Getting started with Ruby

With OpenShift you can easily deploy and run Ruby applications.

OpenShift Online currently supports Ruby 1.8, Ruby 1.9, and Ruby 2.0.

Step 1: Create a Ruby Application

This tutorial walks through the creation of an application titled myapp under the domain mydomain. Before going through the rest of the tutorial, make sure to have created an OpenShift account and installed the RHC command line tools.

To create a new Ruby application myapp using rhc, open a terminal window and enter the following command:

$ rhc app create myapp ruby-1.8


$ rhc app create myapp ruby-1.9


$ rhc app create myapp ruby-2.0

and you will see output similar to

Application Options
Domain:     mydomain
Cartridges: ruby-2.0
Gear Size:  default
Scaling:    no

Creating application 'myapp' ... done

Waiting for your DNS name to be available ... done

Cloning into 'myapp'...
The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is cf:ee:77:cb:0e:fc:02:d7:72:7e:ae:80:c0:90:88:a7.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added ',' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.

Your application 'myapp' is now available.

  URL: (1)
  SSH to:
  Git remote: ssh://
  Cloned to:  /home/mydomain/Projects/devcenter/lib/myapp (2)

Run 'rhc show-app myapp' for more details about your app.
1 Public URL of application
2 Location of local Git repository

The application will now be running and accessible at the URL (1) listed in the output. A local git repository for your application was also created in the directory listed under Cloned to (2).

Step 2: Make the First Change

A developer on OpenShift makes code changes on a local machine, checks those changes in locally, and then push those changes to OpenShift. One of the primary advantages of Git is that it does not require a continuous online presence in order to run. A developer can easily check in (in Git terminology, commit) and revert changes locally before deciding to upload those changes to OpenShift.

Using the Git Repository

To make the first change, edit index.html in the myapp/ directory. Go to the file in the terminal and edit with a comand line editor like VIM or EMacs. Alternatively, edit the file using any text editor or IDE. Strip out everything between the <body> tags and change the content to look like this:

        <h1>Hello world!</h1>

Now that you have made this incredibly complicated code change, the code must be deployed to the server. Accomplish this task using Git.

  1. If any changes were made in your local repo, the add command will tell Git to track these changes as part of the next commit:

    $ git add --all .
  2. Next commit the local changes to the git repository and include a message for the commit:

    $ git commit -m "Your commit message"
  3. Finally, push these changes to the remote OpenShift application.

    $ git push

The output of the push command will first show the git push and then the build process and deployment for the OpenShift application. When the build is finished, go back to the application’s URL ( and see a page which just says "Hello World" in nice big font.

This is the basic process to follow when developing an application: git add, code change, git commit, and finally git push.

If you are curious about Git or would like to learn more, the Pro Git book is a great resource.

Step 3: Managing dependencies using Bundler

Probably the most sane way to manage dependencies for Ruby applications is Bundler. OpenShift comes with the build-in support for Bundler and you can simply start using it. No need to fiddle with anything, you can simply use it!

Create a Gemfile in your application directory myapp/Gemfile and add some dependency (Sinatra in this example)

source ''

gem 'sinatra'

and locally run bundle install to actually create Gemfile.lock file that provides current snapshot of dependencies of your application

bundle install

and finally repeat the steps to push the code as you did before

git add .
git commit -m "Dependencies"
git push

the output will look similar to the previous one, but will contain the output of Bundler that is being run inside OpenShift to fetch your dependencies. Your ouput may look like this

remote: Building Ruby cartridge
remote: bundle install --deployment --path ./app-root/repo/vendor/bundle
remote: Fetching gem metadata from
remote: Installing rack (1.5.2)
remote: Installing rack-protection (1.5.3)
remote: Installing tilt (1.4.1)
remote: Installing sinatra (1.4.5)
remote: Using bundler (1.3.5)
remote: Your bundle is complete!
remote: It was installed into ./vendor/bundle

OpenShift was asked to provide me with Sinatra as a dependies and it did.

Other Tips

Hot Deploy and Other Markers

With a normal git push as outlined above, Openshift starts and stops the Ryby application on each deploy. For Ruby applications, the code can be deployed without restarting the server. See Hot Deployment for more information on how OpenShift uses a marker in the git repository to turn on this deployment style.

Adding a Database to an Appliction

Find out how to add a database to your application by going to the Adding a Database guide.

You should only use environment variables to specify the connection parameters for your database. Using hard coded names, ports, or credentials limits the resusability of your app and can potentially break your app during OpenShift maintenance.

Ruby Mirror

OpenShift is mirroring at This mirror is on the same network as your application, and your gem download should be faster.

Edit your Gemfile and replace

source ''


source ''

Environment Variables

The ruby cartridge provides several environment variables to reference for ease of use:

threaddump command

OpenShift’s CLI tool, rhc, has a subcommand threaddump. Applications created by this cartridge respond to this command by looking for the appropriate Rack process, and sending ABRT signal to it. As explained in the Passenger User Guide, this signal will dump the current thread backtraces but also terminates the processes.

The Rack process may not exist if the application has just started and has not been accessed.

Next Steps

The best next step is to create an application using OpenShift.

Look at the application gallery and developer spotlight to see what other developers have created on OpenShift.

Browse our quickstarts and community cartridges to see other exciting technology you can use in your applications.

Finally, if at any point you have questions or issues, please visit the Help Center for a full list of options.