Topic: Best/Cheapest Host

Hi all - I've been on Bluehost for a few years and as you probably know, they aren't the best suited for Rails deployment.

I'm looking to transfer my domain to a new host that supports all the latest and greatest Rails goodness.

Does anyone have a recommendation for the best (and cheapest) host?

Thanks in advance...

Re: Best/Cheapest Host

I used LayerShift for a year about 2 years ago. They were pretty quick at getting gems installed on the server for me and I rarely had any complaints. I'd recommend a VPS or one of RackSpace's CloudServers. Yuo can get them at a decent price and you'll have full control over the server.

Otherwise you could check out Heroku.

Re: Best/Cheapest Host

I would highly recommend Linode. Support is very good, very flexible and has worked great for RoR hosting. This was my 1st time setting up my own linux box and it was quite easy.

Re: Best/Cheapest Host

We've been on Slicehost (now Rackspace) for about 3 years.  They cost a little more but their support is amazing.

Play postseason fantasy sports at Fantasy Postseason - Written in RoR

Re: Best/Cheapest Host

jmesserer wrote:

I would highly recommend Linode. Support is very good, very flexible and has worked great for RoR hosting. This was my 1st time setting up my own linux box and it was quite easy.

Hello, I seriously want to use linode, But I'm not a Linux geek (yet), and Have found it troublesome to get started with the available tutorials provided by linode, Can you tell me if there's a more simplified tutorial for newbies out there?

On the other hand, Is linode as fully-featured as Heroku is ?

Re: Best/Cheapest Host

The reason I picked Linode was because Heroku doesn't allow you to save data to the file-system (correct me if I am wrong). I also wanted to take this opportunity to get a *nix box up and running. I have setup a few Linodes now it really doesn't take that long. I can try and walk you through it when you have trouble but for the most part I followed their documents.

Follow these in order:
Getting Started

That should get you started.

Re: Best/Cheapest Host

Well, thank you very much jmesserer !

I apologize for the delayed response, I'm thrilled about learning how to deploy rails apps to linode, but I'm more excited about the possibility of having your assistance. I'll read all the documentation and get started. I really need to get this done !
Incidentally, since linode (contrary to heroku) is a hosting solution that provides total control, It's easy to assume that in order to run rails apps, one'd have to install a web server as well, right? Can you tell me a little about this? which server did you install and why? (which ones work best in linode?)
Oh, and I guess installing rails, ruby is also mandatory....

Thanks again, I'll certainly be posting back as I Progress...

Have a nice day !



Re: Best/Cheapest Host

So I can better understand where you are in the process can you answer the following questions?

Have you purchased a Linode account yet?
Have you deployed a linux distro to your Linode (if not, I would choose Ubuntu 10.04 LTS - 32 bit)?

If not, get started there.

Re: Best/Cheapest Host


My answer to both questions is no. The main reason I've not yet purchased the account is because I wanna do it the moment I know what to do with it and don't waste valuable days being unproductive.
Regarding the linux distro, the one you mention is exactly the one I would choose, which is the one I'm using right now.

So, basically you're saying I should just go for it, and start by setting up the nix box? (This would be like the first step)

I have another question, which I believe is really important, Once I hypothetically have everything installed and ready (ruby, rails, web server, db, etc): How many rails applications can I deploy to my account? Is it just one ? or can it be more?

Thank you for all your help, sir! I can't thank you enough...


Re: Best/Cheapest Host

I would just go for it. You will know in 1 month whether or not it is going to work for you so if it doesn't (and I would be surprised if it doesn't) you are only out $20.

If you are going to sign up for Linode please use my referral link located here.

You can host as many RoR, PHP, HTML, ... applications as you want. The only limitation is how many resources are required to run each application. Based on my experience with Linode you can run a lot on their smallest package (Linode 512) so I would start from there (you can easily upgrade anytime). I am running 6 RoR applications on a Linode 768 package and it works great (I could probably get by with a 512 but I am hoping for a surge in traffic soon - fingers crossed :-)). But it all depends on the specific resources to run your application.

Re: Best/Cheapest Host

Hi there ! Good to know there's room for more than one app per plan, that's definitely good news, and sure, I'll use your referral link, I'm glad to help, it's the least I could do in this case actually. I'm sorry If I happen to be a little annoying here, but can you answer me these questions...
Which web server did you install to run your rails apps?(is there a tutorial for it)
Am I correct when I assume that installing Ruby, Rails, a DB is also a step of the process of setting up the server for the rails apps?

Good luck in your endeavors ! and thank you for your time,

Best Regards,

Re: Best/Cheapest Host

Sure, I used Apache + Passenger (or mod-rails as it is also known). Yes the tutorials Linode has for it are good, that is what I followed.

Yes - you must install anything you need since the Linode comes with just the OS loaded (after you select one and boot it). That is why it is so powerful, you control everything about your environment. It seems overwhelming but it is actually quite easy. I actually find it easier than installing Apache, MySQL, and other technologies on Windows. Ubuntu (and I am sure some other *nix distros) make it easy.

Re: Best/Cheapest Host

That all sounds really good and inspiring to get me started, I appreciate the level of detail you've used in your responses, for now, I think that's all I need to know. I'll be purchasing my linode account soon, in less than 24 hours I believe, I'll posting back soon to let you know how has all worked out for me, well, thank you very much, it is this kind of help we newbies need in these situations, for that, as I said before I can't thank you enough..



Re: Best/Cheapest Host

Hi ! I hope not to be troubling you too much with this message, To keep it short, I need help configuring my Apache Sever using passenger.

So far I've been attempting to do this locally, after installing the required gems I followed the steps listed on the tutorial at the end of the plugin installation, but I've Not been successful on the matter.

Basically what I want to do is to run a rails application I have on my machine at home, so my httpd.conf file looks like this:

LoadModule passenger_module /home/jose/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-p136/gems/passenger-3.0.6/ext/apache2/
PassengerRoot /home/jose/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-p136/gems/passenger-3.0.6
PassengerRuby /home/jose/.rvm/wrappers/ruby-1.9.2-p136/ruby

<VirtualHost *:80>
  ServerName  localhost
  DocumentRoot /hamldemo/public
  <Directory /somewhere/public>
    AllowOverride all              
    Options -MultiViews            

I figured it'd be right to use the parameter localhost to ServerName, since I intend to run it locally, but when I restart Apache, I get the following error(s):

Warning: DocumentRoot [/hamldemo/public] does not exist
apache2: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using for ServerName
 ... waiting Warning: DocumentRoot [/hamldemo/public] does not exist
apache2: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using for ServerName

It says my RoR app does not exist, and somehow switched the name the server name ip from to

Can you help me out? I basically want to learn how to deploy to Apache on my computer at home, and maybe you've already gone through all this.

Thank you, and sorry If this happens to trouble you, I've not found proper help on the internet,

Best Regards,


Re: Best/Cheapest Host

I don't have any experience getting it working on my localhost.

I develop on Windows using the RoRs built in webservers (Webrick ande Mongrel).

Does this help at all - … ServerName ?

Re: Best/Cheapest Host

Well, it seems I have a lot of work to do then, ha ha...

There has got to be a way to do it, And I must find out the way, because I feel it's necessary in order to continue. Thank you anyways, I'll see how to get it to work, so far the link you provided hasn't been useful, the error is pretty messed up :S : let's see what I can do, and thanks again !


Re: Best/Cheapest Host

I see a discrepancy in your httpd.conf file ... I think. You have different paths in your DocumentRoot and Directory settings. They should match.

Another thought - I configured Apache according to the Linode docs, they put your site specific configurations in /etc/apache2/sites-available.

My httpd.conf is actually empty and I have a configuration file for each domain/application in /etc/apache2/sites-available.
Example file:

<VirtualHost *:80>

    #path where Capistrano deploys to
     DocumentRoot /srv/www/test/current/public

     ErrorLog /srv/www/test/logs/error.log
     CustomLog /srv/www/test/logs/access.log combined


Maybe you need to change references of '' to localhost?

By the way - I do have a laptop running Ubuntu that I do RoR development on or there but I haven't bothered to install Apache, I just use the RoR built in webservers. I am using Apache + Passenger in my deployed environments.

Re: Best/Cheapest Host

Hello there !

You're totally right, the httpd.conf its better left empty, and since apache uses the virtual server concept the recommended practice is as you said to create a new file for every site you're trying to enable. This guide has been useful, as It contains details on how to get an app to run on localhost as I needed...
now I have got my application "running", but it only to display the literal contents of the public directory of my rails application, like:


I'm getting close, but there's something I'm seriously missing to start my app as a Rails app I guess....

Thank you very much sir, your last post was really insightful !

I'll keep researching, and.. thanks for your time!

Good Luck !

Re: Best/Cheapest Host

I think you might be missing something Apache/Ruby related ... did you install libapache2-mod-ruby?

Re: Best/Cheapest Host

I assume you also installed libapache2-mod-passenger, libopenssl-ruby, build-essential, and rubygems?

apt-get install libapache2-mod-passenger libopenssl-ruby build-essential rubygems 

I also assume you installed Passenger (