Installing Passenger + Nginx on a Digital Ocean production server
for Ruby apps + Debian 9 (with APT)

This page describes the installation of Passenger through the following operating system or installation method: Debian 9 (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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Step 1: install Passenger packages

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 stretch 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 »