Jar Deployment

Using the torquebox jar command, you can generate an jar file that (optionally) includes JRuby, your application, and all of its dependencies (if you are using bundler). This gives you an artifact that can be launched anywhere java (version 7 or higher) is available - no JRuby install is required. You run the jar with:

$ java -jar myapp.jar

Building the jar

The torquebox-core gem provides a torquebox binary that provides command-line utilities for managing TorqueBox applications. One of those utilities is torquebox jar. We’ll walk through a simple web application to demonstrate its usage (for general information on web-based applications with TorqueBox, see the Web Guide).

First, a Gemfile. We’ll use Sinatra, so we need to bring its gem in, along with torquebox-web:

source "https://rubygems.org"

gem "sinatra", "1.4.5"
gem "torquebox-web", "4.0.0.beta3"

Then, the application itself. Let’s put it at app.rb at the root of our project:

require 'sinatra'

get '/' do

Lastly, we’ll need a standard config.ru to start the application:

require './app'

run Sinatra::Application

Now we can generate the jar. This will vendor our gems inside the jar, along with JRuby itself:

$ bundle exec torquebox jar

You should see output like:

15:53:24.604 INFO  Bundling gem dependencies
15:53:44.530 INFO  Writing ./jar-example.jar

By default, the jar command uses the name of the current directory as the jar name - you can override that with the --name option. In my case, the dir was jar-example. It also creates the jar in the current directory - that can be overridden with --destination.

Since we’re bundling JRuby, we end up with a rather large file (33Mb for this example), but that’s the price we pay for a portable artifact. If you will be running the jar on a machine that has a JRuby install, you can disable the inclusion of JRuby, resulting in a much smaller artifact (we cover that in more detail below).

Running the jar

Run the jar with (remember, your jar name may vary):

$ java -jar jar-example.jar

You should see output like:

16:02:29.061 INFO  [org.projectodd.wunderboss] (main) Initializing application as ruby
16:02:32.940 INFO  [org.projectodd.wunderboss.web.Web] (main) Registered web context /
16:02:32.942 INFO  [TorqueBox::Web::Server] (main) Starting TorqueBox::Web::Server 'default'
16:02:33.258 INFO  [TorqueBox::Web::Server] (main) Listening for HTTP requests on localhost:8080

If you then visit http://localhost:8080 in a browser, you should get a response. But notice that the response doesn’t include our environment variables.

Environment variables

When running the jar file, you can provide environment variables as you normally would, either exported or on the command-line:

$ FOO=foo BAR=bar java -jar jar-example.jar

Or, you can include them in the jar itself. Try:

$ bundle exec torquebox jar --envvar FOO=foo --envvar BAR=bar

and run it again with:

$ java -jar jar-example.jar

Then visit http://localhost:8080 to see the request complete with the environment variable values. Note that the two options above aren’t mutually exclusive - you can set some variables as part of the jar build process, and provide others (or override ones set in the jar) at the command-line.

Using an existing JRuby install

If you have an existing JRuby install, and don’t want to include one in the jar (or override the one that is included), you can do so by specifying a JRuby home dir. But first, let’s build a jar that doesn’t include JRuby:

$ bundle exec torquebox jar --no-include-jruby

This generates much smaller jar file - 13Mb for this example. Now, we can run it, either with:

$ JRUBY_HOME=/path/to/jruby java -jar jar-example.jar


$ java -Djruby.home=/path/to/jruby -jar jar-example.jar

You can also create a jar without bundled gems, if they are available in the local JRuby install:

$ bundle exec torquebox jar --no-include-jruby --no-bundle-gems

This results in an even smaller jar (3.7Mb).

Initializing a non-web application

So far, we’ve been looking at a web application. But what if you have a non-web application? How do you start it? The jar command provides a --main option for this case:

$ bundle exec torquebox jar --main app/init

This results in a jar that, when started, will call require "app/init" after initializing JRuby, which can be used to bootstrap your application.

Running rake or other scripts from inside the jar

You can run rake or similar tasks from the code inside the jar by using the ‘-S’ flag, which mimics the behavior of ‘jruby -S’ but in the context of your application inside the jar. For example, to run database migrations from a typical Rails application:

$ java -jar jar-example.jar -S rake db:migrate

Customizing the temporary directory jars get unpacked to

When running TorqueBox applications from a jar, some items get unpacked from the jar into a temporary directory. We delegate to the JVM’s logic for doing this which means you can control the location of this temporary directory by passing a JVM system property:

$ java -Djava.io.tmpdir=/path/to/tmp -jar jar-example.jar