The Problem

Our systems admin needed to upgrade the packages on our CentOS 5.4 dev server to match the packages on our production server. The upgrade affected ruby and/or openssl.

We run a Ruby on Rails issue tracking system called Redmine that is deployed with Passenger on Apache. Everything worked before the server update, but when trying to access the ticket system now, I get the following error:

Error message:

Cipher is not a module

Exception class:


Application root:


I've been trying so hard to fix this problem but I can't seem to beat it.

I have tried following this guide:

When I try require 'openssl' in IRB, I do see a true return value. However, I'm still seeing the Cipher.rb is not a module TypeError when accessing the ticket system.

Possibly (probably) related:

I've tried updating Passenger, but when I try passenger-install-apache2-module I see:

Checking for required software...

* GNU C++ compiler... found at /usr/bin/g++
* Ruby development headers... found
* OpenSSL support for Ruby... /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/openssl/cipher.rb:22: Cipher is not a module (TypeError)

Any help?

1 Answer 1


ruby 1.8.7 (2009-12-24 patchlevel 248) [x86_64-linux]

in ruby source directory

cd ext/openssl/
ruby extconf.rb 
sudo make install
sudo cp -R /usr/local/lib/ruby/site_ruby/1.8/openssl* /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/

Finding a fix for this took a very long time...

  • Thanks a lot! Just having the same, had to compile my ruby myself, what fedora has is 1.8.6
    – user58659
    Oct 29, 2010 at 14:57
  • An additional comment that if the above does not fix the issue then look at the bang header (first line) on your ruby scripts. On Ubuntu most system-wide ruby scripts run with ruby1.8!! If you manually installed ruby 1.8.7 then it will not overwrite ruby1.8, and you'll have your old scripts still running your old ruby version even if you just installed 1.8.7, and you'll still be getting the openssl error. The fix is to link ruby1.8 -> ruby, or change the bang header of your ruby scripts to run the correct ruby (/usr/bin/ruby).
    – Casper
    Jul 7, 2011 at 17:28

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