Ruby on Rails application could not be started


i just installed rails using passenger, and without having made any changes, i get the following error from passenger.

Ruby on Rails application could not be started

The application has exited during startup (i.e. during the evaluation of config/environment.rb). The error message may have been written to the web server’s log file. Please check the web server’s log file (i.e. not the (Rails) application’s log file) to find out why the application exited.

unfortunetely there is nothing being written to the error log.
there is a large backtrace as well, although im not really sure how to read it.

i have been back and forth with dreamhost support, but there is nothing more they can offer me for advice.

the server is running ruby 1.8.7 and passenger 2.2.4-2. however i am running a local copy of rails 2.3.4 and a local copy of gems 1.3.5.