Rails servers

I frequently set up VPS servers (usually on Linode) for client web sites. The process of getting MySQL, Apache, Ruby, Passenger, etc. set up is tedious, repetitive, and time-consuming. tayloredsw_vps uses the excellent sprinkle gem to automate most of this process.


I assume you're running a Debian or Ubuntu host, and make no attempt to accommodate other host types. I also assume, at a minimum, that the base operating system is installed and that openssh-server is installed and enabled.

Configuring and Running

Before you can run sprinkle using my configuration, you need to do a couple of setup steps:

  1. As mentioned above, ensure that the openssh-server package is installed and that the server is accepting SSH connections.

  2. Copy your SSH public keys to ~root/.ssh/authorized_keys on the server.

  3. Edit deploy.rb as follows:

    • In line 15, fill in the correct hostname or IP address for the server.

    • In lines 16 and 17, fill in the correct username and password (I use root) to enable access to the server.

  4. If you need PHP installed on the server, you'll need to go into lib/tayloredsw_vps/config.rb and change require_php? to return true.

Once you've done the above, just run ./install to launch capistrano and kick off the install.

Questions or feedback?

I can be reached at


I am grateful to Marcus Crafter, author of the sprinkle library. Many of my package definitions were borrowed from linode-stack, by Nathan Sutton and from sprinkle-linode by Tristan Dunn.

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