Writing a Passenger Module for Puppet – Vagrant

Following the steps described in the “Deploying Rails Applications” book and using the currently latest puppet installation described here, the actual puppet files had to be modified slightly in order to make it work as expected.

The main issues requiring the changes were as follow:

  • System wide rvm installation – different paths, and the use of the rvmsudo command instead of sudo
  • Use of latest puppet gem (3.0.1) – ruby 1.9.3 is supported
  • Use of Debian/Ubuntu system – different way of configuring passenger with apache2

So the full file for the passenger module (puppet/modules/passenger/manifests/init.pp) is:

Going through the file one of the first things to notice is the declaration about the “apache2-prefork-dev” package installation

The reason for this package, is that when trying to compile the passenger apache module (passenger-install-apache2-module), the script will complain that the following packages are missing:

By installing the first of the packages (apache2-prefork-dev) the other two are installed automatically as dependencies.

NOTE In trying to install it in an Ubuntu AMI image in AWS EC2 there is also an additional package requirement because the installer complains about:

So there is the additional package added as:

Further down there are two file resources named “passenger_conf” and “passenger_load”.
Looking at the structure in debian for the apache2 configuration it seems that apache2 in debian needs two different files for each module that can be loaded one with named as module.conf and another as module.load to be placed into /etc/apache2/mods-available.

So we can create these two files and placed them in the files folder, as:


and, puppet/modules/passenger/files/passenger.load

Which you can actually see if you compile manually the passenger apache2 module as they are described in the output on successful compilation:

Finally the last section of the init.pp file enables the passenger module with the a2enmod apache command:

A couple of useful apache2 commands when testing are:

  • To test what modules are availble for loading: If run after creating the two passenger files passenger.conf and passenger.load, then the passenger module should appear in the list
  • To see the currently enabled modules: Which again if it is run after the passenger modules has been enabled with a2enmod passenger then it should show an entry with