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Redmine is a famous ticket tracking system, using Ruby on Rails.

Its installation is not always easy; you have to use specific versions and customize some bits – so here is how to do it on dotCloud.

Setup a database

Before getting to Redmine itself, we will setup a PostgreSQL database. First, deploy a PostgreSQL service:

$ dotcloud deploy -t postgresql ramen.pgsql

Wait a bit until it has booted (you can check its state with “dotcloud info ramen.pgsql”). Then, login to the service, and create a user and database for Redmine

$ dotcloud ssh ramen.pgsql
postgres@ramen-pgsql:~$ psql
postgres=# create user "redmine" password 'abracadabra';
postgres=# CREATE DATABASE "redmine" OWNER "redmine";
postgres=# \q
postgres@ramen-pgsql:~$ exit

You might want to use something safer than “abracadabra” for your database password.


If you plan to dedicate this database service to Redmine, you can skip this step. You will then use the database “template1”, the user “root” and the password seen when doing “dotcloud info ramen.pgsql”.

Deploy a ruby service

This is almost as easy as deploying the PostgreSQL database. There is a little cacth however: Redmine won’t work with Ruby 1.9, so we will explicitly request Ruby 1.8:

$ dotcloud deploy -t ruby -c '{"ruby-version":"ree"}' ramen.redmine


REE stands for Ruby Enterprise Edition, and is the thing to use if you want Ruby 1.8.

Prepare Redmine code

First, retrieve the code; the following line will retrive Redmine version 1.1 from the Subversion repository, and put it in a directory named “redmine-1.1”:

$ svn co http://redmine.rubyforge.org/svn/branches/1.1-stable redmine-1.1

The first thing to is to create the file “redmine-1.1/Gemfile”, to specify the Ruby dependencies:

source :rubygems
gem "i18n", "0.4.2"
gem "rails", "2.3.5"
gem "rack", "1.0.1"
gem "pg"
gem "coderay", "0.9.7"
gem "rubytree", "0.5.2"


Redmine seems to be very picky about versions; that’s why we specified manually almost all of them!

You will also need to edit two files. The first one is “redmine-1.1/config/environment.rb”, to redefine an old method used by Redmine but removed from the recent Rubygems versions. Find the following lines:

# Bootstrap the Rails environment, frameworks, and default configuration
require File.join(File.dirname(__FILE__), 'boot')

Just after those lines, add the following code:

if Gem::VERSION >= "1.3.6"
    module Rails
        class GemDependency
            def requirement
                r = super
                (r == Gem::Requirement.default) ? nil : r

The second file is “redmine-1.1/config/boot.rb”. The modification is simpler, you just need to insert one line in the beginning of the file:

require 'thread'


Those modifications might or might not be needed with the trunk version of Redmine, or with version 1.2 (when it gets released). We will do our best to update this information accordingly!

Next step is to configure your database. Create the file “redmine-1.1/config/database.yml” and add the following lines:

  adapter: postgresql
  database: redmine
  host: pgsql.ramen.dotcloud.com
  port: 12345
  username: redmine
  password: abracadabra
  encoding: utf8


To see the host and port that you need to use, check “dotcloud info ramen.pgsql”. Remember to use the same password as set when creating the database (or the one listed in “dotcloud info ramen.pgsql” if you decide to skip the user and database creation and use the default “root” user with the default “template1” database).

The last step is to take care of uploaded files. Each time you do a “dotcloud push”, your Redmine files will be wiped out. If you plan to store attachments to your tickets (and you probably do!), some specific setup must be carried out.

Redmine will live in ~/current; everything outside this directory will be left untouched. We will replace the “files” directory by a symlink pointing outside the ~/current directory; and to make it happen automatically each time we do a “dotcloud push”, we will setup an script which will be called after each push.

Moreover, after each push, we need to initialize the “session store”. This can be done automatically in the same script.

Create the file “redmine-1.1/postinstall”:

[ -d ~/data/files ] || mkdir -p ~/data/files
[ -L ~/current/files ] || {
    rm -rf ~/current/files
    ln -s ~/data/files ~/current/files
rake generate_session_store

Make it executable:

$ chmod +x redmine-1.1/postinstall

That’s all!

Push your code

This is achieved by a simple command:

$ dotcloud push ramen.redmine redmine-1.1

It will take a while since it will upload all the code to dotCloud. Don’t worry: if you do some modifications and push again, only the differences will be transferred.

Finalize the setup

A few last steps need to be performed, to initialize the Redmine database. Here is how:

$ dotcloud ssh ramen.redmine
dotcloud@ramen-redmine:~$ cd current
dotcloud@ramen-redmine:~/current$ rake db:migrate
dotcloud@ramen-redmine:~/current$ rake redmine:load_default_data

This last step will ask you for the default language that you want to use. Once it has completed, you can get back to your local shell with “exit”.

Your Redmine is ready to use, at http://redmine.ramen.dotcloud.com/; the default login and password are “admin” and “admin”.