Enable RVM


If your Ruby application doesn't start because of a missing gem, install it locally using Bundler. For more information about using Bundler, please visit the following page:

Ruby Version Manager (RVM) is a utility that allows you to add your own personal version of Ruby to a user. It allows you to add, remove, or have multiple versions of Ruby and its libraries to live in your user directory.

This article describes enabling the RVM with Passenger using the DreamHost panel.

Please note this does NOT install RVM. You must still manually install this yourself. Visit the RVM article for detailed instructions on how to install manually. Once RVM has been installed and you've installed a custom version of Ruby, you can select which version of Ruby you'd like to use (for a specific domain) by enabling the option in the panel below.

Your domain must run on a VPS or Dedicated Server to enable RVM in the DreamHost panel. If your VPS is running Nginx, view the following article instead.

Enabling RVM in the Panel

To enable RVM:

  1. Visit the RVM article for instructions on manually installing Ruby Version Manager.
  2. Using RVM, install any custom version of Ruby you like under your Shell user.
  3. Navigate to the Manage Websites page.
  4. Click the Manage button to open the Domain Settings page, which allows you to adjust various settings for your site.
    • If in Grid view, click the Manage button at the bottom of the website box.
    • If in List view, click the Manage button at the far right of your domain name.
  5. Scroll down to the Additional Settings section and click the Modify button on the Web Options row.
  6. Enable Passenger by clicking the radio button on the right. The panel adds a /public subdirectory, and the RVM row appears.

    If you already have a /public directory in the current Web directory, clicking OK will only switch the Web directory to this new /public folder. Nothing in it is removed.

    If you do not already have a /public directory, the panel creates it for you with a coming soon page. The files in your current Web directory remain untouched.

  7. Click the radio button on the RVM row and enter the path for your Ruby install.
  8. Click the Save Changes button to save your changes.

Make sure to change the username to your Shell user.

The path may not appear exactly as it does in the panel. For example, once you have manually installed a version of Ruby, it could also appear in the following directory:


Confirm where your custom version of Ruby has been installed before saving your changes above.

You can set up multiple domains/subdomains on a single user via Gemsets, but you must create aliases without the '@' character.

So, if the following paths give an invalid characters message:

  • /home/username/.rvm/wrappers/ruby-2.2.1@firstsite/ruby
  • /home/username/.rvm/wrappers/ruby-2.2.1@secondsite/ruby

Run the following commands to create an alias. (Adjust 'firstsite' and 'secondsite' as necessary):

[server]$ rvm alias create firstsite ruby-2.2.1@firstsite
[server]$ rvm alias create secondsite ruby-2.2.1@secondsite
  • /home/username/.rvm/wrappers/firstsite/ruby
  • /home/username/.rvm/wrappers/secondsite/ruby

After you have saved changes, this specific domain will use your custom version of Ruby along with Passenger.

See also

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