What is Ruby Enterprise Edition?
Ruby Enterprise Edition (REE) is a server-oriented distribution of the official Ruby interpreter, and includes various additional enhancements, such as:
- A “copy-on-write friendly” garbage collector, capable of reducing Ruby on Rails applications’ memory usage by 33% on average.
- The tcmalloc memory allocator, which lowers overall memory usage and boosts memory allocation speed.
- The ability to performance tune the garbage collector.
- The MBARI patch set, for improved garbage collection efficiency.
- The zero-copy context switching patch, included as an experimental feature.
- Various analysis and debugging features.
REE can be easily installed in parallel to your existing Ruby interpreter, allowing you switch to REE with minimal hassle or risk. REE has been out for about a year now and is already used by many high-profile websites and organizations, such as New York Times, Shopify and 37signals.
“We switched to enterprise ruby to get the full benefit of the [copy-on-write] memory characteristics and we can absolutely confirm the memory savings of 30% some others have reported. This is many thousand dollars of savings even at today’s hardware prices.”
— Tobias Lütke (Shopify)
Ruby Enterprise Edition is 100% open source.
- Upgraded to Ruby 1.8.7-p248
- The previous REE release was based on 1.8.7-p174.
- Improved compiler optimization options
- The previous REE release was compiled with
-fno-strict-aliasingwas used to avoid improper code generation by GCC 4.4. This was actually caused by some aliasing bugs in Ruby’s util.c source file. The problems have been fixed in 1.8.7-p174 so we’ve now removed this compilation flag, allowing for better compiler optimizations.
It turned out that
-O2yields better performance than -Os in many production environments, though some microbenchmarks might indicate otherwise. Therefore we’ve now replaced -Os with -O2.
- Fixed OpenSSL extension compilation problems on systems with OpenSSL 1.0
- At this time, upstream Ruby cannot be compiled on systems with OpenSSL 1.0 because of compatibility problems in the Ruby OpenSSL extension. Fedora 12 includes OpenSSL 1.0. We’ve applied a patch by the Fedora guys and added some minor changes to fix some compilation warnings. These patches have been send upstream. Ruby issue #2022.
- Backported an IO#write exception bug fix
- Upstream Ruby 1.8.7-p248 has a bug in its IO#write method: it always raises Errno::EINVAL even when a different error occured. We found this problem while testing Phusion Passenger on this Ruby release.
We’ve submitted a patch upstream. This patch is also applied in this REE release.
- Thread timer fix now merged upstream
- Previous REE releases included Joe Damato’s and Aman Gupta’s thread timer fix. This fix has now found its way back upstream and is included by default in 1.8.7-p248, so we’ve removed the patch from our source tree.
- Fix a crash bug in the zero-copy context switching patch set
- This crash can be reproduced by running “god”, which will eventually cause a crash. Aman Gupta has fixed this problem.
Please note that the zero-copy context switching patch set is disabled by default, and must be explicitly enabled by passing –fast-threading to the installer. It is currently still marked as experimental because there are some known issues with the Kernel::fork method. Issue #9.
- Ubuntu package now contains debugging symbols
- Previous REE Ubuntu packages that we release had binaries with debugging symbols stripped, in order to minimize the package sizes. We no longer strip the debugging symbols now because Joe and Aman’s Memprof depends on the presence of debugging symbols. Memprof should work out-of-the-box with this release of REE.
Please note that although the binaries are larger, this does not affect performance in any way. The debugging symbols are only used for debugging and introspection purposes and do not affect the runtime behavior of Ruby at all.
- Developer documentation is now installed by default
- RDoc and RI documentation are now installed by default. You can avoid this by passing --no-dev-docs to the installer.
The Ubuntu packages include developer documentation.
- Installer now checks for the existence of the ‘patch’ utility
- This fixes bug #10.
- Some documentation updates
- Parts are contributed by Trevor Turk.
Download & upgrade
To install Ruby Enterprise Edition, please visit the download page. To upgrade from a previous version, simply install into the same prefix that you installed to last time. Please also refer to the documentation for upgrade instructions.