Passenger on Ubuntu

Brightbox maintain Ubuntu packages for Phusion Passenger - the Apache ‘mod_rails’ hosting solution written by the team at Phusion.

If you’re using our Ubuntu Ruby “NG” Packages then you can just skip to the installation section - you don’t need to add another repository.

If you’d rather just use only our passenger packages, then you can use our passenger specific repository:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:brightbox/passenger
sudo apt-get update

Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy

If you’re on the older Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy release, the apt-add-repository command isn’t available so you have to install the repository and the key by hand:

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb hardy main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/brightbox-passenger.list'
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys C3173AA6
sudo apt-get update


sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-passenger

And then reload apache and you’re ready to go.


We have a separate repository for the nginx packages - again, you don’t need this if you’re using our Ruby package repository:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:brightbox/passenger-nginx
sudo apt-get update

Then installed nginx:

sudo apt-get install nginx-full

You’ll then need to enable the Passenger module, which can be usually done like this:

cat <<EOF > /etc/nginx/conf.d/passenger.conf
passenger_root /usr/lib/phusion-passenger;

Brightbox Ubuntu Packages

To take full advantage of Passenger, you should use our Ubuntu Ruby packages. They have copy-on-write support patched in which means your app will use much less ram.

Experimental Passenger 4 packages

We’re currently working on packages for the upcoming Passenger 4 (currently in beta). You can help test these packages, but be warned that they might be buggy (and they currently only work with Apache):

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:brightbox/passenger-experimental
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-passenger

All the separate passenger-common packages have just merged into one package named ruby-passenger. The packages are currently built only for Ubuntu Lucid, Oneiric and Precise and will work with or without our Ubuntu Ruby packages (though we’d recommend them!).

Please send success stories or bug reports to

Last updated: 25 Apr 2016 at 09:24 UTC

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