Ruby on Rails Dreamhost plugin

Update 2/11/07: Just to clarify, this plugin won’t keep your Rails site running on Dreamhost if the sum of all your running processes exceeds 200MB (which is when their process monitor kills your processes). Run ps aux and sum the VSZ column and then divide by 1024. If you’re pushing the limit and are only running one Rails site you may want to look at another provider. If you’re running multiple Rails sites, run each site under a different user (one account can create many users).

Per Thomas Aylott’s suggestion on my previous post Keeping Rails Running at Dreamhost Part 2 I’ve decided to release my Dreamhost signal handling code as a Rails plugin. I’m using it on a Rails 1.2.1 site and a Rails 1.1.6 site.

Here’s the deal:

1. Get your Rails site running on Dreamhost (the wiki should you get you there).
2. Once you’ve got it working, if you experience occasional 500 errors try my signal handling plugin. I still had 500 errors with the frao_handler approach described on the wiki, but if my plugin doesn’t work for you it can’t hurt to try it.

Here’s how to install the plugin:

script/plugin install

With the plugin installed, the dispatch.fcgi will defer exiting when Dreamhost sends your dispatch.fcgi process a TERM signal if it is in the middle of handling a request, otherwise it behaves normally. This has reduced the 500 error rate on my two rails based sites to zero, your mileage may vary though. If you still have problems please don’t comment here and say it doesn’t work, instead figure out the problem and email a patch to thuss [at] gabrito [o] com!

The subversion repo for the plugin is at If you have other Dreamhost related fixes that make sense for this plugin send them to me and I’ll incorporate them.

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