The Camping Server for Apache + FastCGI

  1. Install Apache 2.
  2. Install mod_fastcgi.
  3. Add to Apache’s httpd.conf:
     AddHandler fastcgi-script rb
     ScriptAlias / /usr/local/www/data/dispatch.rb/
  4. In dispatch.rb:
     require 'rubygems'
     require 'camping/fastcgi'
     Camping::Models::Base.establish_connection :adapter => 'sqlite3',
       :database => "/tmp/camping.db"

Serving One File

The above setup will serve a whole directory, just like TheCampingServer. If you only want to serve one app (at the root) change the last line in dispatch.rb to point to a single file.


Mounting at a Subdirectory

You can certainly use ScriptAlias to attach the Camping app to a subdirectory, rather than root. If you are using URL() and R() in your code, the paths will change accordingly.

 ScriptAlias /myapp /usr/local/www/data/dispatch.rb/

FastCGI .htaccess

This is a basic FastCGI .htaccess file. The last line is the most important.

AddHandler fastcgi-script .fcgi 

Options +FollowSymLinks +ExecCGI  

RewriteEngine On  
RewriteRule ^$ index.html [QSA] 
RewriteRule ^([^.]+)$ $1.html [QSA] 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ dispatch.fcgi/$1 [QSA,L]


* Make sure your dispatch.fcgi is marked as executable! Run “chmod 755 dispatch.fcgi” if you’re not sure. * The second part of GEM_PATH should be your host’s installed gems location, the example below is taken from Dreamhost.


ENV['GEM_PATH'] = '/path/to/my/gems:/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8'
ENV['GEM_HOME'] = '/path/to/my/gems'

Dir.chdir '/path/to/my_app'

require 'my_app'

class ApacheFixer
  def initialize(app); @app = app; end

  def call(env)
    env['SCRIPT_NAME'] = '/'
    env['PATH_INFO'] = env['REQUEST_URI'][0..(env["REQUEST_URI"].index("?")||0)-1]

Using CGI

If you’re having issues with FastCGI, try to get it working with CGI first. To do this, change the examples above:

  • In dispatch.fcgi, change “Rack::Handler::FastCGI” to “Rack::Handler::CGI”.
  • Rename dispatch.fcgi to dispatch.cgi.
  • Update the last line of .htaccess to point to dispatch.cgi instead of dispatch.fcgi.

Notes for Dreamhost

  • If you’re having trouble with timeouts, try getting this to work for CGI first. If CGI works, then FastCGI should work, and Dreamhost is just being stupid. Change it back to use FastCGI, and come back later. This worked for me a couple times, and I place the blame on Dreamhost.
  • Set up your own gem path that you can install to and edit manually.
  • If you followed the Dreamhost guide to making your own gem path, your gem path would be /home/username/.gems.
  • If you’re trying to install gems remotely, Dreamhost will probably kill the process before it finishes. For me, using the ‘nice’ command didn’t help. Get the gem files, scp them to your server, and install them locally (i.e. “gem install activesupport-2.1.0.gem”). This means installing dependencies in turn (activesupport, markaby, and metaid before camping).

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