Deploy an Existing Rails Application
Posted by on 16 December 2013 12:54 PM
So, you've developed an application and are ready to deploy it for the world to see? Standard deployment is relatively simple on Cirtex's shared plans. You may also want to consider Capistrano.
Note: we use Ruby with Passenger while cPanel uses Ruby with Mongrel, so the cPanel Ruby app is not available.
PrerequisitesFirst and foremost, you will need SSH. Create a support ticket for your account to get it enabled. In this tutorial, we will use the 'ssh' command line utility (which comes bundled with most Unix-like systems). There are some Windows applications (such as PuTTY) available as well.
Freezing your AppIf you've developed your app locally, you'll want to freeze your gems before you upload it. This means your code will run against the same gems you have installed on your computer, and not whatever version happens to be installed on Cirtex's servers. Make sure to keep your app's gems up to date with security fixes and such as time goes on.
cd ~/myapp rake rails:freeze:gems
File UploadYou can use a utility called SCP that uses the SSH protocol to transfer files.
Database InitializationAt this point, if you have not set up your MySQL database on Cirtex, you should do that now. You have to create a database, user, and password on your cPanel (accessed at http://example.com/cpanel). Now back at the terminal update the config file:
And update the data under 'production:' to reflect the database and user you created. In the database name and username include your account name prefix.
For example: if your account name is 'chiefwiggum' and you made database called 'perpetrators', the you'll type the database name 'chiefwiggum_perpetrators' into the database.yml file.
Ruby on Rails won't start if your source code is write-enabled for anyone other than you.
Note: that second 'w' means that group writing is enabled,while the third 'w' indicates that anyone can write to myapp/.
Rails will refuse to start if either of these are set, so turn them off:
chmod -R go-w myapp
This will remove (-) write permissions (w) from myapp/ and all subdirectories (-R) for groups (g) and other users (o).
Database UpdateNow our application is on the server, but the database isn't set up/up to date. To update the database:
This will use the database migrations to create the database and set the Rails environment to production. Just to be sure, complete this:cd ~/myapp/config
And remove the comment before the line:
ENV['RAILS_ENV'] ||= 'production'
Note: for Rails 2.3.3 and above this line will not appear at all in environment.rb. You'll need to add it at the top of the file.
Linking to public_html
Finally, we uploaded the application to the directory ~/myapp. However, when a request is made to the server, you can only actually see requests in ~/public_html directory. You should NEVER upload your application to the public_html directory. Instead, we create a symbolic link:
This would create a symbolic link between your applications public directory and the /myapp directory on your domain. To view your application, you would go to 'http://example.com/myapp'. If you wanted it to be just at 'http://example.com', you would have to create a symbolic link with public_html. So instead of the last command, you would:
Now there isn't actually a directory called public_html, but instead it is a link to ~/myapp/public.
RailsBaseURI /myappNote: you don't need to do this if you're replacing 'public_html'. 'mod_rails' will see the app automatically.
You will probably want to leave the existing contents of the .htaccess, as there might be custom rewrite rules in there for particular URLs used by the application. 'mod_rails' will override any use of FastCGI or CGI in the file.
Important Note About Updating Your ApplicationWhen you update your application the chances are that there will still be a 'mod_rails' process running. Restarting is very simple. Just upload a blank file named restart.txt into '~/myapp/tmp/'. 'mod_rails' looks at the time when the file was last updated and will restart your application if that file is newer than when it started your app. Any time you need to restart the application, simply upload the blank restart.txt file again to update it's timestamp.
You can also upload a blank always_restart.txt file into the 'tmp' directory and will always restart your application on every request. However, this will cause a significant performance degradation so only use it for debugging.
Congratulations, you have successfully deployed a Rails application on Cirtex Hosting!
Deploying an Existing Rails Application to Cirtex NotesThese notes are for a Rails application that used MySQL and was developed on a Windows operating system. Follow the directions above with the following modifications: