FastCGI - incomplete headers + 500 error


I know this topic has been discussed before, but I tried every solutions
still cannot solve it.

The thing is, I run my rails app in dreamhost, with FastCGI.
ruby-fcgi-0.8.6 + fcgi-2.4.0)
I can start my app, but I keep hitting 500 error randomly. That is, for
same page, I will get 500 sometimes, but ok after reload.

This is what I got from fastcgi.crash.log

[…] asked to terminate immediately
[…] terminated by explicit exit exit

And in apache log

… FastCGI: incomplete headers (0 bytes) received from server

I search all the forum on the web, and these are what I have done.

  1. change public/.htaccess to RewriteRule ^(.*)$ dispatch.fcgi [QSA,L]
  2. chmod 755 for dispatch.fcgi, and log directory
  3. check the ruby path (#!/path/local/bin/ruby) in dispatch.fcgi
  4. make sure dispatch.fcgi is not dos format (run dos2unix)

But it still doesn’t work after I have done all of these.

Then I tried these
copy the lastest
but actually it’s unnecessary because that file is exactly the same
as I
have in rails 0.14-3
- still doesn’t work

    according to this, fcgi has some problem from gem, so I uninstall
    gem, and make ruby-fcgi-0.8.6
    from source.

    • the 500 error times reduce, but will still hit it.
  2. downgrade rails to 0.13.1, no help

  3. try to run dispatch.fcgi manually

    ruby dispatch.fcgi

    I got : Status: 500 Internal Server Error
    Is that normal ? Can you run dispatch.fcgi manually?

That really drives me crazy.
I don’t know what else I can try, please give me advise if you think of


Finally, I use a work-around solution before anybody can tell me a

I modified ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rails-0.14.3/lib/fcgi_handler.rb as below.

def exit_now_handler(signal)
dispatcher_log :info, “asked to terminate immediately”
## force to restart
dispatcher_log :info, “but we will restart”

For signal TERM, I force dispatch.fcgi not to exit but restart. It looks
weird but at least works for me. User will not see 500 error anymore,
will only need to wait a while to restart dispatch.fcgi if something


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