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Phusion Passenger 2.0.4 released; 37signals’s Ta-da List now using Passenger

By Hongli Lai on December 1st, 2008

Phusion Passenger is an Apache module for deploying Ruby on Rails web applications, and is mainly focused on ease of use and stability. Since its first release in April 2008, it has gained quite a lot of attention from the Rails community, and nowadays it has become a very popular deployment tool.

Tobias Lütke has recently announced that Shopify is now running Phusion Passenger:

“In conclusion: I cannot see any reason to choose a different deployment strategy at this point. Its simple, complete, fast and well documented.” —
Tobias Lütke

Even 37signals is now using Phusion Passenger. They’ve recently announced that they’ve switched Ta-da List to Phusion Passenger:

“We’re really impressed with the ease of deployment and stability under Passenger. The app now requires less than 10 lines of configuration to launch and deploy.” — Joshua Sierles

Recent changes

Phusion Passenger is under constant maintenance and development. We are pleased to announce Phusion Passenger version 2.0.4. This is mainly a bugfix release, but contains one new feature. The changes are as follows:

Global queuing
We recently announced that we’ve developed a feature called global queuing. This feature was requested by 37signals. When global queuing is on, Phusion Passenger will load balance all incoming requests into the first available backend process. This is especially useful if you have long-running requests, e.g. requests that perform heavy calculations and can take several seconds to finish. See this blog post for a more detailed description.

This feature is included in Phusion Passenger as of version 2.0.4.

Fixed compatibility with the latest Rake version and RubyGems version
When compiling Phusion Passenger using the latest Rake, compilation commands are not shown while various warnings are being shown. This has been fixed. Various RubyGems deprecation warnings have also been fixed.
Running background programs from within the Rails app won’t freeze the request
In previous versions of Phusion Passenger, if one executes

system("sleep 10 &")

from within the Rails app, then Phusion Passenger won’t finish the request until 10 seconds have gone by. In other words, Phusion Passenger would wait until the background program has finished. This issue is caused by file descriptor leaks, and has been fixed.

Fixed Mac OS X crash
A Mac OS X related crash has been fixed.
Various bug fixes
The title says it all. If you experienced any kind of problems with previous releases, please try this release as the bug may have been fixed.

How do I upgrade to 2.0.4?

Via a gem

Please install it with the following command:

gem install passenger

Next, run:


Please don’t forget to copy & paste the Apache config snippet that the installer gives you.

Via a native Linux package

John Leach from Brightbox has kindly provided an Ubuntu 8.04 package for Phusion Passenger. The package is available from the Brightbox repository which you can find at:

Add the following line to the Third Party Software Sources:

deb hardy main

(The simplest way to do that is to create a file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ containing the deb instruction, and then run ‘apt-get update‘).

Once you’ve done this then you can install Phusion Passenger by running:

apt-get install libapache2-mod-passenger

(Note that John is currently packaging 2.0.4, so it might take a while before this release shows up in the apt repository.)


Phusion Passenger is provided to the community for free. If you like Phusion Passenger, please consider sending us a donation. Thanks!

Hongli Lai Ninh Bui