I'm trying to install Passenger (mod_rails) on Apache2 server by using the command

1. gem install passenger
2. passenger-install-apache2-module

Passenger gets installed and i added the below line to my configuration file

LoadModule passenger_module /home/ec2-user/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-p290/gems/pass enger-3.0.11/ext/apache2/mod_passenger.so
PassengerRoot /home/ec2-user/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-p290/gems/passenger-3.0.11
PassengerRuby /home/ec2-user/.rvm/wrappers/ruby-1.9.2-p290/ruby

Once i finished all those steps and i started accessing of Apache2 server.

I got the following Passenger error:

[error] *** Passenger could not be initialized because of this error: Unable to start the Phusion Passenger watchdog because its exec utable (/usr/lib/phusion-passenger/agents/PassengerWatchdog) does not exist. Thi s probably means that your Phusion Passenger installation is broken or incomplet e, or that your 'PassengerRoot' directive is set to the wrong value. Please rein stall Phusion Passenger or fix your 'PassengerRoot' directive, whichever is appl icable.

After getting this error, i re-installed Passenger once again with those steps but still this problem remains the same.

Appreciate your help in resolving this issue.

  • It takes PassengerRoot path as (/usr/lib/phusion-passenger/agents/PassengerWatchdog) instead of (/home/ec2-user/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-p290/gems/passenger-3.0.11). Why? – diya Mar 6 '12 at 6:11

First, let us make sure Watchdog is present on the system by running: find / -name PassengerWatchdog

Then if it's an RVM issue, you can try a workaround of symliking Passenger's root to the location mentioned by apache:

ln -s  /home/ec2-user/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-p290/gems/passenger-3.0.11 /usr/lib/phusion-passenger

On another hand, are you sure running passenger-install-apache2-module didn't raise any errors/warnings? including its output to the question could be helpful


I'm using the same config in Ubuntu and CentOS. Any chance there is an existing Passenger installation on the system that is interfering. If so, delete it and restart Apache.

  • Thanks for your kind response! I did above you said, but still it remains the same problem. – diya Mar 6 '12 at 6:58
  • Odd. I guess the next step is to go through the Apache conf files and make sure only the rvm Passenger is getting loaded. – kashani Mar 6 '12 at 8:01
  • Yes, module passenger_module is getting loaded..... – diya Mar 6 '12 at 8:36
  • I am having a similar problem. Using RVM, Apache 2.2.20 on Ubuntu; I have checked that passenger is only getting loaded using RVM modules. When I start Apache it hangs while loading PassengerWatchdog. – Tom Harrison Jr May 7 '12 at 18:35

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