Installing Passenger Enterprise + Nginx on an AWS production server
for Node.js apps + Red Hat 7 / CentOS 7 (with RPM)

This page describes the installation of Passenger through the following operating system or installation method: Red Hat 7 / CentOS 7 (with RPM). Not the configuration you are looking for? Go back to the operating system / installation method selection menu.

No Amazon Linux RPMs

Our YUM repository may not be used with Amazon Linux. Amazon Linux is too different from RHEL and CentOS. If you are on Amazon Linux, please go back to the operating system menu and select "Other / OS independent (generic installation method)".

On this page, we will install Passenger. After installing Passenger we can begin with deploying the app.

Table of contents

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Step 1: download and install your license key

Before you can install Passenger Enterprise, you need to download and install your license key. This is a regular file that you need to copy to your production server.

Please login to the Passenger Enterprise Customer Area.

Customer Area login screen

Click on the button to download the license key.

License key download button in the Customer Area

The license key will be downloaded to your local computer. Copy this license key file to your production server, for example using scp:

local-computer$ cd /path-to-your-local-computer-download-folder
local-computer$ scp -i your_ec2_key.pem passenger-enterprise-license adminuser@yourserver.com:

Replace adminuser with the name of an account with administrator privileges or sudo privileges. This is usually admin, ec2-user, root or ubuntu.

Finally, login to your production server and save the file as /etc/passenger-enterprise-license:

local-computer$ ssh -i your_ec2_key.pem adminuser@yourserver.com
production-server$ sudo mv passenger-enterprise-license /etc/passenger-enterprise-license
production-server$ chmod 644 /etc/passenger-enterprise-license
production-server$ /sbin/restorecon /etc/passenger-enterprise-license # this command fixes the file's SELinux context.

Step 2: obtain your download token

Your download token is needed in order to install Passenger Enterprise. In the Customer Area, find your download token and copy it to your clipboard.

Exhibit of the download token in the Customer Area

Step 3: enable EPEL

Passenger requires EPEL. The instructions differ depending on whether you are on Red Hat or CentOS.

Red Hat

Step 1:
install EPEL package
$ if ! rpm -q epel-release; then sudo yum install -y yum-utils \
http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/7/x86_64/e/epel-release-7-5.noarch.rpm; fi
$ sudo yum-config-manager --enable epel
Step 2:
enable the 'optional' and 'extras' repositories
Enable the optional and extras repositories (rhel-7-server-optional-rpms, rhel-7-server-extras-rpms). This can be done by enabling the RHEL optional subchannel for RHN-Classic. For certificate-based subscriptions see Red Hat Subscription Management Guide.

CentOS

$ sudo yum install -y epel-release yum-utils
$ sudo yum-config-manager --enable epel

Step 4: install Passenger packages

These commands will install Passenger Enterprise + Nginx through Phusion's YUM repository. If you already had Nginx installed, then these commands will upgrade Nginx to Phusion's version (with Passenger compiled in). Replace YOUR_DOWNLOAD_TOKEN with the download token you obtained earlier.

# Install various prerequisites
sudo yum install -y pygpgme curl

# Add our el7 YUM repository
unset HISTFILE
sudo curl --fail -sSL -u download:YOUR_DOWNLOAD_TOKEN -o /etc/yum.repos.d/passenger.repo https://www.phusionpassenger.com/enterprise_yum/el-passenger-enterprise.repo
sudo chown root: /etc/yum.repos.d/passenger.repo
sudo chmod 600 /etc/yum.repos.d/passenger.repo

# Install Passenger Enterprise + Nginx
sudo yum install -y nginx passenger-enterprise

Step 5: enable the Passenger Nginx module and restart Nginx

Edit /etc/nginx/conf.d/passenger.conf and uncomment passenger_root, passenger_ruby and passenger_instance_registry_dir. For example, you may see this:

# passenger_root /some-filename/locations.ini;
# passenger_ruby /usr/bin/ruby;
# passenger_instance_registry_dir /var/run/passenger-instreg;

Remove the '#' characters, like this:

passenger_root /some-filename/locations.ini;
passenger_ruby /usr/bin/ruby;
passenger_instance_registry_dir /var/run/passenger-instreg;

If you don't see a commented version of passenger_root or passenger_instance_registry_dir inside passenger.conf, then you need to insert them yourself.

Run passenger-config --root. It will tell output some path. For example:

$ passenger-config --root
/some-filename/locations.ini

Insert a passenger_root configuration option into /etc/nginx/conf.d/passenger.conf using the value you obtained. Ensure that passenger_instance_registry_dir is set to /var/run/passenger-instreg. For example:

passenger_root /some-filename/locations.ini;
passenger_instance_registry_dir /var/run/passenger-instreg;

When you are finished with this step, restart Nginx:

$ sudo service nginx restart

Step 6: check installation

After installation, please validate the install by running sudo /usr/bin/passenger-config validate-install. For example:

$ sudo /usr/bin/passenger-config validate-install
 * Checking whether this Phusion Passenger install is in PATH... ✓
 * Checking whether there are no other Phusion Passenger installations... ✓

All checks should pass. If any of the checks do not pass, please follow the suggestions on screen.

Finally, check whether Nginx has started the Passenger core processes. Run sudo /usr/sbin/passenger-memory-stats. You should see Nginx processes as well as Passenger processes. For example:

$ sudo /usr/sbin/passenger-memory-stats
Version: 5.0.8
Date   : 2015-05-28 08:46:20 +0200
...

---------- Nginx processes ----------
PID    PPID   VMSize   Private  Name
-------------------------------------
12443  4814   60.8 MB  0.2 MB   nginx: master process /usr/sbin/nginx
12538  12443  64.9 MB  5.0 MB   nginx: worker process
### Processes: 3
### Total private dirty RSS: 5.56 MB

----- Passenger processes ------
PID    VMSize    Private   Name
--------------------------------
12517  83.2 MB   0.6 MB    PassengerAgent watchdog
12520  266.0 MB  3.4 MB    PassengerAgent server
12531  149.5 MB  1.4 MB    PassengerAgent logger
...

If you do not see any Nginx processes or Passenger processes, then you probably have some kind of installation problem or configuration problem. Please refer to the troubleshooting guide.

Step 7: update regularly

Nginx updates, Passenger updates and system updates are delivered through the YUM package manager regularly. You should run the following command regularly to keep them up to date:

$ sudo yum update

After an update, you should restart Nginx. Doing so will automatically restart Passenger too.

Next step

Now that you have installed Passenger, you are ready to deploy your Node.js application on the production server!

Continue: Deploy app »