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Ruby Enterprise Edition 1.8.7-2012.02 released; End of Life imminent

By Hongli Lai on February 21st, 2012

Update: Ruby Enterprise Edition has officially reached End-of-Life in 2012.

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:

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 several years now and is already used by many high-profile websites and organizations, such as New York Times, Twitter, Shopify and 37signals.

Ruby Enterprise Edition is 100% open source.

Changes

Ruby Enterprise Edition 2011.12 and 2012.01 have actually also been quietly released, but they didn’t have proper announcements on our blog. Here’s a cumulative summary:

Upgraded to Ruby 1.8.7-p358
REE 2011.01 was based on 1.8.7-p330. This latest version includes not only bug fixes but also various security fixes.
Upgraded to RubyGems 1.8.15
The previous REE release included RubyGems 1.5.2.

For a long time we’ve been reluctant to upgrade RubyGems past 1.5 because many libraries were incompatible with RubyGems > 1.5. But today, the situation has been reversed: many gemspecs in the RubyGems.org repository are incompatible with RubyGems < 1.8. As such, we’ve upgraded RubyGems to the latest version.

Upgraded to the MBARI 8 patch set
Brent Roman has released a new version of his MBARI patch set, which solves many mysterious stability problems that plagued previous versions. This REE release should be significantly more stable.
Compatible with Xcode >= 4 and OS X Lion
The REE installer now properly advises Xcode >= 4 users and OS X Lion users on how to install the proper compiler that’s necessary for installing REE.
Experimental zero-copy context switch patch removed
This experimental patch set was never production-ready, so as of this release it has been removed.

End of Life

Support for Ruby 1.8.x is slowly being dropped by the upstream Ruby core developers in favor of Ruby 1.9 and beyond. The Rails team has recently announced that they will be dropping Ruby 1.8 support in Rails 4. As such, we are also slowly End-of-Life’ing Ruby Enterprise Edition.

We have no plans to create a Ruby 1.9-based version of Ruby Enterprise Edition for the following reasons:

  • A copy-on-write patch has recently been checked into Ruby 2.0.
  • Many of the patches in Ruby Enterprise Edition are simply not necessary in 1.9.
  • We wish to focus our efforts on Phusion Passenger and other products. Instead of doing many things poorly, we want to do a few things, but do them very very well.

We plan on providing minor fixes and updates for the time being, but users are recommended to slowly migrate to Ruby 1.9. Phusion Passenger <= 3.1 users can use reverse proxy setups to run multiple Ruby versions on the same server. Starting from Phusion Passenger 3.2 it will support multiple Ruby versions natively without the need for reverse proxy setups.

Looking for new maintainers

We believe that Ruby Enterprise Edition has served its purpose. That said, we understand that many people still rely on Ruby 1.8 for the time being because of compatibility issues. Therefore we would like to ask for volunteers who want to take over maintenance of Ruby Enterprise Edition. Please contact us if you are interested!

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.

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  • Ryan

    Thank you for all your work on Ruby Enterprise Edition. We’ve been using it for several years and we’re already using 2012.01 in production. Ruby Enterprise Edition 1.8.7 has consistently been a huge speed improvement over MRI 1.8.7! I know it can be a tedious job, but a lot of us have not been able to move to 1.9 over the past 2 years, so thank you again for your work!

  • http://pcreux.com Philippe Creux

    Thank you for the work you did on REE… and the work you are doing on Passenger. Those made running Rails / Sinatra web servers easy and fast!

  • Andrew

    Any official End of Life Dates you can offer? For those of us stuck on 1.8.7, it’d help pressuring management to invest the time.

  • http://www.phusion.nl/ Hongli Lai

    No we don’t have a specific date. And if someone volunteers to take over the project we don’t even have to End-Of-Life it.

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  • zhando

    I remember with fondness Hongli’s struggles to get the copy on write patch working – documented on his personal blog..

    Since then I’ve been of huge fan of Phusion’s work incorporating the best of their own and other third party innovation into Ruby Enterprise Edition.

    Alas all good things must come to an end.

    Thank you!

  • http://www.changeworknow.co.uk Peter Nash

    Thanks for all the effort on REE and Passenger.

    With regard to “Starting from Phusion Passenger 3.2 it will support multiple Ruby versions natively without the need for reverse proxy setups.” – that sounds very interesting, any indication on timeframe for this feature?

  • wxxw

    >> Starting from Phusion Passenger 3.2 it will support multiple Ruby versions natively without the need for reverse proxy setups.

    FINALY!! When will 3.2 be released??

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  • http://freemusicformormons.com/lds-ward-choir-music roger pack

    maybe the REE page should mention it uses the MBARI patches (or does it? it doesn’t say anything about it anywhere, even the FAQ http://www.rubyenterpriseedition.com/)

  • http://www.phusion.nl/ Hongli Lai
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