Ruby on Rails: Making the Jump to LiteSpeed

Kevin McFadden, Former Viget

Article Category: #Code

Posted on

As RoR becomes more mainstream, hosting a Rails application in a production environment becomes increasingly important. There are numerous tutorials explaining how to cobble together mongrel, apache, lighttpd, fastcgi, and friends, but the amount of configuration can be daunting. Why go to that much trouble when LiteSpeed "Just Works"™? For a basic "Hello World" application, performance compares very well to the cobbled together systems, and installing it takes less than five minutes. To summarize the screencast, here are the ten essential steps for implementing a name-based virtual host running on an Ubuntu server, although this will work on any OS supported by LiteSpeed:
  1. Grab a copy of LiteSpeed from
  2. Install it. Answer N for PHP support and then go ahead and accept the defaults for the remaining questions.
  3. gem install ruby-lsapi, required for everything to work.
  4. If everything was successful, you can view the admin site on the port of your choosing.
  5. Under Server Admin -> Virtual Hosts, delete the Example virtual host.
  6. Under the Default Listener, delete the pre-configured virtual host listener.
  7. Under EasyRailsWithSuEXEC, add a new member virtual host.
    • Give your virtual host a name (e.g., myapp).
    • Specify the domain (e.g.,
    • Enter the path to the top level of your rails application (i.e., where app and config are located.)
    • Save your changes.
  8. Instantiate the member virtual host to create an editable configuration.
  9. For the default listener, map the virtual host to the domain (myapp -> and save.
  10. Following "Apply your changes" provides a handy button to restart the LiteSpeed service.
  11. Point your browser to one of the domains to verify it worked.
The instantiation part for step #7 is not necessary for one virtual host, but if you have more, step #8 requires a unique configuration for mapping purposes. The downside is there are two versions of LiteSpeed: free as in beer and enterprise. As you know, anything with the word "enterprise" associated with it is generally expensive and LiteSpeed is no different. However, for most medium traffic sites the free version should work well, and if it is a high traffic site you can probably afford the cost or use multiple servers. Punch it, Chewie! References

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