Passenger is a great thing because it makes Rails apps able to be deployed on Apache.

The installation is pretty painless, but there are a few gotchas you may want to know about.

Start here:

sudo gem install passenger

The installation will prompt you to add this to your httpd.conf file: (note the version number of passenger might be different)

LoadModule passenger_module /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/passenger-2.1.3/ext/apache2/
PassengerRoot /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/passenger-2.1.3
PassengerRuby /System/Library/Frameworks/Ruby.framework/Versions/1.8/usr/bin/ruby

If you are NOT using the Passenger preference pane, follow these instructions to add a virtual host to your Apache configuration file, and set its DocumentRoot to /somewhere/public. If you ARE using the passenger preference pane, you don’t need to do this.

RailsEnv development
ServerName mysite.local
DocumentRoot /Users/jason/DEVELOPMENT/mysite/public

Options FollowSymLinks
Order allow,deny
Allow from all

When first installing passenger (sudo gem install passenger), I get this error:
Building native extentions. This could take a while…
ERROR: Error installing passenger:
ERROR: Failed to build gem native extensions

FIX: Type ‘make’ at the command prompt. If you get the error “make: command not found,” then you don’t have ‘make’ (gcc compiler) installed, so your system can’t build anything. Install XCode Tools to solve this.

SYMPTOM: Site loads but it does not go to your rails app correctly.

FIX: Check to make sure apache config file, or the file you included in apache config, is correct. Try putting your site at a different port like this:

Listen 8000

Remember to restart apache each time you make a change with:
sudo apachectl restart

SYMTPOM: Browser says “500 Internal Server Error”

FIX: Check the Apache error log (Applications > Utilities > Console, click “Show Log List” if the list of logs does not appear, go to /var/log/apache2/error_log )

SYMPTOM: *** Passenger ERROR:Could not spawn the sever the server… Permission denied

FIX: If you are running a custom ruby executable (see custom ruby executable with passenger), you may not have set your custo ruby executable file to have execute permissions.

SYMPTOM: Routing error … no route for /YourApp

FIX: If you see this in your browser (where /YourApp is the name of your app), it is probably because you did not have this in your Rails config/environment.rb file: do |config|

config.action_controller.relative_url_root = “/YourApp”

SYMPTOM: Ruby on rails version ‘2.3.1’ not found
(or some other version)

FIX: Upgrade rails (or install the needed Rails version, more than one can run at once):
sudo gem install rails –version 2.3.1


SYMPTOM: Apache does not respond in the browser.

FIX: Make sure that apache is started ok, try this to see if there are any errors in your httpd.conf file:
sudo apachectl configtest


By Jason