Hosting Your Way: Passenger

Written By : Bradley Taylor

December 06, 2008

We’ve always done our best to support the technologies our customers are interested in using. This includes supporting software like git, or providing instructions for using deployment technologies that aren’t part of our “standard” stack. We’ve shown how to replace Apache with nginx, and integrating HAProxy, for example.

Passenger is another new technology that’s been receiving a lot of attention recently, and for good reason: it greatly simplifies and streamlines the deployment of Rails applications for those people who aren’t using the Rails Machine gem. Many people are having good experiences with it, and people like David Heinemeier Hansson are endorsing it as well.

Although we’ve been supporting customers wanting to install and configure it for several months, we haven’t made it a part of our standard stack. But as of yesterday, with the addition of improved support for 64-bit, we’re ready to start introducing it to a larger segment of our customer base by integrating it into the Rails Machine gem. We’ve already started testing this with our CentOS 64-bit image, and as we go forward, we’ll be working on making it a part of our standard configuration, and adding it to the gem is a first step in that direction.

For those who would just like to try Passenger out, we’ve built in the capability to toggle back and forth between our “standard” stack, and Passenger with a cap app:switch command. Existing customers can also add a Sidecar, which is the perfect development playground for new technologies like this.

The updated Rails Machine gem (which will also support git, and additional technologies in the near future) will be available in our github repository early next week.

If you’d like to try the gem out even sooner, please drop us an email and we’ll add you to our beta testing group.