Matt Van Horn

Things I Like

(and some that I don't)

Passenger Headaches

April 2nd 2009

I’ve been using Phusion Passenger and Apache2 for a little while as my development setup, since it is hassle free for setting up apps and switching between them. I don’t miss typing ./script/server 100 times a day at all. However, Over the last couple of weeks I’ve run into a few issues that sidetracked me for more time than they were worth.

First, I realized that one of my apps that was using Thoughtbot’s Paperclip for attachments was no longer making thumbnails, and it wasn’t giving me an errors either. In case you are having this problem too, here’s the cause and solution (as found here.) Apparently mod_rails apps run as the same user as Apache so whatever is in your personal $PATH doesn’t carry over. Therefore it is not finding the ImageMagick binaries. The solution is to create an initializers/paperclip_config.rb file something like: if RAILS_ENV == “development” Paperclip.options[:image_magick_path] = ‘/opt/local/bin/’ else Paperclip.options[:image_magick_path] = ‘/usr/bin/’ end Now it can find the programs it needs for the thumbnails, and you’re back in business.

The next issue I ran into was with Authlogic, which is my current favorite authentication solution. Apparently, when using Passenger 2.0.6 with Rails 2.3.2 and using the cookie session store, you are prevented from logging out. I’m not sure why, but the solution is either to use the ActiveRecord session, or to upgrade to 2.2.1+ which is what worked for me.

Now, today I hit another little glitch when using the ruby-ole and spreadsheet gems. The gem uses the ruby logger writing to STDERR by default, and it seems that while Mongrel can route the log messages to the right place, Passenger just throws a “stream closed” error. The solution was just to add the following line to environment.rb Ole::Log = RAILS_DEFAULT_LOGGER Simple enough, but it took me a long time (and a coworker’s input) to realize what was going on.

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