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Passenger with Rails 2.3 application (MissingSourceFile) March 1, 2009

Posted by John Dewey in Apache, New Category, Passenger, WebServers.

I’m such an idiot. I spent the last few days, trying to figure out the following error reported on my Ubuntu 8.10 Passenger install.

Error message:
no such file to load -- application (MissingSourceFile)

Exception class:

I was installing libapache2-mod-passenger_2.0.3 from the apt-get repo, which does not understand the application_controller.rb rename.

2.0.6 mod-passenger has yet to show up in the apt-get repo. You can use these instructions to install the brightbox mod-passenger build.


1. Jarl - April 22, 2009

Thanks for the post. This explains stuff.

How did you install the brightbox version of libapache2-mod-passenger on a ubuntu 8.10? They only make it available for hardy. This may very well be a ubuntu question, but I would like to know the answer anyway 🙂


2. John Dewey - April 22, 2009

As lame as it is, I am using the hardy build of libapache2-mod-passenger for 8.10. The intrepid versions are still at 2.0.3.

3. Jarl - April 23, 2009

Hmm… lucky for us then that the package does also work with any newer software found in 8.10, right?

Even worse, the package for jaunty (9.04) is still 2.0.3:


4. Gregg - April 24, 2009

as a work around until passenger catches up I am going the path of least resistance and create a soft link to the old file. From the controllers folder: ln -s application_controller.rb application.rb

5. Jarl - May 4, 2009

Has anybody tried the brightbox package on Jaunty? It seems like I have problems with that, it could also be something else. I am now going to try Greggs workaround using default package.

6. Jarl - May 4, 2009

I figured it out, the problem was not BB passenger package on jaunty. The problem was that I forgot to set the RailsEnv variable in the apache conf file. The BB package for hardy also seem to work fine on jaunty as well.

7. Kevin Monk - May 18, 2009

ANybody know how this may effect other apps on the same server that have their rails gem frozen to Rails < 2.3

i.e. is it backwards compatible. Is it likely that I’ll have my older Apps looking for a non_existent application_controller.rb?

8. John Dewey - May 18, 2009

Hi Kevin –

It should be backward compatible. Passenger loads application_controller first, then falls back to application.


9. Knight Samar - March 21, 2010


I had the same problem on Ubuntu 9.10 and what i did was just create a symlink of application_controller.rb called application.rb in the same directory.

And it worked! IT WORKED! I searched one whole day for the solution and just saw someone passing a side-comment “Oh I have noticed this is a new thing in this version…” and it worked!

10. matthew - May 16, 2010

Knight Samar, you saved my day!

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