Version 5.3.0 of the Passenger application server for Ruby, Node.js, Meteor and Python has been released. There are no breaking changes; we've increased the minor version due to a few big additions.

In the 5.2 series, we did a major internal overhaul of configuration management. In 5.3 we've done a big overhaul of the error reporting. Packages for Ubuntu "Bionic" were added, as well as support for the latest stable Nginx (1.14.0). There's also a new option for Passenger Enterprise users: per-application logfiles.

Please be aware that you can enjoy enterprise features and sponsor the open source development directly by buying Phusion Passenger Enterprise.

Ubuntu 18.04 "Bionic" packages

We've created Passenger APT packages for the recently released Ubuntu 18.04! Enjoy :-)

Nginx 1.14.0 integration

Passenger now integrates by default with Nginx 1.14 instead of 1.12. Version 1.14 features, amongst other things, support for HTTP/2 push.

Per-app logging (Enterprise)

A short while ago we launched the beta version of the Fuse Panel command center, a new tool for monitoring, administering, analyzing and troubleshooting your apps on Passenger. This made it possible for the first time to easily view split logging output from different applications.

We've further developed this feature to be usable directly from Passenger Enterprise (5.3+). Just set a file path via passenger_app_log in the Passenger configuration for your app, and the application stdout/stderr will be redirected to that file!

Vastly improved error page

One of the most common issues that Passenger users encounter is a so-called application spawning error, a failure to start their application. This is usually caused by some kind of misconfiguration or problem with the system.

In development mode, Passenger automatically shows a (developer-) "friendly error page" that contains a big dump of troubleshooting information. Though valuable, the amount and structure of the information made it difficult for users to immediately see whether it's a problem with Passenger, their application, their configuration, or maybe even with their system.

More info, less overwhelming

The new page now has a simple opening view that immediately answers the question what broke:

The blame game

In some cases, Passenger recognizes the mistake and provides tips in the "How do I solve this?" tab. If the error is too cryptic, the "Detailed diagnostics" tab can be used to see the new error tracing output built in to Passenger 5.3:

Drilling down as needed

Check out this blog post for more about what the new error page can do and how we developed it :-).

Various improvements & fixes

  • [Enterprise] Fix licensing proxy warning to refer to licensing_proxy_url instead of licensing_proxy.
  • Fuse Panel support: fixes a crash that occurs when you shut down Passenger right after it fails to connect to Fuse Panel.
  • Removes packages for Debian 7 "Wheezy" (EOL May 2018).
  • [Apache] Updates the recommended package for apache dev headers on debian >= 9.4. Closes GH-2048.

Installing 5.3.0

The 5.x series of Passenger in general brings a plethora of improvements in uptime maximization, security and efficiency. Please see the installation guide.

Upgrading to 5.3.0

We strongly advise staying up to date with the latest version.

See also the upgrade notes below!

Check out our upgrade guides for the different platforms:

If you are upgrading from 4.x, please read the 5.0 upgrade notes to learn about potential upgrade caveats.