Before today, I was using Thin to host my development servers. This was a bother because I had to remember to start/stop Thins as required when I switched tasks. Well, not anymore…

Reading my feeds today, I found Passenger Preference Pane, by Fingertips.

  1. Download the preference pane itself
  2. Untar
  3. Follow the directives in the README about RubyCocoa (either Leopard 10.5.2 or install RubyCocoa yourself from source)
  4. Double click the prefpane: this will install the preference pane
  5. Open System Preferences, then Passenger in Other
  6. Drag and drop your Rails (or Rack-based) application folder into the list
  7. Click Apply
  8. Go back to System Preferences, and open Sharing
  9. Stop and start Apache using the checkbox for Web Sharing
  10. Visit http://your-apps-base-name.local/ and enjoy!

One caveat I found was that my home directory had to change permissions. I had to grant a+rx before it would work:

1 $ ls -ld ~
2 drwxr-xr-x+ 78 francois staff 2652 9 fév 11:13 /Users/francois

Of course, if you have a multi-user machine, that opens an interesting can of worms for security. A quick fix would be:

1 $ chmod a-rx * && chmod a+rx the-apps-base-name

Modify as needed.


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I am François Beausoleil, a Ruby on Rails and Scala developer. During the day, I work on Seevibes, a platform to measure social interactions related to TV shows. At night, I am interested many things. Read my biography.

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