Installing Passenger + Apache on a Linux/Unix production server
for Python apps + Red Hat 6 / CentOS 6 (with RPM)

This page describes the installation of Passenger through the following operating system or installation method: Red Hat 6 / CentOS 6 (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: upgrade your kernel, or disable SELinux

The first thing you need to do is to check on three things:

  1. Which Passenger version will be installed? You can check with curl -s | ruby -rjson -e 'p JSON.parse(["version"]'.
  2. Which kernel version are you running? You can find out by running uname -r.
  3. Is SELinux enabled? You can find out by running grep SELINUX /etc/selinux/config. If it says "enforcing" or "permissive", then SELinux is enabled. If it says "disabled", then SELinux is disabled.

If you are installing Passenger 5.1 or later, or if your kernel version was already at least 2.6.39, or if SELinux was already disabled, then you can skip to the next step.

If SELinux is enabled, then Passenger versions prior to 5.1 require kernel >= 2.6.39. Passenger 5.1 has removed this requirement. If your kernel is not recent enough, then there are two things you can do:

  1. Disable SELinux completely. Edit /etc/selinux/config, set SELINUX=disabled and reboot. Note that merely setting SELinux to permissive mode is not sufficient.


  2. Upgrade your kernel to at least 2.6.39.

Step 2: enable EPEL

The instructions differ depending on whether you are on Red Hat or CentOS. The second step is only necessary on Red Hat.

Step 1:
install EPEL package
Passenger requires EPEL.
$ sudo yum install -y epel-release yum-utils
$ sudo yum-config-manager --enable epel
$ sudo yum clean all && sudo yum update -y
Step 2 (RHEL only):
enable the 'optional' repository
Enable the optional repository (rhel-6-server-optional-rpms). This can be done by enabling the RHEL optional subchannel for RHN-Classic. For certificate-based subscriptions see Red Hat Subscription Management Guide. The following commands may be helpful, but are not thoroughly tested.
$ sudo subscription-manager register --username $RHN_USERNAME --password $RHN_PASSWORD
$ POOL=`sudo subscription-manager list --available --all | sed '/^Pool ID:/!d;s/^.*: *//'`
$ sudo subscription-manager attach --pool="$POOL"
$ sudo subscription-manager repos --enable rhel-6-server-optional-rpms

Step 3: repair potential system issues

These commands will fix common issues that prevent yum from installing Passenger

# Ensure curl and nss/openssl are sufficiently up-to-date to talk to the repo
sudo yum update -y

# if the output of date is wrong, please follow these instructions to install ntp
sudo yum install -y ntp
sudo chkconfig ntpd on
sudo ntpdate
sudo service ntpd start

Step 4: install Passenger packages

These commands will install Passenger + Apache module through Phusion's YUM repository.

# Install various prerequisites
sudo yum install -y pygpgme curl

# Add our el6 YUM repository
sudo curl --fail -sSLo /etc/yum.repos.d/passenger.repo

# Install Passenger + Apache module
sudo yum install -y mod_passenger || sudo yum-config-manager --enable cr && sudo yum install -y mod_passenger

Step 5: restart Apache

Now that the Passenger Apache module is installed, restart Apache to ensure that Passenger is activated:

$ sudo service httpd 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 Apache has started the Passenger core processes. Run sudo /usr/sbin/passenger-memory-stats. You should see Apache 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

---------- Apache processes ----------
PID    PPID   VMSize    Private  Name
3918   1      190.1 MB  0.1 MB   /usr/sbin/httpd

----- Passenger processes ------
PID    VMSize    Private   Name
12517  83.2 MB   0.6 MB    Passenger watchdog
12520  266.0 MB  3.4 MB    Passenger core
12531  149.5 MB  1.4 MB    Passenger ust-router

If you do not see any Apache 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

Apache 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 Apache. Doing so will automatically restart Passenger too.

Next step

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

Continue: Deploy app »