Using Ruby On Rails With Apache2 On Debian Etch - Page 2

6 Modifying Our Application's .htaccess File

The web folder of testapplication is /var/rails/testapplication/public. It contains an .htaccess file that we must modify so that Apache2 can run RoR applications using mod-fcgid.

vi /var/rails/testapplication/public/.htaccess

Comment out the AddHandler fastcgi-script .fcgi and AddHandler cgi-script .cgi lines and add the line AddHandler fcgid-script .fcgi. Also comment out the line RewriteRule ^(.*)$ dispatch.cgi [QSA,L] and add the line RewriteRule ^(.*)$ dispatch.fcgi [QSA,L] (note that it's now dispatch.fcgi instead of dispatch.cgi). Afterwards, the file should look like this:

# General Apache options
#AddHandler fastcgi-script .fcgi
#AddHandler cgi-script .cgi
AddHandler fcgid-script .fcgi
Options +FollowSymLinks +ExecCGI

# If you don't want Rails to look in certain directories,
# use the following rewrite rules so that Apache won't rewrite certain requests
# Example:
#   RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/notrails.*
#   RewriteRule .* - [L]

# Redirect all requests not available on the filesystem to Rails
# By default the cgi dispatcher is used which is very slow
# For better performance replace the dispatcher with the fastcgi one
# Example:
#   RewriteRule ^(.*)$ dispatch.fcgi [QSA,L]
RewriteEngine On

# If your Rails application is accessed via an Alias directive,
# then you MUST also set the RewriteBase in this htaccess file.
# Example:
#   Alias /myrailsapp /path/to/myrailsapp/public
#   RewriteBase /myrailsapp

RewriteRule ^$ index.html [QSA]
RewriteRule ^([^.]+)$ $1.html [QSA]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
#RewriteRule ^(.*)$ dispatch.cgi [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ dispatch.fcgi [QSA,L]

# In case Rails experiences terminal errors
# Instead of displaying this message you can supply a file here which will be rendered instead
# Example:
#   ErrorDocument 500 /500.html

ErrorDocument 500 "<h2>Application error</h2>Rails application failed to start properly"


7 Creating A Virtual Host For Our RoR Application

(If you use ISPConfig, please go to chapter 8!)

Now it's time to create an Apache vhost for our application. I will use the hostname so that our application can be reached under (assuming that points to the correct IP address).

The easiest way to create such a vhost is to replace the existing default vhost in /etc/apache2/sites-available/default (assuming that this default vhost isn't needed!):

cp /etc/apache2/sites-available/default /etc/apache2/sites-available/default_old
cat /dev/null > /etc/apache2/sites-available/default
vi /etc/apache2/sites-available/default

<Virtualhost *:80>
   DocumentRoot /var/rails/testapplication/public/

   <Directory /var/rails/testapplication/public>
      Options ExecCGI FollowSymLinks
      AllowOverride all
      Order allow,deny
      Allow from all

Of course, instead of replacing the default vhost, you can simply add your vhost at the end of /etc/apache2/sites-available/default so that you keep the default vhost.

Now we restart Apache:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Next we open in a browser. We should see the default RoR page:

That's it! Now we can start to develop our RoR application in the /var/rails/testapplication directory.


8 RoR And ISPConfig

(If you don't use ISPConfig, skip this chapter!)

In this chapter I assume that you have created a web site called with the document root /var/www/web1/web in ISPConfig, and that your RoR testapplication is still in /var/rails/testapplication.

To make our RoR testapplication available in the vhost which we have created in ISPConfig, we do the following:

First, we put the following lines into the Apache Directives field of the web site in ISPConfig:

<Directory /var/www/web1/web>
  Options +ExecCGI +FollowSymLinks
  AllowOverride all

Then we rename /var/rails/testapplication/public to /var/rails/testapplication/web, copy the contents of /var/rails/testapplication to /var/www/web1, and make the Apache user the owner of /var/www/web1/web:

cd /var/rails/testapplication
mv public web
cp -pfr * /var/www/web1
chown www-data:web1 /var/www/web1/web

That's it. The RoR application should now work in the vhost which we have created in ISPConfig.


Falko Timme

About Falko Timme

Falko Timme is an experienced Linux administrator and founder of Timme Hosting, a leading nginx business hosting company in Germany. He is one of the most active authors on HowtoForge since 2005 and one of the core developers of ISPConfig since 2000. He has also contributed to the O'Reilly book "Linux System Administration".

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By: Johannes

... for the HowTo: I just tried it and it just worked after desperately trying it myself. saved me a lot of time&troubles .. - johannes