Here it is a new, super-easy approach to use Rgeo with GEOS on Heroku, by using the amazing heroku-buildpack-apt buildpack.

Update! August, 13th 2019

Add a note about LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable and the Rake Task

1. Add Aptfile

At the root of your repository, add a file called Aptfile with the following content:


Make sure it ends with a newline.

2. Add the heroku-buildpack-apt buildpack

Method 1: Using app.json

You need to add the following entries:

  "buildpacks": [
      "url": ""
      "url": "heroku/ruby"

Method 2: Using the console

$ heroku buildpacks:add --index 1


If you have previously set the LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable, please unset that

$ heroku config:unset LD_LIBRARY_PATH

4. Deploy

Deploy to Heroku. Please note that if you have already installed rgeo, you need to recompile the gem.

Check the deploy log:

# bad
remote:        Using rgeo 0.6.0

# good
remote:        Installing rgeo 0.6.0 with native extensions

You can force recompiling by using the heroku repo plugin, running heroku repo:purge_cache -a appname and deploying again.

5. Check

You can check that everything is working by running heroku run console:

> RGeo::Geos.supported?
=> true

6. Optional Release task

You may be interested in checking that RGeo properly supports GEOS at deploy time. If something goes wrong, the deploy will fail.

Add a release entry to your Procfile:

release: bundle exec rails rgeo_supports_geos

Create a rake task:

# frozen_string_literal: true

desc 'Check if RGeo supports GEOS'
task :rgeo_supports_geos do
  abort 'Error: RGeo does not support GEOS.' unless RGeo::Geos.supported?


An APT package may not be up to date with the latest version of the library it includes. In the before example, you will get GEOS 3.5.0, but (at the moment I’m writing) version 3.6.2 is out.

If you need newer versions of your libraries, you could use the following approach: Compile libraries on Heroku with Vesuvius.


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