Forum: Ruby on Rails Linux Suggestions

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Jason C. (Guest)
on 2006-01-17 02:24
(Received via mailing list)
I'm fairly new to Ruby & Rails and I come from a stricly M$ background.
I'm
trying to move into the world of open source, but I don't have a good
roadmap.
I'm starting to develop a Rails-based product and I want to have the
option to
distribute it to non-hosted customers. So I've said all that to say
this... I
want to learn how to setup linux and lighttpd along with MySQL and Ruby
on
Rails. What do I need to know? What version of linux works best for
this? What
kind of hardware do I need? What resources are available to me?

Thanks!
Ben R. (Guest)
on 2006-01-17 02:58
(Received via mailing list)
Hi Jason ~

A Linux distro is largely a personal choice.  Rails will run on most (if
not
all) linux distros and BSDs.  I personally run gentoo, but you
definitely
have to have some linux experience coming in and a lot of patience
(initial
installs can take days ;) ).  I know a lot of people using Debian for
rails
and there are some tutorials online to get started, but assume you
already
have Debian up and running.

http://wiki.rubyonrails.com/rails/pages/RailsOnDebianStable

If you have a computer lying around I would experiment a little before
making any serious hardware investment.  I would definitely say you are
going in the right direction if you are going to be developing Rails
apps.
Performance and setup on Windows was a nightmare compared to my Gentoo
setup.

Hope this helps,

~ Ben
Mark B. (Guest)
on 2006-01-17 03:10
(Received via mailing list)
Most Linux distros will be up and running within an hour of inserting
their
install CD, but the biggest challenge will probably be setting up
lighttp.
Apache + fastcgi is less of a challenge to setup, but the decrepit
fastcgi
module for Apache is famously unstable and not worth your trouble.

I'd agree with the other replies - try a Debian-based distro like
Ubuntu/Kubuntu to get a feel for Linux, and when you're ready to go
live, the
more venerable Debian itself which now offers lighttp as a binary
package.

mark


On Tuesday 17 January 2006 5:21 am, Jason C. wrote:
>
> _______________________________________________
> Rails mailing list
> removed_email_address@domain.invalid
> http://lists.rubyonrails.org/mailman/listinfo/rails

--

Mark B.
Easy Schedule Management
http://easy-online-schedule.com
Jason C. (Guest)
on 2006-01-17 19:10
(Received via mailing list)
Thank you for the all the advice. I am looking for both development and
production options. It looks as though Ubuntu is the distro of choice
for
development. I'll try to play with it this weekend and you can be
certain you'll
hear from me with problems or successes. Obviously, beyond the OS
itself, I'm
going to have some hardware issues to deal with. I have a PIII 700 with
768MB
RAM. It's an older motherboard with aging hardware. Are there good
resources for
hardware drivers/compatibility on Ubuntu?

For development on Ubuntu, what web servers are easiest to use? I assume
I can
continue to use WEBrick, but I'm also hoping to use lighttpd or possibly
Apache
with SCGI. I've heard the grumblings about FastCGI on Apache and I want
to avoid
those headaches if possible. Ultimately I need a great production setup,
but I
think I have some time to figure out what is best and what I can manage.

Thanks again, and keep the advice flowing!
Ben R. (Guest)
on 2006-01-17 19:31
(Received via mailing list)
Hi Jason ~

Linux thrives on a lot of older hardware.  Ubuntu should "just work" ;)
Once you have Ubuntu in, I would install rails (using apt or the package
manager Ubuntu comes with) and make sure it is working by creating a
test
rails app and running WEBrick, then worry about installing another
server.
I would lean towards Light.  It is very fast and works well with
fastcgi.

~ Ben
Ben R. (Guest)
on 2006-01-17 19:40
(Received via mailing list)
Hi Jason ~

This Wiki article should be helpful:

http://wiki.rubyonrails.com/rails/pages/RailsOnUbu...
Matthew P. (Guest)
on 2006-01-18 00:39
(Received via mailing list)
On Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 04:29:54PM +0000, Jason C. wrote:
> For development on Ubuntu, what web servers are easiest to use? I assume I
> can continue to use WEBrick, but I'm also hoping to use lighttpd or
> possibly Apache with SCGI. I've heard the grumblings about FastCGI on
> Apache and I want to avoid those headaches if possible. Ultimately I need
> a great production setup, but I think I have some time to figure out what
> is best and what I can manage.

We're planning on deploying onto lighttpd/FCGI on Ubuntu in the very
near
future (ie when I get to work this morning).  I've been quite impressed
with
the simplicity and cleanliness of lighty in my testing thus far.  One
slight
issue I've come across is that current stable version of Ubuntu doesn't
include lighttpd -- it's only in the to-be-release-in-3-months Dapper
Drake
release.  I've got backported packages (source taken from Dapper and
recompiled to work on earlier stable releases of Ubuntu) of lighty if
you
want to use pre-packaged rather than build-your-own (I highly recommend
packaged; one of Debian/Ubuntu's greatest strengths is it's powerful
package
management system, and it seems a shame to waste it).

- Matt
Carmen -. (Guest)
on 2006-01-18 00:54
> I've come across is that current stable version of Ubuntu doesn't include lighttpd -- 
it's only in the to-be-release-in-3-months Dapper Drake release.

this sort of thing is quite common with Ubuntu, as they generally devote
their resources towards a usable desktop and many of the less popular
packages are only updated when the snapshot debian unstable is made
(every 6 months last i heard).. further complicated when you mix
repositories to get around this causing dependency issues etc...

if you're not intimidated by building a kernel, a stage3 gentoo install
using the new GUI installer is an excellent option. the only thing you
will actually have to compile from sorce is lighttpd and ruby, which
will not take long, and all sorts of other new things like SCGI, Gnash,
and such are already in portage..
Jason C. (Guest)
on 2006-01-18 01:00
(Received via mailing list)
Matthew P. <mpalmer@...> writes:

> future (ie when I get to work this morning).  I've been quite impressed with
>
Sounds very interesting. I am going to try to jump in this weekend and
get
Ubuntu up and running. If, by some miracle, I get to the point where I
need to
tackle Lighty (before the release of Dapper Drake) then I will get in
touch. It
doesn't seem all that likely since all I have at this point is a partial
database schema, but with Rails you just never know. If I could actually
adopt
the "release something in 10 days" approach then all my current
assumptions
could be invalid.

FYI, I have a blog post for reference on this discussion and I welcome
your
continued support and interests there as well:
http://enspiredsoftware.com/blog/2006/01/16/rails-...
Matthew P. (Guest)
on 2006-01-18 02:00
(Received via mailing list)
On Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 11:54:30PM +0100, carmen wrote:
> > I've come across is that current stable version of Ubuntu doesn't include lighttpd -- 
it's only in the to-be-release-in-3-months Dapper Drake release.
>
> this sort of thing is quite common with Ubuntu, as they generally devote
> their resources towards a usable desktop and many of the less popular
> packages are only updated when the snapshot debian unstable is made
> (every 6 months last i heard)..

They autosync against Debian unstable for about 3 months out of every 6,
then bugfix (with manual syncs and local patching) for the rest of the 6
months to get things into the best possible shape.  The reason for the
lighty deficiency is simply that Debian only got an upload for it
recently
as well, so there's been nothing for Ubuntu to sync up until now.

> further complicated when you mix repositories to get around this causing
> dependency issues etc...

On the upside, if all of the packages are properly done (with correctly
described dependencies and conflicts) you *don't* get dependency hell in
Debian/Ubuntu.  Unfortunately, 90% of everything is crap, and 3rd party
packages are no exception.

- Matt
Ben M. (Guest)
on 2006-01-18 10:50
(Received via mailing list)
carmen wrote:
> if you're not intimidated by building a kernel, a stage3 gentoo install
> using the new GUI installer is an excellent option. the only thing you

Excuse the slight thread hijack, but I'm wondering if people using ruby
on gentoo could
throw out any opinions/gotchas?

In particular, there's an ebuild for rails in portage, but rubygems is
also in portage and
I would assume that I could emerge that and then use gem to install
rails. Any thoughts on
which way to go? Any other problems using ruby on gentoo? (Java on
gentoo basically
sucks... :-( )

b
Jan P. (Guest)
on 2006-01-18 10:59
(Received via mailing list)
Hi, Ben,

I had some issues with one of the 0.14 versions of rails out of portage
on gentoo and since then I'm taking the gem road. No problems, just a
great linux, two great package managers and a happy me. But I haven't
got any problems with suns hotspot on gentoo either... For me
java-config is a great tool...

Best regards
Jan P.
Jan P. (Guest)
on 2006-01-18 11:05
(Received via mailing list)
Once again,

it even was a 0.13 since there where no 0.14 versions on portage.

regards
Jan
Ben R. (Guest)
on 2006-01-18 20:00
(Received via mailing list)
>
> Excuse the slight thread hijack, but I'm wondering if people using ruby on
> gentoo could
> throw out any opinions/gotchas?


No worries ~ Love the Gentoo.

In particular, there's an ebuild for rails in portage, but rubygems is
also
> in portage and
> I would assume that I could emerge that and then use gem to install rails.
> Any thoughts on
> which way to go? Any other problems using ruby on gentoo?


I had no issues using the portage install of rails.  I then used the
gems to
install some other fun rails add ons, mainly flickr and Rmagick.  I have
to
often use the masked packages since I am running 64bit, though I would
hardly consider them unstable.  Aside from rails, the init scripts
provided
for light with portage are amazing.  I did ditch the conf they provided
with
Light as it is PHP oriented and rather long.  Overall the system is
extremely stable and very responsive.  I basically have ssh, lighttpd,
mysql, and ruby/rails running on the box.

 (Java on gentoo basically sucks... :-( )


Haven't had any issues with Java on gentoo.

~ Ben
Ben M. (Guest)
on 2006-01-18 20:19
(Received via mailing list)
Ben R. wrote:
>
>
> Haven't had any issues with Java on gentoo.
>
Thanks for the thoughts... I suppose I'll use portage to get rails so
that emerge will
tell me when there's an update... although... that can be annoying when
the gentoo devs
get way behind the rest of the world... like with php, mysql, and java.
The lack of a
straightforward java 5.0 install on gentoo is what I was referring to
about java sucking
on gentoo... though I do like java-config.

b
Jan P. (Guest)
on 2006-01-18 23:53
(Received via mailing list)
Hi, Ben,

just out of interest: What is your problem with java 5 on gentoo? Yes it
is masked (http://packages.gentoo.org/search/?sstring=sun-jdk) but since
hotspot on gentoo is mainly the download of the selfextracting bin for
linux from java.sun.com it practically IS stable. I'm using it without a
hitch on different boxes.

Best Regards
Jan
Ben M. (Guest)
on 2006-01-19 06:31
(Received via mailing list)
I could probably do that for my home box, but I definitely don't want to
tangle with
hard-masked packages on my production server. I try to avoid even "~"
packages.

If it's that straightforward then the devs should just unmask it. I
don't know what the
issues are that's been keeping it hard-masked for the last year or so,
but I don't really
want to spend the time finding out.

This is actually kind of a non-issue, cuz I'm not running any java
web-apps on my server
at the moment.... it just bugs me that it's taking so long to get java 5
into general
availablity.

But anyway, this is a Ruby list, so I should shut it. ;-)


b
Ben R. (Guest)
on 2006-01-19 19:15
(Received via mailing list)
Ben M. (Guest)
on 2006-01-19 20:58
(Received via mailing list)
Thanks for the link... still doesn't resolve my issue though... I can't
write an app using
java 5 and deploy it on my production server without doing backflips and
possibly breaking
other stuff on the machine.

Hopefully gentoo will never have this problem with ruby! :-O

b
Leon (Guest)
on 2006-01-20 09:44
(Received via mailing list)
I would recommend Debian, Ubuntu or Gentoo for a start. I use gentoo.
I like it very much. I installed it following the install guide and
configured by either guides or howto's in gentoo wiki. It was easy.

Leo
matthew clark (Guest)
on 2006-01-20 09:47
(Received via mailing list)
You would suggest Gentoo to a newbie????

I ran Gentoo for a long time on servers and my workstation.  It is a
great
distro, don't get me wrong, but for someone comming from windows?  I
don't
think they would get past formatting the hard drive.  Gentoo is
fantastic,
but it is an experts distro.

matt
Leon (Guest)
on 2006-01-20 10:02
(Received via mailing list)
People told that about Slackware. But Slackware was my first linux
distro and actually I liked the way it worked (later tried red hat and
suse and didn't like both at all). I was a windows power user with no
experience in unix at all. I managed to install slackware and
configured it to do everything i needed. So, to me, it's all about
character, not distro. Today i would start from gentoo (more docs,
more community, than slackware). I don't think you need to be an
expert to install and configure gentoo, because there are very good
install docs availabe, that's why i recommend gentoo :-)
David H.on (Guest)
on 2006-01-20 13:02
(Received via mailing list)
Is this thread an indication that what would be really cool is a
Linux bootable CD distro built specifically for Ruby on Rails?

Would be great to have something that would boot to KDE/Gnome with
Firefox, several Ruby editors and a few nice icons that said things
like 'Start Rails Test Server' and several cool Rails apps for demo
purposes. Of course Ruby and Rails would come pre-configured with all
the bells and whistles so that newbies and demos could run without
hassle.

That way if you give a talk about Rails you can hand out test CD's
afterwards or if you needed to do a remote demo you take the CD and a
flash key with your Rails app and boot from a client's desktop onsite.


David
Luis V. (Guest)
on 2006-01-20 16:34
(Received via mailing list)
Building a customized liveCD with ubuntu is pretty trivial- check out:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LiveCDCustomizationHowTo

Luis
Ezra Z. (Guest)
on 2006-01-20 23:07
(Received via mailing list)
I highly recommend debian as a good linux distro for rails work. The
package manager is IMHO the best there is and it makes running rails
a snap. I have written a detailed tutorial for setting up a debian
box from scratch with everything you wilol need including a secure
m,ail server here:

http://brainspl.at/rails_stack.html

	And ubuntu is a nice debian spin off if you want to have a desktop.
But I prefer debian over ubuntu fror its stability as a server. The
quality control is excellent.

Cheers-
-Ezra

On Jan 19, 2006, at 11:23 PM, Leon wrote:

> On 1/20/06, matthew clark <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
>>  matt
>>> On 1/16/06, Jason C.
>>>> distribute it to non-hosted customers. So I've said all that to say
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>
> http://lists.rubyonrails.org/mailman/listinfo/rails
>

-Ezra Z.
WebMaster
Yakima Herald-Republic Newspaper
removed_email_address@domain.invalid
509-577-7732
Barry W. (Guest)
on 2006-01-20 23:46
(Received via mailing list)
Once again, very nice Ezra.  I find myself looking through the list
traffic and always reading the threads with a post from "Ezra" whether
the
title is interesting or not.  I am rarely disappointed.

Thanks,
Barry
csn (Guest)
on 2006-01-20 23:58
I hear good things about CentOS, and Fedora. The Yum package manager is
supposed to make package management a cinch.

csn
Zack C. (Guest)
on 2006-01-21 00:14
(Received via mailing list)
+1 for "grep" of Ezra - I do the same - keep up good work/posts/etc.



btw I especially like that debian VPS write-up - a continuation owith
subversion+ssl would be awesome!



Thanks,

Zack
Ezra Z. (Guest)
on 2006-01-21 00:14
(Received via mailing list)
On Jan 20, 2006, at 1:07 PM, Barry W. wrote:

>      Once again, very nice Ezra.  I find myself looking through the
> list traffic and always reading the threads with a post from "Ezra"
> whether the title is interesting or not.  I am rarely disappointed.
>
> Thanks,
> Barry
>

Thank you for the kind words Barry.

Cheers-
-Ezra


>         And ubuntu is a nice debian spin off if you want to have a
> removed_email_address@domain.invalid
> http://lists.rubyonrails.org/mailman/listinfo/rails

-Ezra Z.
WebMaster
Yakima Herald-Republic Newspaper
removed_email_address@domain.invalid
509-577-7732
matthew clark (Guest)
on 2006-01-21 16:40
(Received via mailing list)
The fastest way to a working linux box is Ubuntu.  Download the iso's,
burn
them, plug them into your target box, answer a few questions, and in 15
minutes you have a full on Ubuntu/Debian system.

My development environment is an Ubuntu box.  I wouldn't do a production
system in it, but for playing around, getting comfortable you get lots
of
helpful tools + the well known file structure of Debian.

Welcome to the light.

matt
Tim Buchalka (Guest)
on 2006-01-21 16:40
(Received via mailing list)
I'd recommend Ubuntu if your coming from a MS background.  I did the
same
thing a few years back (came over from the dark side) and bit the bullet
and
went to Gentoo and used that for a few years.  Tried Suse and have now
settled on Ubuntu.

Gentoo is great but I got tired of all the configuration and hours of
compilation (although it certainly taught my a lot about linux).

Rails is working very well and was quite easy to setup in Ubuntu, so I'd
recommend you give it a whirl.

If you have any specific questions about Ubuntu/Rails setup leave a
message
on the list and I'll help you out.

Cheers



Tim
Mufaddal K. (Guest)
on 2006-01-21 16:40
(Received via mailing list)
I highly recommend Ubuntu as well. I do java/hibernate/struts/sitemesh
development normally. Installing and learning and using the RoR
framework on Ubuntu has been extremely straightforward.
(http://www.ubuntu.com)

Mat, just curious .. is there a particular technical reason you would
not deploy on Ubuntu? (I ask this since I have been toying with the idea
of deploying a small RoR app on it).

Thanks,
matthew clark (Guest)
on 2006-01-21 16:40
(Received via mailing list)
Well,

Mostly the right tool for the job argument.  Ubuntu is designed to be a
workstation distro.  Ease of use often goes hand-in-hand with lax
security
measures.  RedHat is a good choice for home rolled production servers.
Debian and Slack if you have a bit more experience.  (Debian is pretty
darn
easy, especially coming from Ubuntu)

The best reason I know of, is when you run into problems on your server,
you
want active forums of experts who can help you.  RH, Debian, and
Slackware
all have admins with gobs of experience who will help you.  The Ubuntu
server crowd is not going to be as robust.

Now, all of that being said, I do all of my development (rails included)
on
a VMWare virtual machine.  Most of them are running Ubuntu in server
mode.
The reason I do this is because it is dead simple to set up, and file
structure is exactly the same as my base machine.  It makes things
easier.

Bottom line, you can certainly use Ubuntu for a production server, but
you'll be mostly on your own fighting an uphill battle to get the
machine
secure.  You can do it, but it will take research.

Last word, I've only ever had one machine compromised, and it was a
Fedora
box.  So take all the nice things I said about RedHat with that grain of
salt.

matt
Matthew P. (Guest)
on 2006-01-21 16:40
(Received via mailing list)
On Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 03:50:27PM -0800, matthew clark wrote:
> Mostly the right tool for the job argument.  Ubuntu is designed to be a
> workstation distro.  Ease of use often goes hand-in-hand with lax security
> measures.  RedHat is a good choice for home rolled production servers.
> Debian and Slack if you have a bit more experience.  (Debian is pretty darn
> easy, especially coming from Ubuntu)

*cough* Ubuntu, for a server, at this time, is just Debian with a
predictable release cycle.  Not many server-oriented packages in Ubuntu
are
signficicantly different from the Debian version, so (almost certainly)
any
holes in Ubuntu will also be present in Debian.

> The best reason I know of, is when you run into problems on your server, you
> want active forums of experts who can help you.  RH, Debian, and Slackware
> all have admins with gobs of experience who will help you.  The Ubuntu
> server crowd is not going to be as robust.

Unlike the RedHat-derived distributions, Debian and Ubuntu have a *very*
limited functional delta (and it's typically in their focus area -- the
desktop -- rather than the server packages), so any answers you'll get
from
Debian admins will almost universally apply fine to an Ubuntu system.

> Bottom line, you can certainly use Ubuntu for a production server, but
> you'll be mostly on your own fighting an uphill battle to get the machine
> secure.  You can do it, but it will take research.

No more so than Debian.

> Last word, I've only ever had one machine compromised, and it was a Fedora
> box.  So take all the nice things I said about RedHat with that grain of
> salt.

I've seen all sorts of machines compromised -- unfortunately, SSH brute
force attacks are distribution agnostic, and the kernel is usually the
one
piece of software that people are loathe to security-update on a regular
basis (because it ruins their uptime figures).

- Matt
Debian Developer and Ubuntu user
Dick D. (Guest)
on 2006-01-21 16:40
(Received via mailing list)
On 18/01/06, Matthew P. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
> holes in Ubuntu will also be present in Debian.
Yup. And ubuntu are a lot speedier with their security updates
(however painful that might be). Sarge has really disappointed me in
that respect.

--
Rasputin :: Jack of All Trades - Master of Nuns
http://number9.hellooperator.net/
jason cartwright (Guest)
on 2006-01-24 06:01
(Received via mailing list)
What I have decided to do, based on all the great suggestions and links,
is to
install VMWare on my WinXP box and just have a go at several distros as
time
permits. I've started with Unbuntu and I'll take a look at gentoo,
debian and
others.

Again, this has been a very helpful dicussion and I appreciate the
positive and
constructive posts. Obviously everyone has personal preferences and I'll
just
have to see what works for me. I'm glad there are so many willing to be
helpful
in the list! I wouldn't have known where to start otherwise.
Ian H. (Guest)
on 2006-01-24 06:43
(Received via mailing list)
:%s/MySQL/PostgreSQL/g

You will be happier in the long run.  It is a much more important
choice than what color of *nix you put it on.

On 1/16/06, Jason C. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
> _______________________________________________
> Rails mailing list
> removed_email_address@domain.invalid
> http://lists.rubyonrails.org/mailman/listinfo/rails
>


--
"Her faults were those of her race and sex; her virtues were her own.
Farewell, and if for ever - "

-- "Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes" by Robert Louis Stevenson
davidlee (Guest)
on 2006-01-24 16:13
Ian H. wrote:
> :%s/MySQL/PostgreSQL/g
>
> You will be happier in the long run.  It is a much more important
> choice than what color of *nix you put it on.

Amen.
Neil D. (Guest)
on 2006-01-25 01:21
(Received via mailing list)
Ian H. wrote:
>>distribute it to non-hosted customers. So I've said all that to say this... I
>>want to learn how to setup linux and lighttpd along with MySQL and Ruby on
>>Rails. What do I need to know? What version of linux works best for this? What
>>kind of hardware do I need? What resources are available to me?
>>
>>Thanks!
>>

I am using kubuntu/lighttpd/rails/postgresql.
Matt W. (Guest)
on 2006-01-25 17:08
(Received via mailing list)
Yeah, more kudos for Ezra. I followed his tutorial and got a VPS running
with rimuhosting.com. (Xen-based). The tutorial was easy to follow, and
I
got it up and running without any problems. The only thing I really had
to
figure out on my own was svnserve for remote access/switchtower
deployment.
Sarge has been super stable, and it's just awesome that I can do
whatever I
want with root access. And you can't beat the price.
Joseph H. (Guest)
on 2006-01-25 17:35
(Received via mailing list)
Does anyone have this tutorial for deployment with rimuhosting.com? I
can't seem to get to Ezra's site.
Ben R. (Guest)
on 2006-01-25 17:44
(Received via mailing list)
Hi Joseph,

I believe that Ezra's tutorial is @ http://brainspl.at/rails_stack.html,
unfortunately it looks like the server is currently down.

~ Ben
Ezra Z. (Guest)
on 2006-01-25 21:14
(Received via mailing list)
Joseph-

	Thanks for noticing that, it must have gone off into the weeds last
night. It is up and running again. Also ig you are having any trouble
getting there still, I have attached the document for you.

Good Luck!

Cheers-
-Ezra
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