Linux: Installing Ruby on Rails

The official Ruby on Rails documentation has a good guide on how to install Ruby on Rails. I still had some problems setting everything up, so here I will describe how I installed Ruby on Rails on Linux (LMDE).

Installing Ruby on Linux

Before installing Ruby on Rails we need to install Ruby as well as Ruby Gems and sqlite:

sudo apt-get install ruby rubygems sqlite3

Installing Ruby on Rails on Linux

sudo gem install rails -V

-V because otherwise you will get no direct feedback. Downloading and installing Ruby on Rails takes a lot of time, so without verbose output it looks like the install of ruby on rails stopped.

If the installation hangs at this step:

Installing RDoc documentation for rails-4.1.0...
rdoc --op /var/lib/gems/1.9.1/doc/rails-4.1.0/rdoc lib --title rails-4.1.0 Documentation --quiet

Try to install Ruby on Rails without documentation:

sudo gem install rails -V --no-ri --no-rdoc

Installing Ruby on Rails on LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition)

On LMDE, the above steps did not work for me, I got the following error message:

ERROR:  Error installing rails:
    ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension.

        /usr/bin/ruby1.9.1 extconf.rb
/usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rubygems/custom_require.rb:36:in `require': cannot load such file -- mkmf (LoadError)
    from /usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rubygems/custom_require.rb:36:in `require'

    from extconf.rb:1:in `<main>'

This could be fixed by installing the following package before installing Ruby on Rails:

sudo apt-get install ruby-dev

Installing additional dependencies for Ruby on Rails

The Ruby on Rails server does not work without a Javascript Runtime (You would get the following error when starting the server: Could not find a JavaScript runtime.). You can install execjs with this command:

sudo gem install execjs

execjs depends on nodejs, so go ahead and install that as well:

sudo apt-get install nodejs

Creating a new Rails Project and starting the Server

Now you can go ahead and check if everything works:

rails new TestProject
cd TestProject
rails server
If you now visit http://localhost:3000/ you should see a page displaying: Welcome aboard You’re riding Ruby on Rails!

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