Installing Passenger + Nginx on an AWS production server
for Ruby apps + Ubuntu 17.04 (with APT)

This page describes the installation of Passenger through the following operating system or installation method: Ubuntu 17.04 (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: install Passenger packages

In July 2017, the Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty packages for Passenger were changed from a static to a dynamic module package. If you have the old package, please uninstall it first:
  • sudo apt-get remove nginx-extras (if that fails, use: sudo dpkg --remove --force-remove-reinstreq nginx-extras)

These commands will install Passenger + Nginx module through Phusion's APT repository.

# Install our PGP key and add HTTPS support for APT
sudo apt-get install -y dirmngr gnupg
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-keys 561F9B9CAC40B2F7
sudo apt-get install -y apt-transport-https ca-certificates

# Add our APT repository
sudo sh -c 'echo deb https://oss-binaries.phusionpassenger.com/apt/passenger zesty main > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/passenger.list'
sudo apt-get update

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

Step 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 Ruby application on the production server!

Continue: Deploy app »