Using Puma on Heroku

24 February 2013

I'm a big fan of Puma these days. Today, I converted my blog over to use Puma, and I figured I'd share how I did it. This blog uses Sinatra.

If you want to look ahead, here is the commit.


Installing Puma is really easy: just add gem 'puma' to your Gemfile. Done!

This section is way too easy. I'm sorry Puma isn't more complicated. ;)


Heroku attempts to guess how you want to run your site, but sometimes it guesses wrong. I prefer to be a bit more explicit, and in Puma's case, it will guess wrong and use Webrick, so we need to do this step.

Heroku uses a gem called foreman to run your application. Basically, foreman gives you a 'Procfile' that lets you specify different processes and their types, and then foreman manages running them for you.

To use foreman, add it to your Gemfile:

gem 'foreman'

And then make a Procfile:

web: rackup -s puma -p $PORT

This says "I want my web processes to run this command." Simple. We tell rackup to use Puma with the -s flag, for 'server.'

To start up your application, normall you'd run rackup yourself, but now, you use foreman:

$ bundle exec foreman start

It'll print out a bunch of messages. Mine looks like this:

$ bundle exec foreman start
15:05:05 web.1  | started with pid 52450
15:05:06 web.1  | Puma 1.6.3 starting...
15:05:06 web.1  | * Min threads: 0, max threads: 16
15:05:06 web.1  | * Environment: development
15:05:06 web.1  | * Listening on tcp://

Now you can open http://localhost:5000 in another terminal, and bam! Done.

Other Rubies

If you really want Puma to scream, you should run with Rubinius or JRuby. I haven't done this yet, but once I do, I'll update this post with instructions.


If you're using Rails, it's the same process, but the Procfile line should be

web: bundle exec puma -p $PORT