My friend Alex Ott left a comment on my blog yesterday asking me if I had looked at OpenShift.

I had created an account a while ago but never did anything with it. This morning I briefly tried getting Clojure (not yet supported) running but promptly gave up and switched to Ruby, which along with Java, Python, Node.js, and Perl is supported. It only seemed fair to test Redhat's PaaS with a supported stack.

By default Ruby 1.8.7 is supported with a lot of gems pre-installed. I preferred to use RVM and Ruby 1.9.3 so I:

  • I created a new empty "Do-it-yourself" Cartridge using the web console. I was prompted to add a public key, etc. Easy setup.
  • A new empty cartridge runs a trivial Ruby web app.
  • I followed Mark's instructions to install RVM and Ruby 1.9.3.
  • After that, a git commit and a git push redeploys your app.
  • You should take a careful look at .openshift/action_hooks/* that are places where you can customize builds and deployments.
Using Mark's instructions, I temporarily modified .openshift/action_hooks/pre_build to look like this:
curl -L | bash -s
After that, I re-edited it to look like:
#curl -L | bash -s

source $OPENSHIFT_DATA_DIR/.rvm/scripts/rvm
rvm use [email protected]

gem install sinatra rails mongo mongo_ext
After installing some gems I commented out everything in this file for future reference. I then edited .openshift/action_hooks/start to look like this:
source $OPENSHIFT_DATA_DIR/.rvm/scripts/rvm
rvm use [email protected]

gem list
ruby --version
nohup $OPENSHIFT_REPO_DIR/diy/testrubyserver.rb $OPENSHIFT_INTERNAL_IP $OPENSHIFT_REPO_DIR/diy > $OPENSHIFT_LOG_DIR/server.log 2>&1 &
The last line was originally in the generated file. Once this is all working, you can replace the placeholder mini-app with a Sinatra or Rails app.

There have been no announced costs for using OpenShift. For now it is in a free beta period. It is reasonable for Redhat to want a lot of test users so they can measure what it costs for them to provide the various services and then announce costs.