Read my latest article: Six days to complete the Rails hosting survey (posted Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:36:00 GMT)

Howdy Rip!

Posted by Thu, 11 Jun 2009 17:35:00 GMT

Chris Wanstrath (@defunkt) just posted the following on twitter.

“Hello Rip – http://hellorip.com/

The Rip project describes itself as, “an attempt to create a next generation packaging system for Ruby.”

One of the cool features is that it supports multiple environments. For example, you can have different Rip environments (with different gem versioning) that are targeted towards specific applications. I have to dig around more through the project, but this looks fascinating.

Check it out at http://hellorip.com/

I’m also curious as to how you think you might be able to start using this.

Get to know a gem: Ghost

Posted by Mon, 12 Jan 2009 06:18:00 GMT

In my last post, Subdomain accounts with Ruby on Rails explaind, I mentioned that you’d need to modify your /etc/hosts file to use custom subdomains for development/testing. Apparently, there is a much better way to handle this that I was introduced to by Nathan de Vries. Nathan suggests using a gem that I hadn’t heard of before that bares the name of Ghost (view project on github).

Ghost describes itself as…

“A gem that allows you to create, list, and modify local hostnames in 10.5 with ease…”—

If you’ve ever had to modify your /etc/hosts file for anything local, I highly encourage you to check out this shiny gem.

Installing Ghost

Like most gems, you can just install Ghost with the following command.


~ : sudo gem install ghost
Password:
Successfully installed ghost-0.1.2-universal-darwin-9
1 gem installed
Installing ri documentation for ghost-0.1.2-universal-darwin-9...
Installing RDoc documentation for ghost-0.1.2-universal-darwin-9...

Okay, now that Ghost is installed, let’s see what we can do with it.

Using Ghost for local domains/subdomains

Ghost is fairly straight forward. It’s essentially a friendly wrapper for dscl, which is the Directory Service command line utility for Mac OS X. I’ve never played with that directly, but it seems that with Ghost… I shouldn’t need to. :-)

With Ghost, you can add, modify, and delete entries in the Directory Service by issuing any of the following commands. Let’s start out by running ghost to see what we have here.


 ~ : ghost
USAGE: ghost add <hostname> [<ip=127.0.1.1>]
       ghost modify <hostname> <ip>
       ghost delete <hostname>
       ghost list
       ghost empty

Okay, let’s see if there is anything already listed.


   ~ : ghost list
  Listing 0 host(s):

Nope. Let’s test this out. First, we’ll try to ping a domain name that we hope doesn’t exist.


   ~ : ping bigbrown.cow
  ping: cannot resolve bigbrown.cow: Unknown host  

Alright, now we’ll add bigbrown.cow with ghost.


   ~ : ghost add bigbrown.cow
  Password:
    [Adding] bigbrown.cow -> 127.0.0.1

As you can see, it required root credentials to do this as it’s system-wide. Let’s now see if we can talk to bigbrown.cow.


   ~ : ping bigbrown.cow     
  PING bigbrown.cow (127.0.0.1): 56 data bytes
  64 bytes from 127.0.0.1: icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=0.047 ms
  64 bytes from 127.0.0.1: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.035 ms
  ^C
  --- bigbrown.cow ping statistics ---
  2 packets transmitted, 2 packets received, 0% packet loss
  round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 0.035/0.041/0.047/0.006 ms

Excellent! If we run ghost list again, we should see this record.


~ : ghost list
Listing 1 host(s):
  bigbrown.cow -> 127.0.0.1

We can modify the record to a non-localhost IP as well with ghost modify.


   ~ : ghost modify bigbrown.cow 192.168.10.104
    [Modifying] bigbrown.cow -> 192.168.10.104
   ~ : ghost list
  Listing 1 host(s):
    bigbrown.cow -> 192.168.10.104  

I’ll let you play with it yourself as there isn’t much to it. This is a great little addition to my development environment. Thanks to Nathan for pointing it out and to Bodaniel Jeanes for creating this useful gem.

The HTTParty has just begun

Posted by Thu, 27 Nov 2008 01:54:00 GMT

After releasing the new RubyURL API, I decided that it was time to look around at libraries to interact with it. I came across a new Ruby gem from John Nunemaker named, HTTParty, which aims to make it easy to talk to XML and JSON-based web services. Be sure to read John’s announcement of HTTParty.

So, I decided it might be fun to introduce more people to the gem by showing you all how to use it to talk to the new RubyURL API.

Install HTTParty

Before we get started, you’ll need to install the HTTParty gem with the following command:


   ~ : sudo gem install httparty
  Password:
  When you HTTParty, you must party hard!
  Successfully installed httparty-0.1.6
  1 gem installed
  Installing ri documentation for httparty-0.1.6...
  Installing RDoc documentation for httparty-0.1.6...

Great! Now that we’re ready to party hard, let’s build something.

Talking to the RubyURL API

The RubyURL API currently supports both XML and JSON, which are each supported by HTTParty. The great thing about HTTParty is that all you need to do is include it in a class and you’re able to quickly talk to remote services.

In this following example, we’re going to create a new class called Rubyurl.

class Rubyurl
end

What we’ll want to do now is include the HTTParty library. (note: you’ll need to require both rubygems and httparty gems and I’ll skip those lines in following code samples)

class Rubyurl
  include HTTParty
end

The HTTParty provides a few class methods, which we can use to configure our library. We’ll go ahead and specify the base_uri, which we’ll set to rubyurl.com.

class Rubyurl
  include HTTParty
  base_uri 'rubyurl.com'
end

Now that our class is setup to talk to the Rubyurl.com site, we’ll want to add a new method which we can use to communicate with the RubyURL API. We’ll call this shorten as we’re using RubyURL to shorten long URLs… right?

class Rubyurl
  include HTTParty
  base_uri 'localhost:3000'

  def self.shorten( website_url )
  end
end

Our new shorten method will expect us to provide it with a website url, which we’ll want RubyURL to return a shortened URL for. The PATH for the API that we’ll want to talk to is: /api/links, which we’re expected to pass XML or JSON to.

Here are two examples of using the RubyURL API with HTTParty.

RubyURL via JSON w/HTTParty

We’re going to use the post method that is provided with HTTParty to send a request to /api/links.json. As you can see, we’re providing the original website url to the web service.

class Rubyurl
  include HTTParty
  base_uri 'rubyurl.com'

  def self.shorten( website_url )
    post( '/api/links.json', :query => { :link => { :website_url => website_url } } )
  end
end

When ran, it’ll produce the following:

  >> Rubyurl.shorten( 'http://github.com/jnunemaker/httparty/tree/master/lib/httparty.rb' ).inspect
  => {"link"=>{"permalink"=>"http://rubyurl.com/uJVu", "website_url"=>"http://github.com/jnunemaker/httparty/tree/master/lib/httparty.rb"}}

Pretty simple, eh?

RubyURL via XML w/HTTParty

The great thing about HTTParty is that you can use XML without changing much.

class Rubyurl
  include HTTParty
  base_uri 'rubyurl.com'

  def self.shorten( website_url )
    post( '/api/links.xml', :query => { :link => { :website_url => website_url } } )
  end
end

Produces the following

<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?>
<link>
  <website_url>http://github.com/jnunemaker/httparty/tree/master/lib/httparty.rb</website_url>
  <permalink>http://rubyurl.com/uJVu</permalink>
</link>

Closing thoughts

So… there you have it. HTTParty makes it extremely easy to interact with various web services that work over HTTP. I’d encourage you all to take a few minutes to experiment with it and see what crazy ideas that come to mind during the process. :-)

Ruby 1.8.7 on MacPorts causing some problems

Posted by Fri, 20 Jun 2008 21:11:00 GMT

It appears that MacPorts has upgraded to Ruby 1.8.7, which is good news if you’re running Rails 2.1… but if you have an older Rails application… it’s not going to work too well.

In order to get Ruby 1.8.6 installed with the latest MacPorts, you’ll need to do the following.


  $ mkdir /Users/Shared/dports

$ svn checkout -r 36429 \ 
    http://svn.macports.org/repository/macports/trunk/dports/lang/ruby/ \ 
    /Users/Shared/dports/lang/ruby/

Then you’ll need to modify your macports to use this new local source. You’ll need to edit /opt/local/etc/macports/sources.conf and add the following line above the existing rsync record.

file:///Users/Shared/dports and create that directory

Next, you’ll want to index this new local source with the following command:

portindex /Users/Shared/dports

After that, you can do the following.

sudo port uninstall rb-rubygems ruby

sudo port clean rb-rubygems ruby

sudo rm -r /opt/local/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/doc/rubygems-1.1.1/

sudo port deactivate autoconf

sudo port install ruby rb-rubygems

..and hopefully you’ll have Ruby 1.8.6 installed and be able to retain the rubygems you installed already.

Installing Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL on OS X, Third Edition

Posted by Tue, 22 Jan 2008 17:55:00 GMT

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

WARNING: This post contains some outdated instructions. Please read Installing Ruby on Rails, Passenger, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oh My Zsh on Snow Leopard, Fourth Edition , which is focused on Installing Ruby on Rails on Snow Leopard.

During this installation, we’ll have what we feel is the optimal development stack for building Ruby on Rails applications with our favorite database server, PostgreSQL.

Ready? Let’s get started…

Phase One

During this initial phase, we’re going to install the underlying dependencies that we’ll be building off of.

XCode 3.0

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. :-)

MacPorts

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.

Install MacPorts-1.6.0

Work you way through the installer until successfully installed.

Install MacPorts-1.6.0

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: /opt/local/bin/port version

_opt_local_bin_port version

If it responds with a version number like mine did in the screenshot above, we’re moving along nicely.

Environment Paths

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 /etc/profile.

If you have Textmate installed, you can run the following from your terminal: mate /etc/profile

Add the following line to the bottom of /etc/profile.

export PATH=/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:$PATH
profile

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 $PATH.

which port

You should see /opt/local/bin/port show up as the result of this command.

which port

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    
hiding apples ruby

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.

Phase Two

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.

  • rails-2.0.2
  • rake-0.8.1
  • activesupport-2.0.2
  • activerecord-2.0.2
  • actionpack-2.0.2
  • actionmailer-2.0.2
  • activeresource-2.0.2

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)
My terminal output:

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.

Phase Three

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

At Planet Argon, we design and develop our applications on top of PostgreSQL. I’ve been advocating the adoption of this awesome open source database in the Rails community for quite some time now.

The current version available of PostgreSQL via MacPorts is 8.3, which is what we’ll now install with the port command.

$ sudo port install postgresql83 postgresql83-server

This will download and install the necessary libraries to run PostgreSQL server and the client utilities.

Configuring PostgreSQL

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.

mate /etc/profile

Modify the PATH that we changed earlier to include /opt/local/lib/postgresql83/bin@.

export PATH=/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:/opt/local/lib/postgresql83/bin:$PATH

Save the file and then open a new terminal. To test this, you should get the following output when you run which psql.


  $ 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 -U postgres).


  $ createuser --superuser robbyrussell -U postgres
  CREATE ROLE    
Let’s take a quick moment to test this out.

  # 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? :-)

Closing Thoughts

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.

Installing Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL on OS X, Second Edition

Posted by Tue, 19 Jun 2007 18:54:00 GMT

It’s been just over a year since I posted the article, Install Ruby, Rails, and PostgreSQL on OSX and it still gets quite a bit of traffic. Unfortunately, there have been a few changes in the install process that have caught people.

Today, I am leaving my PowerBook G4. It’s being replaced with a MacBook because the logic board is on the fritz. So, guess what that means? I get to install Ruby, Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL on OS X again! I figured that I would post a revised version of my previous article for those who may go through this same process in the near future.

WARNING: This post contains some outdated instructions. Please read Installing Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL on OS X, Third Edition, which is focused on Installing Ruby on Rails on Leopard.

Step Zero: Install iTerm (optional)

You’ll spend a lot of time in your terminal as a Rails developer. I’m not a big fan of Terminal.app as it lacks tabbed windows1 and you’ll often find me with around ten tabs open. I’ve been using iTerm for a few years and it’s definitely improved in the past year and doesn’t seem to crash nearly as often as it used to.

Once installed, I always change the default color scheme as I prefer the white on black schema. The menus in iTerm are lacking some thoughtful interaction design, but I’ve figured out the right way to do it (after a long time of stumbling on it by accident). In iTerm, you’ll want to edit the Default bookmark, which you can access by going to Manage Bookmarks under the Bookmarks Menu.

Set the Display value to classic iTerm and you’re golden.

Now… let’s get to business…

Step 1: Install Xcode Tools

Without installing Xcode tools from Apple, we’re not going to get very far. First, you’ll need to grab a copy of Xcode, which you can download on Apple’s Developer Connection site. It’s almost a 1GB download, so you’ll want to start your download and use your multi-tasking skills and grab a Viso, read some blog posts.

I’m going to make the assumption here that you know how to install a dmg on osx. Once this is installed, you can move on to the next step!

Step 2: All Your MacPorts are Belong to Us

MacPorts (formerly known as DarwinPorts) is a package management system for OS X. This is what we’ll use to install most of the necessary programs to develop and run your Ruby on Rails applications. If you’re from the Linux or BSD world, you are likely familiar with similar tools… such as: apt-get, port, and yum.

You’ll want to download MacPorts and install the dmg file.

Now that this is installed, we should test it.

With a new terminal, run the following:


$ port version
Version: 1.442

Success! Let’s get going…

Step 3: Installing the Ruby on Rails development stack

We’re going to go through a series of small steps, which may take some time depending on how fast your internet connection and computer is.

Install Ruby and RubyGems

In order to install Ruby, we’re going to use MacPorts with the port command, which is now available for installing various packages on our OS X machines.

$ sudo port install ruby rb-rubygems

It’ll probably take a while to download and install Ruby and all of it’s known dependencies. In the meantime, check out some funny code. KTHXBYE!

Still waiting for it to install, perhaps you could do something like… begin writing a comment on this post, writing your own blog post, watch a funny video, or recommend me. I walked to Backspace with Gary to get an Americano… and it’s still not done. :-p

(minutes/hours/weeks later)

Okay… I trust that it finished installing Ruby and RubyGems without any hiccups. Let’s test them from our terminal to make sure.

Let’s check the version…


$ ruby -v
ruby 1.8.6 (2007-03-13 patchlevel 0) [i686-darwin8.9.1]

Now, let’s make sure that Ruby is working properly…

$ irb
irb(main):001:0> x = 1     
=> 1
irb(main):002:0> puts "wee!!!" if x == 1
wee!!!

Great, we’re on a roll. Let’s get the rest of the stack installed.

Install Ruby on Rails

We’re going to install Ruby on Rails with the gem command that installing RubyGems provided.


$ sudo gem install -y rails

This command should produce an output similar to the following.


Successfully installed rails-1.2.3
Successfully installed rake-0.7.3
Successfully installed activesupport-1.4.2
Successfully installed activerecord-1.15.3
Successfully installed actionpack-1.13.3
Successfully installed actionmailer-1.3.3
Successfully installed actionwebservice-1.2.3
Installing ri documentation for rake-0.7.3...
Installing ri documentation for activesupport-1.4.2...
Installing ri documentation for activerecord-1.15.3...
Installing ri documentation for actionpack-1.13.3...
Installing ri documentation for actionmailer-1.3.3...
Installing ri documentation for actionwebservice-1.2.3...
Installing RDoc documentation for rake-0.7.3...
Installing RDoc documentation for activesupport-1.4.2...
Installing RDoc documentation for activerecord-1.15.3...
Installing RDoc documentation for actionpack-1.13.3...
Installing RDoc documentation for actionmailer-1.3.3...
Installing RDoc documentation for actionwebservice-1.2.3...    

Install Rails-friendly gems

Mongrel

If you’re developing with Rails, it’s highly recommended that you use install and use Mongrel for your development and production environments. The following command will install the mongrel and mongrel_cluster gems (including their dependencies).

$ sudo gem install -y mongrel mongrel_cluster

* Note: Be sure to select the proper platform for mongrel. (hint: OS X is NOT mswin32)

My terminal output:


$ sudo gem install -y mongrel mongrel_cluster
Password:
Bulk updating Gem source index for: http://gems.rubyforge.org
Select which gem to install for your platform (i686-darwin8.9.1)
 1. mongrel 1.0.1 (mswin32)
 2. mongrel 1.0.1 (ruby)
 3. mongrel 1.0 (mswin32)
 4. mongrel 1.0 (ruby)
 5. Skip this gem
 6. Cancel installation
> 2
Select which gem to install for your platform (i686-darwin8.9.1)
 1. fastthread 1.0 (ruby)
 2. fastthread 1.0 (mswin32)
 3. fastthread 0.6.4.1 (mswin32)
 4. fastthread 0.6.4.1 (ruby)
 5. Skip this gem
 6. Cancel installation
> 1
Building native extensions.  This could take a while...
Building native extensions.  This could take a while...
Successfully installed mongrel-1.0.1
Successfully installed daemons-1.0.6
Successfully installed fastthread-1.0
Successfully installed gem_plugin-0.2.2
Successfully installed cgi_multipart_eof_fix-2.1
Installing ri documentation for mongrel-1.0.1...
Installing ri documentation for daemons-1.0.6...
Installing ri documentation for gem_plugin-0.2.2...
Installing ri documentation for cgi_multipart_eof_fix-2.1...
Installing RDoc documentation for mongrel-1.0.1...
Installing RDoc documentation for daemons-1.0.6...
Installing RDoc documentation for gem_plugin-0.2.2...
Installing RDoc documentation for cgi_multipart_eof_fix-2.1...
Successfully installed mongrel_cluster-0.2.1    

Step 4: Installing the World’s Most Advanced Database Server… PostgreSQL!

At PLANET ARGON, we develop our applications on top of PostgreSQL. I’ve long been advocating the adoption of this awesome open source database in the Rails community. Just over a year ago, Jeremy Voorhis (PLANET ARGON alumnus) and I were interviewed on the Ruby on Rails podcast and had the opportunity to discuss our preference of PostgreSQL over the alternatives (mysql, sqlite, firebird, etc.).

We’re going to install PostgreSQL 8.2 from MacPorts by running the following command.

$ sudo port install postgresql82 postgresql82-server

While this is installing, you might take a moment to check out some space shuttles.

Setting up PostgreSQL

You may have noticed the output of the previous port installation of PostgreSQL 8.2, suggested that you do the following. Let’s do that now…


$ sudo mkdir -p /opt/local/var/db/postgresql82/defaultdb
$ sudo chown postgres:postgres /opt/local/var/db/postgresql82/defaultdb
$ sudo su postgres -c '/opt/local/lib/postgresql82/bin/initdb -D /opt/local/var/db/postgresql82/defaultdb'    

Have PostgreSQL start automatically on system start-ups

Unless you’re concerned about extra applications running in the background, I’d encourage you to add PostgreSQL to launchd, which will start it automatically after system reboots.

$ sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.postgresql82-server.plist

Adding PostgreSQL commands to your $PATH

For some reason, MacPorts doesn’t add the PostgreSQL programs to the default bash PATH, which means that you can’t run psql, pg_dump, or createdb/dropdb without specifying the full path to where they were installed. What we’ll do is add them to our default terminal profile.

sudo vi /etc/profile
(you can use mate, emacs, joe or any other preferred editor to do this)

This file gets loaded every time a new terminal session is started.

Let’s add /opt/local/lib/postgresql82/bin to the end of the value for PATH.


PATH="/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:/opt/local/lib/postgresql82/bin"    

Save the file and then open a new terminal. To test this, you should get the following output when you run which psql.


$ which psql
/opt/local/lib/postgresql82/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 -U postgres).


$ createuser --superuser robbyrussell -U postgres
CREATE ROLE

Let’s take a quick moment to test this out.


# 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 the Ruby Postgres gem

UPDATE: Hydro posted a commented, which lead me to the ruby-postgres gem.

You can install ruby-postgres gem by running the following command.


$ sudo gem install -y ruby-postgres

Let’s take a moment to test that this installed properly.


$ irb
irb(main):001:0> require 'rubygems'
=> true
irb(main):002:0> require 'postgres'
=> true

If this returns true, than we should be good to go. We’ve now built a professional development environment for working with Ruby on Rails. Doesn’t that feel great?

Test your install

You can look back at my older post to walk through the process of testing out your setup with a new Rails application.

Closing thoughts

I hope that this post has been useful for you. It took me a few hours to walk through this process and it’s how all of our designers and developers at PLANET ARGON installs and configures their development environment.

We also install the following programs on new machines.

  • TextMate
  • Subversion: sudo port install subversion
  • RSpec: sudo gem install -y rspec
  • ...amongst other gems that are needed on specific projects

Until next time… have fun!

1 Rumor: Mac OS X Leopard will give Terminal.app tabs! (see screenshot)

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