What is Pow Exactly?


Pow is a zero config Rack server for macOS.

Woah. Hold up. We just throw that out there like you know what that means… let’s unpack that slightly.

So, first up what’s rack server?

Rack Server

Rack is a modular Ruby webserver interface, which provides a minimal, modular and adaptable interface for developing web applications in Ruby.

You may have come across Rack if you’ve been involved in Rails or Sinatra development, the default webserver WEBrick and the popular Thin servers both use Rack.

So What’s POW again?

Pow is a kind of Rack server, like the one’s mentioned above, created by the team at 37Signals (now Basecamp).

Pow’s primary selling point is the zero-config aspect. Like, nothing to do, just install and go. No apache config. No preference panes. No editing of /etc/hosts file.

Once you’ve got it installed, the next best thing is that there is little or no maintenance required.

And it works with multiple ruby versions, through support for rbenv and bundler.

Installing Pow Manually

Should you want or need to, installing Pow is very simple. From the command line prompt in your mac terminal

curl get.pow.cx | sh

The Pow repo and version hasn’t been updated since October 2014. It would be a shame if the tech gets abandoned completely, because it works well for what it’s designed for and as of today, still works very well with the latest Anvil and macOS version, but it is a concern.

Anvil is a beautiful native mac app interface for Pow, which means you don’t need even need to worry about anything above. Just install and use.