This is a complete yet summarized guide to set up a Ruby on Rails development environment on Linux.
Installing and configuring Sublime Text, Github, and Heroku are optional but we’re included for the sake of completeness. Since these are the de facto tools for editing source code, managing code repositories and deploying applications on the Rails world, you’ll probably want to install them and get used to them.
Assuming you already have Ubuntu installed, let’s start!
Installing Ruby, the core language
Install Ruby’s dependencies first:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install git-core curl zlib1g-dev build-essential libssl-dev libreadline-dev libyaml-dev libsqlite3-dev sqlite3 libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev
Install rvm (ruby version manager), a command-line tool which allows you to easily install, manage, and work with multiple ruby environments:
sudo apt-get install libgdbm-dev libncurses5-dev automake libtool bison libffi-dev curl -L https://get.rvm.io | bash -s stable source ~/.rvm/scripts/rvm echo "source ~/.rvm/scripts/rvm" >> ~/.bashrc rvm get stable # updates to the latest version
Install Ruby using rvm:
rvm install 2.1.0 # installs ruby 2.1.0, it might take a while rvm use 2.1.0 --default ruby -v # should print your ruby's version
It’s probably a good idea to install a YAML library, as you might need it later:
apt-get install libyaml-dev # For Debian-based Linux systems yum install libyaml-devel # For Fedora/CentOS/RHEL Linux systems brew install libyaml # For Mac with Homebrew
Finally tell RubyGems (which was installed with Ruby and is responsible for managing gems) not to install the documentation for each package locally:
echo "gem: --no-ri --no-rdoc" > ~/.gemrc
Installing Rails, the framework
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chris-lea/node.js sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install nodejs
Time to lay down the rails for your train (get it?):
gem install rails rails -v # should print your Rails version
Installing Sublime Text, the code editor
Sublime Text is a elegant, customizable, and powerful text/code editor. Here’s why you should use it. Customizing it would need another guide, for now let’s just install it:
# For Sublime-Text-2 sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-2 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install sublime-text # For Sublime-Text-3 (beta) sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer
Configuring Git(hub), the code repository
When you installed Ruby’s dependencies you installed Git. I strongly advise you to use Git as your version control system. If you’re planning to develop alone, you can start using Git locally right away, just execute
git init on your application’s folder.
However, if you want to push your local changes to a remote code repository or share your code online and let others fork it, you should create a free Github account. Once you have your Github account:
git config --global color.ui true git config --global core.editor "subl -w" # use Sublime Text as the default code editor git config --global user.name "Alice Wonderland" # replace with your name git config --global user.email "[email protected]" # replace with your email ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "[email protected]"
The last command will generate a public and a private SSH key. This keys are used to authenticate you before you push changes to the online repository. You’ll get something like this:
Generating public/private rsa key pair. Enter file in which to save the key (/home/alice/.ssh/id_rsa): # press enter to use default location Created directory '/home/alice/.ssh'. Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): # optional, encrypts your private key Your identification has been saved in /home/alice/.ssh/id_rsa. # private key, DO NOT share it Your public key has been saved in /home/alice/.ssh/id_rsa.pub. # public key, you need to send this to github
To copy the public key, open it on a text editor, and copy the file’s contents:
Go to your Github’s Account Settings > SSH keys > Add SSH keys. Give it any title and paste the copied public key.
Configuring the database
Rails ships with sqlite3 as the default database. Chances are you won’t want to use it because it’s stored as a simple file on disk. You’ll probably want something more robust like MySQL (Rails’ default) or PostgreSQL (Heroku’s default) or both!
I use MySQL for development and testing and PostgreSQL for production. Since Rails is database agnostic, as long as you correctly configure your databases (
databases.yml file) everything will work just fine.
The PostgreSQL installation doesn’t setup a user for you, so you’ll have to do it manually after you install it:
sudo sh -c "echo 'deb http://apt.postgresql.org/pub/repos/apt/ precise-pgdg main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pgdg.list" wget --quiet -O - http://apt.postgresql.org/pub/repos/apt/ACCC4CF8.asc | sudo apt-key add - sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install postgresql-common sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.3 libpq-dev # installs postgresql version 9.3
Let’s create a user with permissions to create databases. Attention: the name of the postgres user should be the name of the user currently logged in on your operating system – therefore you will praobably create a user called
john instead of the usual
sudo -u postgres createuser alice -s # the currently logged user's name
Now for the password:
sudo -u postgres psql # start postgres \password alice # tell it you want to change your password Enter new password: # do it \q # quit when you're done
Later on, after Rails creates your application you should configure the
database.yml file with the user and password you just created on the previous step.
Installing Heroku, the production environment
Once you have your application working locally you’ll want to deploy it online so that user can… well, use it! Heroku integrates really well with Rails and its free. So sign up and install Heroku’s toolbelt:
wget -qO- https://toolbelt.heroku.com/install-ubuntu.sh | sh # Debian or Ubuntu heroku login # type in your credentials heroku keys:add # this will associate your github's SSH keys with heroku
Done… but is it working?
To test your Ruby/Rails installation:
rails new myapp #### If you want to use MySQL rails new myapp -d mysql #### If you want to use Postgres # Note that this will expect a postgres user with the same username # as your app. You should edit the file at myapp/config/database.yml # to match the user you created earlier rails new myapp -d postgresql # Move into the application directory cd myapp # If you setup MySQL or Postgres with a username/password, modify the # config/database.yml file to contain the username/password that you specified rake db:create # Create the database rails server # And open your browser at the url output by this command
This tutorial was based on GoRails’. To test the whole development workflow (from zero to deploy) follow Michael Hartl’s Rails Tutorial.
2 replies on “Setting up your Rails environment from scratch”
I have a rails environment on my mac, but I also have a linux laptop for browsing. I wanted to set up a ruby/rails environment on the linux machine(git/sublime/postgres). .this thing from start to finish worked flawlessly. Especially the Postgres piece as I am trying to move away from sqllite. Thanks much.
Glad to know it helped ;)