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Installing PoolParty on Mac OS X and Ubuntu

In my search for the ultimate open source tool for deploying our service onto the “Clouds” I am now trying the new PoolParty. (Though I’m finding that the github wiki for PoolParty is a better reference).

Its got what seems to be a nice clean Ruby based Domain Specific Language (DSL) and set of unix shell commands for automating the deployment and management of scalable apps in the cloud. I’ll have to play with it to see how real it is. But so far it at least seems easier than raw puppet.

This post will mainly document how I installed PoolParty and got it to basically work. Its still a pretty early release so there were a few issues. Thanks to ausser and fairchild_ on the #PoolParty IRC Channel for some help.

Some Prerequisites

This is not an exhaustive list, but I found that the following gems needed to be installed:

  • echoe
  • newgem
  • rake
  • activesupport
  • hoe
  • logging
  • ruby2ruby

Maybe Not Install from Gem

You can theoretically install from git gems:

gem install --source auser-poolparty

But I found that the gem that was there at the instant I was trying had some problems. In particular it included a file (bin/server-query-agent) in the gemspec that wasn’t in the actual gem so the gem install failed.

Install from Git

So I went with using the git repository. Plus I figure I’m going to be living on the edge with this for a while so might as well be prepared.

So instead to get it from git cd to someplace you want to install the source tree to PoolParty and:

git clone git://

You can then try the following which will clean and rebuild the gem and then install it locally:

rake local_deploy

If you want to just build the gem and not install it locally:

rake gem

In ether case there will also be a copy of the gem in pkg/poolparty-0.2.94.gem
(Where the 0.2.94 may be different based on the version at the time of the git clone)

Issue while installing from Git

I had a similar problem with the git install as I did with the gem. It looked like the Manifest.txt and poolparty.gemspec also had bin/server-query-agent in them and it wasn’t in the distro. I asked on the IRC channel and was told that server-query-agent shouldn’t be there. The suggestion was to remove Manifest.txt (and I presumed poolparty.gemspec) and rebuild things using rake.

So I did remove the two files and eventually did:

rake gemspec

Then edited the generated Manifest.txt and poolparty.gemspec to remove all references to dirs / files that start with .git since the rake process just included them as part of what should be included.

Then I ran:

rake local_deploy

as described earlier.

I happened to build this all on the Mac (Leopard) and then just copied the gem to an Ubuntu 8.10 system and did a gem install:

sudo gem instal  poolparty-0.2.94.gem

And it installed fine, recursively installing all gem dependencies.


Next post will be on using PoolParty to get something going on Amazon EC2.


  1. Mike Glass Mike Glass March 30, 2009

    the newest gem works like a charm (as of 3/30/08). When is the follow-up article coming? Did you give up on Pool Party? If so: What have you used instead?

  2. Robert J Berger Robert J Berger April 4, 2009

    I’m kind of giving up poolparty and plan to mainly use Chef unless they can be combined… Don’t know for sure yet…

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