The End Is Near For Mongrel

At conferences and online, Tom and I have long been talking about a mystery deployment option coming soon from the GlassFish team. It would combine the agile command-line-friendly model of Mongrel with the power and simplicity of deploying to a Java application server. We have shown a few quick demos, but they have only been very simple and very limited. Plus there was no public release we could give people.

Until Now.

Today, you can finally download the GlassFish-Rails preview release gem.

So what is this tasty little morsel? Well, it's a 2.9MB Ruby gem containing the GlassFish server and the Grizzly connector for JRuby on Rails. It installs a "glassfish_rails" script in JRuby's bin directory, and you're done.

~ $ gem install glassfish-gem-10.0-SNAPSHOT.gem
Successfully installed GlassFish, version 10.0.0
~ $ glassfish_rails testapp
Sep 14, 2007 3:00:45 PM postConstruct
INFO: Listening on port 8080
Sep 14, 2007 3:00:46 PM postConstruct
INFO: Supported containers : phobos,php,web,jruby
Sep 14, 2007 3:00:46 PM com.sun.grizzly.standalone.StaticResourcesAdapter <init>
INFO: New Servicing page from: /Users/headius/testapp/public
/Users/headius/NetBeansProjects/jruby/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/actionmailer-1.3.3/lib/action_mailer.rb:50 warning: already initialized constant MAX_LINE_LEN
Sep 14, 2007 3:00:53 PM com.sun.enterprise.v3.server.AppServerStartup run
INFO: Glassfish v3 started in 9233 ms

That's all there is to've got a production-ready server. Oh, did I mention you only have to run one instance? No more managing a dozen mongrel processes, ensuring they stay running, starting and stopping them all. One command, one process.

Of course this is a preview...we expect to see bug reports and find issues with it. For example, it currently deploys under a context rather than at the root of the server, so my app above would be available at http://localhost:8080/testapp instead of http://localhost:8080/. That's going to be fixed soon (and configurable) but for now you'll want to set the following in environment.rb:
ActionController::AbstractRequest.relative_url_root = "/<app name>/"
ActionController::CgiRequest.relative_url_root = "/<app name>/"

And of course, you're going to be running JRuby, so you'll need to take that into consideration. JRuby's general Rails performance still needs more tweaking and work to surpass Mongrel + Ruby, but out of the box you already get stellar static-file performance with the GlassFish gem...something like 2500req/s for the testapp index page on my system. The remaining JRuby performance is continuing to improve as well...we'll get there soon.

So! Give it a try, report bugs on the GlassFish issue tracker, and let us know on the GlassFish mailing lists what you'd like to see improved.

Mongrel...your days are numbered.
Written on September 14, 2007