Installing Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL on OS X, Third Edition
3 comments Latest by Scof Fri, 05 Feb 2010 18:03:22 GMT
Over the past few years, I’ve helped you walk through the process of getting Ruby on Rails up and running on Mac OS X. The last version has been getting a lot of comments related to issues with the new Apple Leopard, so I’m going this post will expand on previous installation guides with what’s working for me as of January 2008.
The following guide is how our development team at Planet Argon prefers to setup our development workstations
Ready? Let’s get started…
During this initial phase, we’re going to install the underlying dependencies that we’ll be building off of.
The first thing that you’ll need to install to get far with this process is XCode tools, which is distributed by Apple. You can find this on the DVD that your Leopard installer is on. You can also download the latest version from Apple’s developer site.
The current version (3.0) is 1.1 GB.. so the download time will vary depending on your connection speed. I would encourage you to drink some tea and/or read a book
Once you finish the installation, you can move forward. The rest of these installation will not work until XCode is installed. :-)
In this next step, we’ll install MacPorts (formerly known as DarwinPorts). The MacPorts web site describes itself as, “an open-source community initiative to design an easy-to-use system for compiling, installing, and upgrading either command-line, X11 or Aqua based open-source software on the Mac OS X operating system.”
This tool is about to become one of the most important tools on your operating system as it’ll be used time and time again to maintain your libraries and many of the Unix tools that you’ll be using. If you’re from the Linux or BSD world, you are likely familiar with similar tools… such as: apt-get, port, and yum.
First, you’ll want to download MacPorts and install the “dmg” disk file for Leopard at the following link.
Once downloaded, you’ll want to run the installer and install it on your workstation.
Work you way through the installer until successfully installed.
Once this finishes, you can open up your favorite terminal application and run the following to test that it installed properly.
In my case, I’m now using Terminal.app.
Issue the command:
If it responds with a version number like mine did in the screenshot above, we’re moving along nicely.
When we install MacPorts, the command to install/update ports installed to
/opt/local/bin. We had to provide the entire path as this isn’t currently showing up in the default
$PATH on Leopard. Let’s quickly remedy this by modifying the file
If you have Textmate installed, you can run the following from your terminal:
Add the following line to the bottom of
You can use your favorite editor to update this file. Once you save it, you’ll want to restart your terminal application (or open a new tab) to create a new session. When your new terminal opens, run the following to verify that
port is showing up in your
You should see
/opt/local/bin/port show up as the result of this command.
Great, let’s continue to move forward.
Hiding Apple’s Ruby, Gems, and Rails
Before we install Ruby from MacPorts, we’ll go ahead and hide Apple’s Ruby installations.
:~ robbyrussell$ sudo su - Password: :~ root# mv /usr/bin/ruby /usr/bin/ruby.orig :~ root# mv /usr/bin/gem /usr/bin/gem.orig :~ root# mv /usr/bin/rails /usr/bin/rails.orig :~ root# logout
If you ever decide to remove MacPorts, you can just rename
ruby.orig back to
ruby and you’re back where you started… and the same for the others listed.
During this next phase, we’re going to install Ruby and Ruby on Rails.
Installing Ruby via MacPorts
Now that we have MacPorts up and running, we’re going to use it for the first time. We’ll start by using it to install Ruby and the Rubygems package.
$ sudo port install ruby rb-rubygems
Okay, this will take a little while. I’d suggest that you step out to get some fresh air.
How was it outside? What’s the weather like there today? It’s currently 2:30am PST so it’s dark and an 28F outside so I didn’t stay outside very long.
If you’re still waiting for it to install, perhaps you could watch the following video. I might encourage you to check out more of Jam, which was recommended a few years ago to me by James Adam at Canada on Rails.
Be warned… it’s a strange show, but I find strange things like this funny. :-)
If you prefer something a bit more lighthearted…
Okay… when Ruby finishes installing, you’ll want to test that you can run it.
$ ruby -v
Great, let’s move forward!
Installing Ruby on Rails via RubyGems
We’re now going to install the libraries that make up Ruby on Rails via RubyGems.
$ sudo gem install --include-dependencies rails
This will install the following gems.
Excellent, let’s move forward…
If you haven’t already purchased it, I recommend that you take a look at The Rails Way (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series) by Obie Fernandez.
Installing Mongrel via RubyGems
Let’s now install Mongrel, which is an excellent Ruby-based web server for Ruby on Rails applications. We use it in development and production at Planet Argon and it’s also what we recommend to our hosting customers.
$ sudo gem install --include-dependencies mongrel mongrel_cluster
- Note: Be sure to select the proper platform for mongrel. (hint: OS X is NOT mswin32)
Select which gem to install for your platform (i686-darwin9.1.0) 1. mongrel 1.1.3 (java) 2. mongrel 1.1.3 (i386-mswin32) 3. mongrel 1.1.3 (ruby) 4. mongrel 1.1.2 (ruby) 5. mongrel 1.1.2 (mswin32) 6. mongrel 1.1.2 (java) 7. Skip this gem 8. Cancel installation > 3 Select which gem to install for your platform (i686-darwin9.1.0) 1. fastthread 1.0.1 (mswin32) 2. fastthread 1.0.1 (ruby) 3. Skip this gem 4. Cancel installation > 2 Building native extensions. This could take a while... Building native extensions. This could take a while... Successfully installed mongrel-1.1.3 Successfully installed gem_plugin-0.2.3 Successfully installed daemons-1.0.9 Successfully installed fastthread-1.0.1 Successfully installed cgi_multipart_eof_fix-2.5.0 Installing ri documentation for mongrel-1.1.3... Installing ri documentation for gem_plugin-0.2.3... Installing ri documentation for daemons-1.0.9... Installing ri documentation for fastthread-1.0.1... No definition for dummy_dump No definition for dummy_dump No definition for rb_queue_marshal_load No definition for rb_queue_marshal_dump Installing ri documentation for cgi_multipart_eof_fix-2.5.0... Installing RDoc documentation for mongrel-1.1.3... Installing RDoc documentation for gem_plugin-0.2.3... Installing RDoc documentation for daemons-1.0.9... Installing RDoc documentation for fastthread-1.0.1... No definition for dummy_dump No definition for dummy_dump No definition for rb_queue_marshal_load No definition for rb_queue_marshal_dump Installing RDoc documentation for cgi_multipart_eof_fix-2.5.0... Successfully installed mongrel_cluster-1.0.5
Great, you have almost all of the essentials.. except a database.
In this phase, we’re going to get our database server, PostgreSQL, installed and the libraries that Ruby needs to communicate with it.
Installing PosgreSQL with MacPorts
The current version available of PostgreSQL via MacPorts is 8.3, which is what we’ll now install with the
$ sudo port install postgresql83 postgresql83-server
This will download and install the necessary libraries to run PostgreSQL server and the client utilities.
When PostgreSQL is finished installing, it’ll tell you to run the following commands to create a new database instance.
sudo mkdir -p /opt/local/var/db/postgresql83/defaultdb sudo chown postgres:postgres /opt/local/var/db/postgresql83/defaultdb sudo su postgres -c '/opt/local/lib/postgresql83/bin/initdb -D /opt/local/var/db/postgresql83/defaultdb'
Adding PostgreSQL to launchd
If you’d like to have PostgreSQL automatically startup after a system restart, you can load it into launchd, which comes with OS X. By running the following command, PostgreSQL will startup automatically on the next system restart.
sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.postgresql83-server.plist
Adding PostgreSQL to your $PATH
For some reason, the MacPort for PostgreSQL doesn’t get the programs in your path automatically, so we’ll it now.
PATH that we changed earlier to include /opt/local/lib/postgresql83/bin@.
Save the file and then open a new terminal. To test this, you should get the following output when you run which
$ which psql /opt/local/lib/postgresql83/bin/psql
Creating a new PostgreSQL user
When I’m working on Rails applications in my development environment, I really don’t want to have to specify a username and password in every
config/database.yml file for each of our ongoing client projects. When PostgreSQL was installed, it created a superuser named postgres, which is great, but I’d like one that matches my system username, so that I’m not prompted at all for a username or password to connect to PostgreSQL.
To do this, we’ll use the
createuser command, which comes with PostgreSQL. As you can see, I’m creating a new user with
superuser privileges (and will hopefully be the last time I have to do a
Let’s take a quick moment to test this out.
$ createuser --superuser robbyrussell -U postgres CREATE ROLE
# create a new database $ createdb my_test_db CREATE DATABASE # drop the database $ dropdb my_test_db DROP DATABASE
Great, everything looks good here.
We now have a running installation of PostgreSQL with a new user account. All we need to do now is install the appropriate RubyGem to allow our Ruby applications to connect to it.
Installing PostgreSQL Libraries for Ruby
You can install postgres gem by running the following command.
$ sudo gem install --include-dependencies postgres
Great. We’ve now built a professional development environment for working with Ruby on Rails. Can you feel the excitement? :-)
Like the previous versions, I hope that a few people find this useful. I didn’t have to make a lot of changes from the second edition, but there were enough to warrant a new post. I’ve been setting up my workstation like this for about three years now and I’m looking forward to seeing how a fresh install on Leopard works out for me.
If you have any problems, feel free to ask a question in the comments below.