Blog Posts

Thread-safe JRuby on Rails HOW-TO

With the help of Warbler, Apache Tomcat and JNDI Connection Pool

Read those posts before anything else otherwise you’ll find yourself in a very lonely place:


A JVM must be installed on your system.

Install JRuby (RVM is recommended rvm install jruby).

If you have installed RVM, run this command in a terminal rvm use jruby

You need Rails 3.1 app with a database like MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle … forget SQLite.

If you don’t have one, run these commands in a terminal:

gem install rails
rails new your_rails_app
cd your_rails_app
bundle exec rails generate scaffold Post title:string body:text

In this HOW-TO we will use a PostgreSQL database (because I like it ;) ) and Apache Tomcat 6 or upper, because it’s the most popular.

Add ActiveRecord JDBC PostgreSQL Adapter to your Gemfile, like this:

if defined?(JRUBY_VERSION)
  gem 'activerecord-jdbcpostgresql-adapter'
  gem 'jruby-openssl'
  gem 'pg'

Add Warbler to your Gemfile, like this:

if defined?(JRUBY_VERSION)
  group :development do
    gem 'warbler'

Run this command in a terminal: bundle install

Then run this one: bundle exec warble config

Config Rails in thread safe mode

In your RAILS_ROOT, open the file config/environments/production.rb and uncomment this line: # config.threadsafe!

Then add those lines to ensure you can use rake tasks in production env:

  # Allow rake tasks to autoload models in thread safe mode, more info at
  config.dependency_loading = true if $rails_rake_task

Finally in your RAILS_ROOT open the file config/warble.rb And replace these 2 lines:

# config.webxml.jruby.min.runtimes = 2
# config.webxml.jruby.max.runtimes = 4

With these lines:

config.webxml.jruby.min.runtimes = 1
config.webxml.jruby.max.runtimes = 1

Migrate database, create JNDI connection & configure Rails

Ensure your database production environment is configured, then run these commands in a terminal:

bundle exec rake db:create RAILS_ENV=production
bundle exec rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production

In your Apache Tomcat directory, open the file conf/context.xml.

Add the Resource tag inside the Context tag, like this:

      <!-- ... -->
      <Resource name="jdbc/your_jndi_name" auth="Container" type="javax.sql.DataSource"
         maxActive="100" maxIdle="30" maxWait="10000"
         username="your_username" password="your_password" driverClassName="org.postgresql.Driver"


Copy your JDBC driver into the Apache Tomcat lib folder.

For Ubuntu: sudo cp ~/.rvm/gems/jruby-1.6.5/gems/jdbc-postgres-9.*/lib/*.jar /usr/share/tomcat6/lib

In your RAILS_ROOT open the file config/database.yml.

Rename the production entry in production_jdbc and add this one:

  adapter: jdbc
  jndi: java:comp/env/jdbc/your_jndi_name
  driver: postgresql
  encoding: utf8
  wait_timeout: 5
  pool: 5

In your RAILS_ROOT open the file config/warble.rb.

And replace this line: # config.webxml.jndi = 'jdbc/rails'

With this one: config.webxml.jndi = 'jdbc/your_jndi_name'

Finally create a config/initializers/connection_pool_fix.rb file with this content:

# Monkey patch ConnectionPool#checkout to avoid database connection timeouts
# Source:
# For Rails 3.2.0 and upper, You need to check if the pool error still occurs
if Rails.version < "3.2.0"
  class ActiveRecord::ConnectionAdapters::ConnectionPool
    def checkout
      # Checkout an available connection
      @connection_mutex.synchronize do
        loop do
          conn = if @checked_out.size < @connections.size
                 elsif @connections.size < @size
          return conn if conn
          # No connections available; wait for one
          if @queue.wait(@timeout)
            # try looting dead threads
            if @size == @checked_out.size
              raise ConnectionTimeoutError, "could not obtain a database connection#{" within #{@timeout} seconds" if @timeout}.  The max pool size is currently #{@size}; consider increasing it."

Create the War file and restart Apache Tomcat

Run these commands in a terminal:

bundle exec rake assets:precompile
bundle exec warble

Stop the Apache Tomcat service: sudo service tomcat6 stop

In the Apache Tomcat directory, copy your your_rails_app.war file inside the webapps folder.

For Ubuntu: sudo cp your_rails_app.war /var/lib/tomcat6/webapps

Restart the Apache Tomcat service: sudo service tomcat6 start

Open this URL with your Web Browser: http://localhost:8080/your_rails_app/posts

Enjoy !

Special thanks to Ritchie Young who corrected my spelling mistakes.

Posted on 05 January 2012.
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