Ruby on Rails One Click install - Change/add application and keep Puma running

Good day,

I’ve use the one click Ruby on Rails image to create a droplet. I’ve cloned my project in /home/rails/project-name and installed all dependancies and migrated the database. I’ve also created a virtual host configuration file in sites-available and added a symbolic link to sites enabled.

I’ve edited /etc/systemd/system/rails.service to changed the path. I’ve reloaded/refreshed the unit file and restarted the rails service and rebooted the server.

The problem I have is that my application won’t work unless I start puma manually (if I don’t nginx shows a 502 error).

If I start the puma server manually everything works fine but it shuts down as soon as I exit the terminal.

Please can someone help me figure out what the issue might be? This happens when both I listen on port 3000 and using a unix socket. It even happens for a fresh rails installation. The only difference in my app and the example app is that I use MySql instead of Postgres…

Any ideas?

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Accepted Answer

Try seeing the output of

tail -f /var/log/syslog 

Take a look if it shows: " Environment: development"… somewhere in the Puma output.

I was able to add any Environment Variable I needed in the file: /etc/systemd/system/rails.service using the format

Environment="One=1" "Three=3"

I achieved removal the 5XX Server Error after affected services were restarted and systemctl daemon-reload used. So add-to-that: systemctl restart nginx systemctl restart rails (…if not a full reboot).

In actuality, mine config turned out to be more like:

Environment="RAILS_MASTER_KEY=blah1234" #This is a Rails >v5.2 feature

Some more thoughts: A point of consumption for me is confusing ENV Vars, particularly if whether they are being set, or benignly stored in /root/.passwords.digitalocean.or.something

The /root/.dot-file location seems to indeed be benign, (but also a good place to copy the above-needed environment variables from.)

I will research if there is a more appropriate place for these environment settings I describe in this post. So, if you have info, please share.


I’ve ran into the same roadblock. I get 502 bad gateway and I can’t seem to get Puma to serve the app (even if I run it from the terminal and keep it running there). Any luck anyone, or @digitalocean ?

Thank you,


I’m facing the same issue with my server (same config as yours). While I haven’t found any solutions yet, I noticed that their original setup does not work either. When you create a new droplet and try accessing the url (droplet’s IP), it shows a NGINX page, not at all a Rails page. Also, if you take a look at their /home/rails/example app, it’s just an empty shell, there’s not even a view to be render. With Puma, NGINX should normally implement an upstream which is not present in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/rails.

Is there a member of Digitalocean team that could help us understand this ? What’s the point of a one-click app if the setup is not working properly ? Not blaming you guys (you are doing an amazing work), just trying to understand.

I’ll keep you posted if I found any clues, will try to set this up as if the server was a fresh install without Rails/Ruby/Puma.

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