Deploying a RhoConnect Application

Deploying On-Premise

The sinatra book has some great deployment documentation that you should review before running your RhoConnect application in production.

Deploying packaged RhoConnect software on Linux servers

You can create RhoConnect production environment on Linux servers by installing software packages for Ubuntu and CentOS respectively. At this moment supported formats are Debian (deb) and Red Hat (rpm) packages.

Every package provides the following components:

  • Ruby, version 1.9.3

  • Node.js, version v0.10.x

  • Nginx HTTP server, release 1.3.x

  • Thin application server, release 1.5.x

  • Redis data store, release 2.6.x

  • Latest RhoConnect gem with all required dependencies

In addition, RPM package provides latest sqlite3 headers and binaries, because standard Cent OS (5.x) libraries for sqlite3 outdated.

Getting the Packages

To download the RhoConnect debian package, you first must add our repo to your list of sources.

Steps for Debian-Based Linux Users

Add the following line to the end of your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb rhoconnect main

If you want to get the package with cool new features from the Beta repository, then define repo url as

Once the repo is added apt-get needs to be updated:

$ sudo apt-get update

Once that is done, it is time to install RhoConnect:

$ sudo apt-get install rhoconnect

Steps for RedHat-Based Linux Users

Prerequisites: target Linux server should include CentOS Development tools. To install them, use the this command

$ yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'

It will install for you such tools as GNU GCC C/C++ compiler, make and others.

Vanilla CentOS distribution does not include some packages required by RhoConnect installer. To resolve dependencies you might wanted to use Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repository and install Python26 out of it.

For example, to enable EPEL repository for CentOS 5.x release execute these commands:

$ wget
$ rpm -i epel-release-5*.rpm
$ yum update
$ yum install python26

For CentOS 6.x release:

$ wget
$ rpm -i epel-release-6*.rpm
$ yum update

Now you can create a file named rhoconnect.repo in the /etc/yum.repos.d/ directory:

$ sudo vim /etc/yum.repos.d/rhoconnect.repo

Copy and paste these contents into the file.


If you want to get the package with cool new features from the Beta repository, then define baseurl as baseurl=

Once that is done, it is time to install RhoConnect:

$ sudo yum install rhoconnect

Final Steps (After the installer is finished)

Installer also created and configured RhoConnect rhoapp application in /opt/nginx/html directory. To test it you need to as a root user start redis, thin, and nginx servers:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/redis start
$ sudo /etc/init.d/thin start
$ sudo /etc/init.d/nginx start

And verify that it’s up and running by visiting application web console in your browser:


Configuration of web and application servers

Installer compiled and configured Nginx as reverse proxy web server (/opt/nginx) with the following settings:

  • Nginx start-up script (/etc/init.d/nginx)

  • Nginx logrotate settings (/etc/logrotate.d/nginx)

  • Nginx configuration file (/opt/nginx/conf/nginx.conf)

  • virtual host template for rhoconnect application (/opt/nginx/conf/conf.d/rhoconnect.conf)

Installer also configured Thin app server with the following configuration files:

  • Thin start-up script (/etc/init.d/thin)

  • Thin configuration file (/etc/thin/rhoapp.yml)

Default setup of Nginx server is to deal with back-end servers (called “upstreams”) that are running on UNIX domain sockets:

# /opt/nginx/conf/conf.d/rhoconnect.conf file

upstream thin_cluster {
  server unix:/tmp/thin.0.sock;
  server unix:/tmp/thin.1.sock;
# Add additional copies if need more Thin servers
  #server unix:/tmp/thin.2.sock;
  #server unix:/tmp/thin.3.sock;

server {
  listen      80;
  # Be sure to point to 'public' folder of your application!
  root  /opt/nginx/html/rhoapp/public;
  # ...


Thin application server runs as a cluster with /etc/thin/rhoapp.yml configuration file:

chdir: /opt/nginx/html/rhoapp
environment: production
timeout: 30
log: /var/log/thin/thin.log
pid: /var/run/thin/
max_conns: 1024
max_persistent_conns: 512
require: []
wait: 30
socket: /tmp/thin.sock
servers: 2
daemonize: true

Configuration file is generated by this command:

$ thin config -C /etc/thin/rhoapp.yml -c /opt/nginx/html/rhoapp/ --socket /tmp/thin.sock --servers 2 --log /var/log/thin/thin.log --pid /var/run/thin/ -e production

Development and deployment of RhoConnect applications

Packaged software does not setup automatically path to installed ruby bins and gems, so you need do it manually. Add necessary bins to the path(s) of the users who will be using this software. You may also wish to add these items to your bash scripts (i.e. ~/.profile on Ubuntu; ~/.bash_profile on CentOS) to automatically add them upon login.

export PATH=/opt/rhoconnect/bin:$PATH

Deploying a rhoconnect app

To deploy and develop your rhoconnect app on nginx and thin servers

a) Copy your rhoconnect project (lets name it as your_rhoconnect_app) to default location to /opt/nginx/html directory

b) Set up for it nginx owner

$ cd /opt/nginx/html
$ sudo chown -R nginx:nginx your_rhoconnect_app/

c) Make sure that your app is bundled properly

$ cd your_rhoconnect_app
$ sudo /opt/rhoconnect/bin/bundle install

d) Configure Nginx virtual host for your rhoconnect application. For that edit the file /opt/nginx/conf/conf.d/rhoconnect.conf, so that it reflects your specifications (root directive)

# ...
server {
  listen      80;
  # Be sure your app have 'public' folder and root directive
  # point to it!
  root  /opt/nginx/html/your_rhoconnect_app/public;
  # ...

e) Edit Thin /etc/thin/rhoapp.yml configuration file directly

chdir: /opt/nginx/html/your_rhoconnect_app
# ...

or as root user generate a new one

$ env PATH=/opt/rhoconnect/bin:$PATH thin config -C /etc/thin/your_rhoconnect_app.yml \
-c /opt/nginx/html/your_rhoconnect_app/ \
--socket /tmp/thin.sock --servers 2 --log /var/log/thin/thin.log \
--user nginx --group nginx \
--pid /var/run/thin/ -e production

f) As root user restart Thin, and Nginx servers

/etc/init.d/thin restart
/etc/init.d/nginx restart

Deploying multiple rhoconnect apps

Deploying multiple rhoconnect apps on nginx has not yet been tested. Perform these steps only if you are experienced with nginx.

To deploy and develop two rhoconnect applications on nginx and thin servers, refer to the nginx documentation on nginx server blocks to see how to configure an nginx sever for multiple host names.

For each rhoconnect app, you need to set up its own redis instance. Refer to the redis quick start documentation.

If you have questions on setting this up, contact your system administrator.

Monitoring and Logging

For monitoring and troubleshooting purposes visit web console of your app and look at log files in /opt/nginx/logs.

Also you can use RhoConnect /opt/nginx/html/rhoapp application as a template and modify it as you wanted.

You should pay attentions to situations, if you have already Ruby installed on system level. Avoid usage of system gems in your application. It might lead to unpredictable results, if ruby versions are different. Either set up path to rhoconnect binaries for root user, or install required gems as sudo /opt/rhoconnect/bin/gem install gem_name

Nginx configuration for SSL with self-signed certificate

About Self-Signed Certificates

A SSL certificate is a way to encrypt a site’s information and create a more secure connection. This chapter will take you through generating a self-signed certificate to use with Nginx.

Create a Directory for the Certificate

The SSL certificate has 2 main parts: the certificate itself and the public key. To make all of the relevant files easy to access, you should create a directory to store them in:

$ sudo mkdir /opt/nginx/ssl

We will perform the next few steps within the directory:

$ cd /opt/nginx/ssl

Create the Server Key and Certificate Signing Request

Start by creating the private server key. During this process, you will be asked to enter a specific passphrase. Be sure to note this phrase carefully, if you forget it or lose it, you will not be able to access the certificate.

$ openssl genrsa -des3 -out server.key 1024
Generating RSA private key, 1024 bit long modulus
e is 65537 (0x10001)
Enter pass phrase for server.key:
Verifying - Enter pass phrase for server.key:

Follow up by creating a certificate signing request:

$ openssl req -new -key server.key -out server.csr

This command will prompt terminal to display a lists of fields that need to be filled in. The most important line is “Common Name”. Enter your official domain name here or, if you don’t have one yet, your site’s IP address. Leave the challenge password and optional company name blank.

Enter pass phrase for server.key:
You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:YOUR_COUNTRY
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:YOUR_STATE
Locality Name (eg, city) []:YOUR_CITY
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]:YOUR_COMPANY
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:YOUR_UNIT
Common Name (eg, YOUR name) []:YOUR_DOMAINNAME_HERE
Email Address []:YOUR_EMAIL

Please enter the following 'extra' attributes
to be sent with your certificate request
A challenge password []:
An optional company name []:

Remove the Passphrase

We are almost finished creating the certificate. However, it would serve us to remove the passphrase. Although having the passphrase in place does provide heightened security, the issue starts when one tries to reload nginx. In the event that nginx crashes or needs to reboot, you will always have to re-enter your passphrase to get your entire web server back online.

Use these commands to remove the password: :::term $ cp server.key $ openssl rsa -in -out server.key

Sign your SSL Certificate

Your certificate is all but done, and you just have to sign it.

Keep in mind that you can specify how long the certificate should remain valid by changing the 365 to the number of days you prefer. As it stands this certificate will expire after one year.

$ openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in server.csr -signkey server.key -out server.crt
Signature ok
subject= ...
Getting Private key

Set Up the Certificate

Now we have all of the required components of the finished certificate. The next thing to do is to set up the virtual host to serve your domain from HTTS connection.

Update existing Nginx /opt/nginx/conf/conf.d/https_rhoconnect.conf configuration file by including the newly signed certificate and private key:

upstream thin_cluster {
  # ...

# HTTPS server
server {
        listen 443;
        server_name YOUR_DOMAINNAME_HERE;
      root  /opt/nginx/html/#{app_name}/public;

    location / {
      # ...
        proxy_pass http://thin_cluster;

        ssl on;
        ssl_certificate /opt/nginx/ssl/server.crt;
        ssl_certificate_key /opt/nginx/ssl/server.key;

Activate the Virtual Host

Restart nginx:

$ /etc/init.d/nginx restart

Now we’re ready to access the above host using:


Deploying RhoConnect Redis and Push packages on Linux servers

RhoConnect Redis

RhoConnect Redis is a packaged Redis server for RhoConnect development and production environment on Linux servers. rhoconnect-redis package might be useful if you want to deploy Redis on separate server.

The package compiles from sources latest stable Redis release (2.4.15) and installs it to /opt/rhoconnect directory with the following settings:

  • Redis server configuration file (/opt/rhoconnect/etc/redis.conf)

  • log files located in /var/log/redis directory

  • start-up scripts in /etc/init and /etc/init.d directories

Steps for Debian-Based Linux Users

Add the following line to the end of your /etc/apt/sources.list.

deb rhoconnect-repo main

Then update the repo list and install RhoConnect Redis.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install rhoconnect-redis

When Redis server is successfully installed, start it using the following command.

$ sudo start rhoconnect-redis

Steps for RedHat-Based Linux Users

Create a file named rhoconnect-repo.repo in the /etc/yum.repos.d/ directory.

$ sudo nano /etc/yum.repos.d/rhoconnect-repo.repo

Copy and paste these contents into the file.

name=Rhoconnect Redis

Once that is done, install the RhoConnect Push service.

$ sudo yum install rhoconnect-redis

You can start a redis server using the following command.

$ sudo /etc/init.d/redis start

RhoConnect Push Service

You can create a RhoConnect Push production environment on Linux servers by installing prepackaged software for Ubuntu (12.x) and CentOS (5.x/6.x). In a few clicks, you will have installed on your Linux server.

  • Node.js with Npm package manager

  • RhoConnect Push service

  • Upstart script to start, stop, and control Push service (for Ubuntu and CentOS 6.x)

  • /etc/init.d/rhoconnect-push init script to start, stop, and restart Push service (CentOS 5.x)


* Python 2.6 or 2.7

Steps for Debian-Based Linux Users

Add the following line to the end of your /etc/apt/sources.list.

deb rhoconnect-repo main

Then update the repo list and install RhoConnect Push.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install rhoconnect-push

Steps for RedHat-Based Linux Users

Node.js requires python 2.6 which is not available for CentOS 5 stock version. For this flavor of linux you need to manually install EPEL repo and install python26 RPM out of it:

$ wget
$ rpm -i epel-release-5*.rpm
$ yum install python26

Now create a file named rhoconnect-repo.repo in the /etc/yum.repos.d/ directory.

$ sudo nano /etc/yum.repos.d/rhoconnect-repo.repo

Copy and paste the following contents into the file.

name=Rhoconnect Push Service

Once that is done, install the RhoConnect Push service.

$ sudo yum install rhoconnect-push

Deploying into J2EE environment

In JRuby environment, there is an option to create the WAR container for the RhoConnect app and deploy it into the J2EE App Server. (see the corresponding ‘rake’ task for creating the WAR containers). Deploying the WAR container varies per J2EE App Server, for JBoss it is necessary to place the WAR file into the server’s deploy directory.

Deploying warbler package on Apache Tomcat web server

To successfully deploy warbler package on Tomcat you need to make rhoconnect app be the default app. There are a few ways to reach this goal and we describe only a couple of them.

Method 1

1) Stop Tomcat

2) Delete the ROOT directory under $CATALINA_BASE/webapps

3) Name your war file as ROOT.war (capitals mandatory)

4) Drop the ROOT.war file directly in the $CATALINA_BASE/webapps directory

5) Start Tomcat

Method 2

1) Stop Tomcat

2) Copy your war file in $CATALINA_BASE/webapps, under its original name

3) Turn off autoDeploy and deployOnStartup in your Host element in the server.xml file.

4) Explicitly define your application context in server.xml, specifying both path (must be empty!) and docBase.

<Host name="localhost"  appBase="webapps"
   unpackWARs="true" autoDeploy="false" deployOnStartup="false">
   <!-- ...  -->
   <Context docBase="your-app.war" path=""/>
   <!-- ...  -->

5) Start Tomcat

Deploying on Heroku


Create Rhoconnect application

Create your Rhoconnect app and make sure that it’s up and running in your development environment using thin:

$ cd your_rhoconnect_app
$ bundle exec thin start

Deploy to Heroku

Heroku uses git as its deployment interface. To create and deploy your application on Heroku, use the the following steps:

$ git init
$ git add .
$ git commit -m 'initial commit'
$ heroku create --buildpack=
$ heroku addons:add redistogo:nano
$ git push heroku master
$ heroku open

Monitoring app on Heroku

Use heroku ps to determine the number of processes that are executing. Use heroku logs to view an aggregated list of log messages from all process types.

$ heroku ps
$ heroku logs

Get connected with Rhodes client

If you have a rhodes client and want to sync it with your rhoconnect app on Heroku, then set the proper syncserver URL in rhoconfig.txt:

syncserver = 'https://<your-heroku-app-here>'
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