Installing Passenger Enterprise + Nginx on an AWS production server
for Python apps + Ubuntu 17.10 (with APT)

This page describes the installation of Passenger through the following operating system or installation method: Ubuntu 17.10 (with APT). Not the configuration you are looking for? Go back to the operating system / installation method selection menu.

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

Table of contents

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Heads up: limited package support for non-LTS Ubuntu versions

Before we continue, you should know that the Ubuntu version you selected is a non-LTS (Long Term Support) version. This means that Canonical — the company that created Ubuntu — only supports this particular Ubuntu version for 1 year.

Because of this short support cycle by Canonical, we only provide Passenger package updates for this Ubuntu version for 6 months. That's when the next Ubuntu version comes out.

So when the next Ubuntu version is released, you must upgrade your system to that new Ubuntu version. Otherwise you won't receive Passenger updates in the form of .deb packages from us anymore.

If you don't like having to upgrade your Ubuntu system every 6 months, then you should use an LTS version of Ubuntu. Canonical supports LTS versions for 5 years, and we provide Passenger package updates for LTS versions for 5 years too.

Now that you know this, let's move on.

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 Install button in the Customer Area.

Customer Area install button

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

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
production-server$ sudo mv passenger-enterprise-license /etc/passenger-enterprise-license
production-server$ chmod 644 /etc/passenger-enterprise-license

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: install Passenger packages

These commands will install Passenger Enterprise + Nginx module through Phusion's APT repository. At this point we assume that you already have Nginx installed from your system repository. If not, you should do that first before continuing. Replace YOUR_DOWNLOAD_TOKEN with the download token you obtained in the last step.

# Install our PGP key and add HTTPS support for APT
sudo apt-get install -y dirmngr gnupg
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys 561F9B9CAC40B2F7
sudo apt-get install -y apt-transport-https ca-certificates

# Add our APT repository
sudo sh -c 'echo machine login download password YOUR_DOWNLOAD_TOKEN >> /etc/apt/auth.conf'
sudo sh -c 'echo deb artful main > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/passenger.list'
sudo chown root: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/passenger.list
sudo chmod 644 /etc/apt/sources.list.d/passenger.list
sudo chown root: /etc/apt/auth.conf
sudo chmod 600 /etc/apt/auth.conf
sudo apt-get update

# Install Passenger Enterprise + Nginx module
sudo apt-get install -y libnginx-mod-http-passenger-enterprise

Step 4: enable the Passenger Nginx module and restart Nginx

Ensure the config files are in-place:

$ if [ ! -f /etc/nginx/modules-enabled/50-mod-http-passenger.conf ]; then sudo ln -s /usr/share/nginx/modules-available/mod-http-passenger.load /etc/nginx/modules-enabled/50-mod-http-passenger.conf ; fi
$ sudo ls /etc/nginx/conf.d/mod-http-passenger.conf

If you don't see a file at /etc/nginx/conf.d/mod-http-passenger.conf; then you need to create it yourself and set the passenger_ruby and passenger_root config options. For example:

passenger_root /usr/lib/ruby/vendor_ruby/phusion_passenger/locations.ini;
passenger_ruby /usr/bin/passenger_free_ruby;

When you are finished with this step, restart Nginx:

$ sudo service nginx restart

Step 5: 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 6: update regularly

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

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

You do not need to restart Nginx or Passenger after an update, and you also do not need to modify any configuration files after an update. That is all taken care of automatically for you by APT.

Next step

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

Continue: Deploy app »