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Phusion Passenger & Ruby Update Progress


Hey everyone!

I wanted to give a quick update about our Phusion Passenger and Ruby support. The initial work I mentioned previously to overhaul our packaging and deployment system is complete and those packages will be released to all servers soon. That lays the groundwork for the following changes…

We will begin the process of updating all servers to a newer version of Phusion Passenger (the 4.0 branch) in November. That deployment will allow you to use any version of Ruby — including 1.9 and 2.0 — inside your Rack-based applications (e.g. Rails).

We will then begin work on changing the default Ruby across our entire fleet from Ruby 1.8.7 to 1.9.3. You will receive ample notification for this change, but if your application only functions on Ruby 1.8.7, you will be able to change the Ruby version per-application and per-account (via .htaccess) using the PassengerRuby option available in Phusion Passenger 4. You can then compile your own version of Ruby 1.8 inside of your account for your legacy applications.

Additional work is also being done on improving the entire user Ruby environment to make it easy to install and maintain your Rubies and their gemsets. This part is still very much in the development stages, but we’ll have more information once it’s ready.


  • Please hit us up with any questions too!

  • when will be ready?

    • We don’t have a firm ETA as we need to finish the deployment of our new Apache/PHP/Ruby packages first. Once that is fully deployed we can update Passenger, and Ruby and that deployment will be much quicker.

  • Hi Graham,
    Do I get this correctly: You upgrading to passenger 4 has no consequences for any running rails (3.2) apps? It adds the choice re ruby version, but if I were to do absolutely nothing, things won’t break at this stage?
    Thanks, daniela

    • That’s correct. This is mostly a backend change so the existing configuration and sites will function, but it adds some new configuration values so you can customize the Ruby version per-site.

  • Will we get an active information? i.e. email? When I choosed site 5, I never thought about not beeing ruby 1.9 conform, I am a bit tired to look at news every week. Or is that to much, I ask for?

    • Hi Roland,

      We will notify customers via email for the release of this update, and on the blog of course.

      It takes a lot of time to do these type of things unfortunately,
      Thanks, Ben

    • Yes, when your server is updated from Ruby 1.8 to 1.9 you will receive an email from us prior to the change.

      We try to limit the number of emails that we send to you unless it’s a change that affects the usability of your account. That is why we post more updates to this blog so you can see some additional information between big changes, if you choose.

  • Any news yet? The latest “state of the world” blog post didn’t mention anything about ruby upgrades or phusion… i’m holding my breath to get to ruby-2.0 so i can dump my old apps (running on sunsetted ruby 1.8.x & rails 2.3.x)

    thanks, in advance, for any realistic timing news…


    • right… i’d like to add that the lead post here that you’ll be “updating all servers to a newer version of Phusion Passenger (the 4.0 branch) in November. ”

      thanks for any info.
      mr rogers

      • I do apologize for the incorrect ETA given earlier. We had to change the timetable and instead focus on deploying our new packages to all servers prior to deploying Passenger. These new packages lay the groundwork to allow us to deploy new software, including Passenger, much quicker.

        We expect to be done with this deployment before the end of January and then we will be proceeding with the Passenger deployment next. Once we have a clearly defined ETA it will be posted on the blog.

        • Given the switch around, can we get an ETA on the ETA? I need something more solid to report.

          • We do not have an ETA to give out. We are working on it but as Graham said we have to get a lot of other pieces to get out in order so we can do this in a better manner that is easier to keep up to date long term.

            RoR does not make system wide upgrades easy unfortunately.

            Thanks, Ben