Passenger (mod_rails) for Ruby on Rails

software development


As of today, all DreamHost customers can enable Passenger (mod_rails) for Ruby on Rails applications.

Briefly, all you do is enable the Ruby on Rails Passenger (mod_rails) option for any existing or new web domain in the DreamHost web control panel. When you then point that domain’s web directory to the public directory of an existing Ruby on Rails application it will work automatically. For more detailed information, check out our Passenger wiki page. You may also want to read additional details in the DreamHost blog post.

  • Dallas
  • DreamHost Head Honcho/Founder


Thanks. I’m curious to see how performance stacks up against fcgi.


Yes, please do post reports of how it works for you. It’s a new system so there’s bound to be some problems here and there but early reports have been very good overall.

  • Dallas
  • DreamHost Head Honcho/Founder


I did the switch for a site I have under a sub domain and it can’t find the images or CSS. Everything else is working.

Typically I set up the sub domain name as a symbolic link to the public directory of my rails app. This follows a technique used with Capistrano deploys.

Any idea on why I’m unable to find the resources? I’m not really sure where it is looking.


Hmm, no sorry. I believe that method should be working.

Try setting the web directory of the domain to the ‘current’ directory or whatever it is Capistrano sets up. I’ve not actually used Capistrano myself so all my knowledge is just from observation of user setups.

  • Dallas
  • DreamHost Head Honcho/Founder


Looks like I’m working now. In the web Panel, I set the web directory to the absolute path of the public directory of my rails application.

Thanks. :slight_smile: Just giving it a quick drive around the block, it appears to be faster.

Any practical limits on the number of Rails apps you recommend folks running? I’m not sure how mod_rails compares with regard to resources being used, etc.


In theory, mod_rails will launch and terminate your applications as they are needed so it should be doable to run several smaller applications without any major problems. Larger applications will start to use up more of the server’s resources and you might get hit by our process watcher. Overall, this setup should be more resource efficient than FastCGI and we’re very much hoping we can convert people using FastCGI now over to this.

Thanks for the feedback!

  • Dallas
  • DreamHost Head Honcho/Founder


I am also having problems getting images/css to resolve. I have a symbolic link to rails/public.



I’ve figured out why this is happening:

I am using an .htaccess file with

AuthType Basic
AuthUserFile /home/xxxxx/.htpasswd
AuthName xxxx
require valid-user

when the Auth code is removed the static assets are accessible otherwise it fails.


Did you ever get this to work? I have the same problem.