This tutorial assumes that you already have a working installation of an Apache server.

Install Phusion Passenger

Phusion Passenger has been by far the easiest way I’ve found for managing multiple Rails application instances on top of either Apache or Nginx. It comes as a gem and has custom modules for both major web servers.

# Install gem
$> gem install passenger
# Install passenger for apache2 (then follow the instructions)
$> passenger-install-apache2-module

Then you will need to update your apache configuration (as in the passenger instructions).

First, create a file called /etc/apache2/mods-available/passenger.load and input the following code :

# /etc/apache2/mods-available/passenger.load
LoadModule passenger_module /home/boissonnat/.rbenv/versions/2.1.5/lib/ruby/gems/2.1.0/gems/passenger-4.0.59/buildout/apache2/

Second, create a file called /etc/apache2/mods-available/passenger.conf and input the following code :

# /etc/apache2/mods-available/passenger.conf
<IfModule mod_passenger.c>
  PassengerRoot /home/boissonnat/.rbenv/versions/2.1.5/lib/ruby/gems/2.1.0/gems/passenger-4.0.59
  PassengerDefaultRuby /home/boissonnat/.rbenv/versions/2.1.5/bin/ruby

Then, enable the passenger module in Apache and restart the server.

$> sudo a2enmod passenger
$> sudo service apache2 restart
# Check passenger is activated :
$> apache2ctl -t -D DUMP_MODULES


Last but not least, you will need a DB engine. I mainly use PostgreSQL. Here is the installation process.

# install postgreSQL
$> sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.3
# Set the default password
$> sudo -u postgres psql postgres


First create and init a new remote on your server

Capistrano needs git to update your code source. You can use any git repository as it is accessible from your server. Sometimes you could have a repository inside your local network and a server outside this network. In this case, your server will not be able to pull your code source. You can still create a git repository on your server, add it as a remote and push to it for capistrano. Here is how :

On server

# Server side
# Create a folder with the .git extension
$> mkdir myapp.git
# Init a bare git repository
$> cd myapp.git
$> git init --bare

On local

# Client side
# Note here we call this new remote 'preprod'
$> git remote add preprod bob@your.server:/somewhere/myapp.git
# Then push your branch (use to the preprod) to this new repository
$> git push preprod master

Capify your application

Add this following code into your Gemfile

group :development do
    gem 'capistrano'

And then :

$> cd /path/to/your/app
$> bundle

And finally :

$> cd /path/to/your/app
$> cap install

Capistrano settings

Capistrano is very well documented. By following the comments, first edit your /config/deploy.rb and then your specific environments settings in config/deploy/my_env.rb

Setup Apache

You need to create and setup permissions for the folder which will be used to deploy your app.

# Create the folder
$> mkdir /var/www/myapp
# Set the group to www-data (the apache group)
$> sudo chgrp -R www-data /var/www/myapp
# Set the user to your deployer user
$> sudo chown -R yourdeployer /var/www/myapp
# Allow group to update the folder
$> sudo chmod -R 775 /var/www/myapp

Then you need to create a virtual host to your current folder. Create a new file called myapp.conf in /etc/apache2/site-available

$> touch /etc/apache2/site-available/myapp.conf
$> nano /etc/apache2/site-available/myapp.conf
<VirtualHost *:80>
        # In case of several virtual host based on path :
          # ServerName IP
          # ServerPath /path/
        DocumentRoot /var/www/myapp/current/public
        <Directory /var/www/myapp/current/public>
                # This relaxes Apache security settings.
                AllowOverride all
                # MultiViews must be turned off.
                Options -MultiViews
                # Uncomment this if you're on Apache >= 2.4:
                Require all granted

Don’t forget the .conf extension. Without this extension Apache is not able to treat it.

Finally, you need to activate your site :

$> sudo a2ensite myapp
# And reload apache
$> service apache2 reload

Deploy your application

$> cd /path/to/your/app
$> cap production deploy