Bundler and I are breaking up

Posted by Luke Francl
on Thursday, February 18

Bundler may be the future, but after way too many hours of trying to get my app working with Rails 2.3.5, bundler 0.9.x, and Heroku I have decided to throw in the towel and switch back to Heroku’s gem manifest system.

I had Bundler 0.8 working very nicely but for whatever reason I couldn’t get the gems to play nice with each other in the new version. I had the app working locally and the tests passing, but on Heroku the app wouldn’t boot. This could have something to do with Heroku running Bundler 0.9.5 while I was running 0.9.7 locally. Whatever the reason, I’ve decided to take a break from bundler and wait until its development stabilizes a bit—at least on Heroku.

If you’re in the same boat, you can use this script to convert your Gemfile back to a .gems file and config.gem statements.


Leave a response

  1. JGeigerFebruary 18, 2010 @ 03:54 PM

    The change from 0.8 to 0.9 just messed up my ability to use it with rails 2.3.5. It’s too bad. I made the mistake of jumping in with both feet and am now stuck with a bunch of sites on bundler 0.8.1. I’d love to play with rails 3, but the fact that I can’t have 0.9.x and 0.8.1 installed at the same time kills it…

  2. Trevor TurkFebruary 18, 2010 @ 04:07 PM

    Me too. I’m tired of fighting with you, Bundler.

  3. Yehuda KatzFebruary 18, 2010 @ 04:39 PM

    Hey Luke,

    I’m really sorry to hear about the problems you had. It would be great if you could provide us with the backtrace you were seeing on Heroku (as well as your configuration: locked, unlocked, packed?).

    @JGeiger and @Trevor we’ve been doing a bunch of work for 2.3.5 in the latest releases, and added some information to the README. If you could provide us with the errors you’re seeing, that would help us get bundler solid more quickly


  4. Leandro PedroniFebruary 18, 2010 @ 05:56 PM

    I think the problem is the one described in this issue in the repo:


    It’s about including the postgresql gem in the gemfile for the production setup only. Installing the postgre gem on the development machine is a nightmare.

  5. Joel MeadorFebruary 18, 2010 @ 11:31 PM

    I fought bundler 0.9.5 on rails 2.3.5

  6. Joel MeadorFebruary 18, 2010 @ 11:32 PM

    I fought bundler 0.9.5 on rails 2.3.5 a couple of days ago. I gave up because my app would only start up properly about 40% of the time. The errors didn’t make a whole lot of sense. config.gem it is.

    Also, the best documentation I could find for using bundler was a gist. That was lame.

  7. MGornickFebruary 18, 2010 @ 11:32 PM


    I had the exact same issue. My heroku app went down for about an hour while I’ll was trying to figure out all the errors.

    I posted my notes on making the transition from the older bundler upto 0.9.5, getting it to working with rails 2.3.5, and heroku. It worked for me and I have an public app in my github account that is running all of these changes if anyone wants to cross check changes.

    I’m going to bookmark your site if I run into a bundler issue in the future though.

    @Leandro Yes, I had to include the pg gem and install postresql locally to get everything working.

  8. Christopher RigorFebruary 19, 2010 @ 03:18 AM

    Someone added a comment on my post http://blog.admoolabs.com/using-bundler-0-9-4-with-rails-2-3-5/#comment-34799534 that he got bundler and rails 2.3.5 to work with heroku. I haven’t tried it though. I use bundler to install the gems, and rubygems to load them (i.e. I don’t use Bundler.setup)

  9. Tomek GrzelakFebruary 19, 2010 @ 03:43 AM

    I had the same problem. After few hours of fight I surrendered and went back to Heroku’s .gems file – that took 3 minutes :) I tried bundler 0.9.5 and 0.9.6. First there was some issue with locking (bundle lock) and formtastic + haml gems. After that Heroku asked me to add “gem pg” to my Gemfile (they use Postgres, I use Sqlite3). That didn’t help because I didn’t want to install Postgres on my Mac. So I tried “bundle install—without production—relock” no luck – another set of errors on Heroku. All that made me a little sad because I’m really counting on Rails+Heroku as my feature production environment. Being on the edge can suck sometime :)

  10. mileszsFebruary 19, 2010 @ 06:37 AM

    I did the same thing a week or two ago; I tried Heroku + bundler, it wasn’t working (in that the app wasn’t booting on Heroku), I was rushing things a bit, so I just wrote up the gem manifest file. BAM! It worked.

    Unfortunately, that means I didn’t contribute any information back to the bundler gem, about which I now feel guilty. This post might be the kick I needed to try it again.

  11. Simon HarrisFebruary 19, 2010 @ 07:06 AM

    I’m not using Rails but I had a similar experience. I had a Sinatra app running wonderfully with 0.8.x then along came 0.9 and I’ve had nothing but issues. After a day or so I managed to wrestle it into submission but even now the behaviour is inconsistent.

  12. Ralph von der HeydenFebruary 19, 2010 @ 10:01 AM

    I also had issues with Rails 2.3 apps and bundler 0.9, until 0.9.7 came out. According to my experience, any bundler release in the 0.9 line before 0.9.7 should have never seen the light of day as stable gem releases. Bundler 0.9.7 should have been bundler 0.9, and I never would have been so disappointed.

    On the other hand, my apps (based on Rails 2.3.5) are running fine with 0.9.7. No problems or whatsoever. There are still no build options, but you can work around those in most cases. I really like the 0.9.7 release and I hope the bundler maintainers keep the good work coming, so we’ll have a rock solid 1.0.0 release.

  13. Nick QuarantoFebruary 19, 2010 @ 11:15 AM

    If it helps any, I upgraded Gemcutter yesterday to Bundler 0.9:


    The folks in #carlhuda have been extremely helpful, I definitely want to get a Rails guide started this weekend on it.

  14. Carl LercheFebruary 21, 2010 @ 06:14 PM

    @Ralph “any bundler release in the 0.9 line before 0.9.7 should have never seen the light of day as stable gem releases.” Actually, none of the bundler releases are considered “stable”. 1.0 will be considered as such.

  15. Luke FranclMarch 10, 2010 @ 03:23 PM

    I think the problem was that a lot of people, including Heroku and me, jumped on the Bundler bandwagon with 0.8 and then when everything changed drastically with 0.9 it was hard to get upgraded; and at the time there was no way to keep your old bundler 0.8 apps running if you needed to upgrade to 0.9.x.

    This is getting better, and I salute the work that Yehuda and the bundler developers are doing. Bundler is a much-needed part of the Rails deployment and development ecosystem.