Best OS for Ruby Dev/Best OS for Ruby Hosting


#1

Which is the best OS to use for ruby development…My vote goes to Mac
OS X?

What would be considered the best environment for hosting ruby and
rails? Mac? FreeBSD? Gentoo?


#2

Ruby is, I believe, primarily designed for use with Linux, although the
code is highly portable. Since Linux is the primary development
platform, it may also have the fastest bug fixing and the most thorough
testing. As a result, your best bet for hosting would be a server-grade
Linux OS such as RHEL, CentOS, or the server versions of other
distributions.

For development, consistency with your hosting platform may or may not
be a concern. You can probably use anything here, but if your rails app
relies on some more advanced libraries you may be best off with linux
again, as package management makes that side of things much simpler and
you can ensure that both are running exactly the same libraries.

Other similar unices such as BSDs are also likely to work well. Mac OS
X would OK as well.


#3

On Sat, Nov 19, 2005 at 05:12:23PM +0900, Rawn027 wrote:

Which is the best OS to use for ruby development…My vote goes to Mac
OS X?

matz uses Debian :wink:


#4

On 11/19/05, Mauricio Fernández removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

On Sat, Nov 19, 2005 at 05:12:23PM +0900, Rawn027 wrote:

Which is the best OS to use for ruby development…My vote goes to Mac
OS X?

matz uses Debian :wink:

Lots of people happen to like FreeBSD for its Ruby support. One of its
major system utilities, portupgrade, is written in Ruby, so that’s one
neat aspect. I’d recommend staying away from Gentoo: I prefer
source-based OSs, but Gentoo just breaks too often for it to be worth
it. Also, Gentoo users are on the whole jerkyer and less helpful than
normal people. FreeBSD gives you the exact same control, with much
more stability at the expense of a bit of user-friendiness. If you
know what you’re doing, it’s a really productive environment that
won’t break unless you do something stupid. I like it :wink:

I actually haven’t tried Debian much (I know! Gasp!) but like I
said, I prefer source-based distros. That said, Ubuntu is running
marvellously on my thinkpad right now, which is my main development
machine. You can get Ruby binaries apt-get’ed, but lighttpd you’ll
have to compile and install by hand or install from a .deb packge
(find 'em by googling). Sure, it’s not all set up to go, but that’s
not necesarily a bad thing (and it’s pretty simple anyways).

That said, take this all with a grain of salt and some sugar. And
maybe a taco or two.

Jacob


#5

Rawn027 removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Which is the best OS to use for ruby development…My vote
goes to Mac OS X?

I have a great time developing Ruby on both OS X and FreeBSD.
I don’t happen to have any Linux boxen at the moment, but last
time I did, it worked really well.

For me, any system that has vim and a ruby installation is
ideal.

What would be considered the best environment for hosting ruby
and rails? Mac? FreeBSD? Gentoo?

I like OS X as a desktop and/or development system, where tools
like CocoaMySQL make short work of things which can be tedious
on other systems. But OS X is large, bulky, and sluggish and,
to a lesser extent, the G4 PPC platform is not optimized for
data throughput.

For performance, I’ve found recent versions of FreeBSD to be
increasingly snappy, and they keep fairly current versions of
most of their packages.

Next to FreeBSD, I have to say I think Debian has the most
streamlined package management system, making it ridiculously
simple to keep an up-to-date system. In the past, Debian has
been somewhat slow to update packages, but they’ve gotten better
about this in recent years.

Both these platforms offer an enormous array of software ready
to build and/or install.

My USD$0.05,
Tim


#6

jqshenker wrote:

I’d recommend staying away from Gentoo: I prefer
source-based OSs, but Gentoo just breaks too often for it to be worth
it. Also, Gentoo users are on the whole jerkyer and less helpful than
normal people.

I can’t help to defend gentoo here a bit. I’ve been using gentoo for two
years now and in my experience it doesn’t break often, but YMMV. The
main pro about gentoo is its users and support. The forums are just
amazing and people are generally very helpful. I know some people who
use other distros, but they often first turn to the gentoo forums for
help etc. Of course I have no experience with gentoo people in
mailinglists and irc. They may all be jerks there.

(Sorry couldn’t help but defend them a little :))


#7

On 11/19/05, Edwin van Leeuwen removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

use other distros, but they often first turn to the gentoo forums for
help etc. Of course I have no experience with gentoo people in
mailinglists and irc. They may all be jerks there.

(Sorry couldn’t help but defend them a little :))

That’s perfectly ok!

I actually am using Gentoo on two of my boxes (have been for about a
year, pending a move to FreeBSD which will happen Any Day Now ;), and
they’ve worked great for the most part. The thing that bugs me is that
every so often they go, “Oh, let’s rearrange the dev-php/* packages”.
“Oh, there apache config files need moving”. Etc. Sure, change for the
better is ok, but I’ve just had to deal with too many problems
stemming from these rough transitions. Sometimes packages are marked
stable that definitely shouldn’t have been (the software itself is
rarely at fault-it’s the Portage build script/ebuild). Of course, I’m
running amd64 where breakage is much more common unfortunately. My
secondary, x86 box has had far less trouble.

The forums (I forgot to mention) are really good. The IRC channel, not
so much! :stuck_out_tongue: Stay away, and do yourself a favor. That said, FreeBSD
also has a good community and many of the benefits of Gentoo, with
fewer problems. And they have a new logo! This is only my experience,
but you can’t go wrong with either one. It’s just that FreeBSD is
“right-er” for me :wink: Before you commit to anything, find a spare box
and install as many OSs as you can in a week. Besides a good learning
experience with respect to *nix administration, you can try each in
turn and see how you like it. It comes down to a personal preference,
often.

Jacob


#8

On 11/19/05, Rawn027 removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Which is the best OS to use for ruby development…My vote goes to Mac
OS X?

Which OS do you find best for development? That will give you your
answer.

I develop PDF::Writer entirely on Windows. When I get around to
purchasing a MacOS X laptop, I will probably shift my development of
PDF::Writer to the Mac (or it might be both Mac and Win since I’m
planning on getting a macintel). I find that I develop for the Ruby
platform.

[…]

On 11/19/05, Timothy G. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Ruby is, I believe, primarily designed for use with Linux, although
the code is highly portable.

I’m not sure that’s true. In fact, I think it would be fair to say that
no, Ruby is not “primarily designed for use with Linux”. It is designed
as a cross-platform language. Debian Linux is Matz’s primary development
environment and there are a lot of Linux users, but the “many eyeballs”
theory definitely applies, as bugs with AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, Windows,
Mac OS X, FreeBSD and less popular platforms get noticed relatively
quickly, even if they aren’t necessarily fixed quickly because of
developers’ limited access to some of those boxes.

Indeed, I will be adding new features to the Windows implementation of
Ruby in the not-too-distant future because I have access to that as a
development platform.

By and large, though, I personally would prefer to run on FreeBSD or
MacOS X than any version of Linux, but especially Debian. I know Matz
uses Debian, but there have been quality issues with Debian’s Ruby
support in the past and while the current situation is better, it’s
still not (IMO) good enough.

On 11/19/05, Tim H. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

I have a great time developing Ruby on both OS X and FreeBSD. I don’t
happen to have any Linux boxen at the moment, but last time I did, it
worked really well.

For me, any system that has vim and a ruby installation is ideal.

Precisely!

-austin


#9

Calab, I would like to comment on that I have been fussing around with
gentoo for quite some time now. What WM do you use? I will currently
just be using it on AMD Sempron with 512MB RAM. I really dont have
heavy iron but not really heavy iron is needed for this application
just for development and hosting on the same box. I am going to check
out using Gentoo. What editor on gentoo do you use for development.
Also do you use lighttpd with fcgi?


#10

On Nov 19, 2005, at 9:32 AM, Rawn027 wrote:

Calab, I would like to comment on that I have been fussing around with
gentoo for quite some time now. What WM do you use? I will currently
just be using it on AMD Sempron with 512MB RAM. I really dont have
heavy iron but not really heavy iron is needed for this application
just for development and hosting on the same box. I am going to check
out using Gentoo. What editor on gentoo do you use for development.
Also do you use lighttpd with fcgi?

For development, I run a minimal KDE desktop and use the Kate text
editor for most of my work. That and a combination of nano.

For rails work, I have a few machines with lighttpd and fcgi and a
one running apache2. For what it’s worth, my rails development
server is a Pentium 3 with 128 MB ram running lighttpd.

I’ll also admit that I use Textmate on an OS X Powerbook via tunneled
ssh connections to work on stuff from home.

Caleb


#11

I’ve personally grown comfortable with using Windows as a development
platform, provided that I have my copy of VMware installed. I use
FreeBSD as
my VM ‘server’, not for any specific technical reasons but because it’s
what
I’m most comfortable with. Sprinkle in a little samba, add subversion to
taste, and I end up with a little developement system that works well
for
me.


#12

On Nov 19, 2005, at 6:38 AM, Edwin van Leeuwen wrote:

amazing and people are generally very helpful. I know some people who
use other distros, but they often first turn to the gentoo forums for
help etc. Of course I have no experience with gentoo people in
mailinglists and irc. They may all be jerks there.

Thanks. As a Gentoo maintainer for Ruby, I’ll chime in and say that
I actively read this list. I can’t speak for other parts of the
distribution, but at I can at least safely say that Gentoo is a great
development platform for Ruby.

Caleb


#13

On Sat, Nov 19, 2005 at 10:05:36PM +0900, Austin Z. wrote:

On 11/19/05, Rawn027 removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Which is the best OS to use for ruby development…My vote goes to Mac
OS X?

Which OS do you find best for development? That will give you your
answer.

I think this is the best answer that I’ve seen. I use Ruby on Mac OS X,
Solaris 2.6, 2.8 and 10, various versions of OpenBSD on Intel and Sparc.
It doesn’t work (because of no shared library support) on OpenBSD Vax.

One of the real benefits of Ruby is how well it works cross platform.
I can develop on any of these platforms and have no problems with the
code on any of the other platforms.

Rick


#14

Rawn027 wrote:

Which is the best OS to use for ruby development…My vote goes to Mac
OS X?

What would be considered the best environment for hosting ruby and
rails? Mac? FreeBSD? Gentoo?

I’ve coded for ruby on Windows 2000, XP, Debian, Ubuntu and OSX. For
generic ruby code not specified
on a certain framework or platform-specfic library I find they all work
fine (unless you’re OSX
machine only has a one-button mouse). I use Eclipse as my IDE when
running in GUI and nano as my
text editor when ssh’ing or running a terminal. Eclipse allows you to
use any platform and feel righ
at home in development, since it’s the same across the board.

For doing rails work I have recently moved to Ubuntu systems for
full-time development although my
windows xp laptop still gets use on a regular basis. I work with RHEL 4
quality-assurance and
production servers, so I may be partially bias to running on a linux
environment to try to keep a
closer consistency to the setup that the servers have.

If you do any MySQL on windows due note that for development it may be
fine, but MySQL seems to run
considerably slower on windows then on a *nix box (if you consider
running production on windows).

As my *nix know-how has drastically gone up over the past few years I
find myself doing quicker work
in a *nix environment then on windows. Some things I’ve found that
directly and indirectly help that
are:

  • great virtual desktop support (yes you can get it for windows but it
    isn’t as good imo)
  • tabbed-based console apps, like xterm, gnome-terminal, etc…
  • virtual tty support (alt-f1, alt-f2, etc…)
  • some *nix/bsd distro’s have great support for downloading
    package/applications as they are
    needed. (on windows i found myself googling way to much, it’s easier to
    type apt-get install
    i_need_this_package)

But I’m with Austin…what works for you will be best for you!

Zach


#15

Most of my experience is based on Rails development, I develop under
W2K and deploy under Fedora. I would recommend to stick to *.nix, many
libraries are just wrappers and it looks like the Windows based one are
not the most compatible, the dll stuff is always annoying (in general
terms) and I have found a lot of weird problems problems running the
apps under Windows (crashes, memory leaks) that just don’t happen under
*nix.


#16

On 11/19/05, Jacob Quinn S. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

I prefer source-based OSs, but Gentoo just breaks too often for it
to be worth
it. Also, Gentoo users are on the whole jerkyer and less helpful than
normal people.

Oh… That’s not biased! Says one of those Gentoo jerks. ;_

Seriously though, I have had no trouble whatsoever running and hosting
RoR stuff on Gentoo. I’ve been using Gentoo for about 4 years and have
yet to have an issue.

From my experience, between windows 2000 / xp / gentoo / debian /
ubuntu / mac os X.3 / X.4 / FreeBSD, i’ve had very little problems
with any of them, and I frequent most of them each week.

Of the above, if I had to pick a couple, I’d pick gentoo / debian /
and freebsd, with gentoo being my number one pick, but any of the
above work fairly well for development.

For hosting, I’d say a source based *nix is a the way to go. Gentoo
or otherwise, it helps with performance and tweaking.

I agree with someone who said anywhere vim and a ruby interpreter
resides is an ideal development environment. Windows is even (almost)
tolerable via MSys and MinGW (if you have no other options).


#17

Lots of people happen to like FreeBSD for its Ruby support. One of its
major system utilities, portupgrade, is written in Ruby, so that’s one
neat aspect. I’d recommend staying away from Gentoo: I prefer
source-based OSs, but Gentoo just breaks too often for it to be worth
it. Also, Gentoo users are on the whole jerkyer and less helpful than
normal people.

(I’d like to start out by apologizing first, gentlemen. this is
certainly off-topic, but needs to be said)

Well Jacob, you succeed in communicating four things in your reply here.

  1. you say Gentoo is prone to be broken
  2. you say Gentoo users are jerks
  3. you say Gentoo users are less helpful
  4. you say Gentoo users are not normal

As a Gentoo user, and a Gentoo developer… I’d like to say that I’m
rather disturbed, maybe even slightly offended, at your remarks. We
work hard to make the distribution good. And I’d like to say that the
users bear some responsibility in how well their systems run.

If you want to build your system with an insane set of CFLAGS and USE
flags, then I think problems that result are your own fault.

You say Gentoo users are jerkyer [sic] than other users. I beg to
differ. A jerk is a jerk, and it matters not what distro the said
jerk wants to use. People with the kind of attitude I’m sure you’re
referring to are unbecoming to the entire Linux community. Gentoo
does not have the corner on this market, and it’s unfair to say so.

Gentoo users are less helpful? I’m sorry, but this is utter crap. It
was this one thing that attracted me to the distribution in the first
place, before any of its technical merits. I can personally vouch for
this. I had a very frustrating experience early on, when I started to
use Gentoo. I kept hitting a wall and was ready to give up. I had
one of the developers help me, personally, to figure out the issues I
was having. This took a period of hours, and I was ready to pay him
for his time. He flatly refused, and asked only one thing in return -
that I never again say I was going to give up on Gentoo. I didn’t.
Question - do you think we’re less helpful because you come into
#gentoo and ask a question, and don’t get an answer immediately? If
that’s the case, keep in mind it’s a VERY busy channel. And try
idling there, and remember… /lastlog is your friend.

By saying Gentoo users are jerkyer [sic] than normal people, you make
us out to be abnormal. Care to explain that one? We’re no different
than anyone else. I just enjoy a little more control over my chosen
distribution. Does that make one abnormal? I think not.

Now… on to the Ruby business. Keep in mind, there is admittedly a
bit of bias here, but I’m laying out all the cards. I think Gentoo is
an excellent distribution to host from, and do Ruby work from. It
might require more dedication on your part. Gentoo is hands-on. But
it’s really good for people who like to tinker. Good luck.


#18

Which is the best OS to use for ruby development…

I’ve coded for ruby on Windows 2000, XP, Debian, Ubuntu and OSX.

Ubuntu combines Debian’s wealth of packages with a higher degree of ease
of use - it’s certainly a very nice development platform.

Be aware, however, that Ubuntu 5.10 (breezy) ships a broken preliminary
version of ruby 1.8.3*. If you want to debug threaded apps, you’ll need
to compile your own ruby.

Cheers,
Paulus

[*] see http://bugzilla.ubuntu.com/show_bug.cgi?id=17415


#19

Oh, and as far as gentoo vs debian vs blah blah blah …

I’ve tried to setup a gentoo system for myself and run into troubles,
so, I haven’t yet gotten to play with it. I have uses FreeBSD 4, 5, (
and just downloaded ISOs for 6 )… and debian, ubuntu, fedora core,
RHEL WS, and mandrake successfully.

Anyways, there’s my $0.02.

j.

On 11/20/05, Jeff W. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

(I’d like to start out by apologizing first, gentlemen. this is
rather disturbed, maybe even slightly offended, at your remarks. We
does not have the corner on this market, and it’s unfair to say so.
Question - do you think we’re less helpful because you come into
Now… on to the Ruby business. Keep in mind, there is admittedly a
Jeff W.


“Remember. Understand. Believe. Yield! -> http://ruby-lang.org

Jeff W.


#20

(Another apology for this off-topic message, but I think that you will
agree with me that it is prudent to respond.)

Aaron,
I wholeheartedly apologize, as I definitely believe I miscommunicated
my true feelings toward Gentoo.

  • “Gentoo users aren’t helpful”: This was actually a typo, I was
    referring to some very unhelpful encounters in the IRC channel. The
    forum, as I later said, is excellent.
  • “Gentoo users aren’t normal people”: Oh, boy. Rereading this, I can
    clearly see I really could not have picked worse wording. I suppose
    you cannot know this, but that was certainly not my intent. I really
    meant “Gentoo users are… than users/people of other OSs/distros”.

These comments, while horribly misinterpreted (mostly by my lack of
tact and clear communication), are influenced with several bad
encounters I had with the Gentoo community. I know plenty of people,
including yourself, who have had vastly superior experiences. I’m glad
for them. It just wasn’t what I have experienced. This thread is based
on opinion, not fact. There is no right answer to “Which OS is best
for development?” Just options, pros, and cons.

  • “Gentoo breaks too often”: This one I’m sticking with. You can’t
    know my exact situation by any means, but again: this is what happened
    to me. Of course this isn’t common! Of course most people running
    Gentoo rarely experience breaks! The following is what I have noticed:

On numerous occasions, weekly sometimes, Portage packages fail to
compile. Just yesterday the postfix ebuild just died (bang!) after the
checksumming step. This is to be expected, just not as often as it
does to me. Major changes to the Portage layout are more frequent than
they should be IMHO (dev-php -> dev-lang/php, Apache config files
moves, the ftpbase and mailbase base ebuilds, etc.). Again, while you
cannot know this, I’m not a n00b. I don’t pretend to have more
expertise than I really do, but I am quite experienced with *nix, so
it’s not just user-error that causes my problems.

I think we have much in common, as I too am a diehard tinkerer. I just
don’t have as much time to fix things as I’d like. I’m a student; I do
this as a hobby, if a very involved one.

Gentoo would make for a stellar development or production box, if
high-maintenance judging by my experiences. I run two boxes, and have
thoroughly enjoyed it, even if I’ve been a bit annoyed at times when
things break. If you want to tinker, and have time to do so, Gentoo is
peerless. If you would like the same lever of “tinkability” but also
with a touch more stability (in the maintenance sense, not as in
“crashing”.), FreeBSD would be a good choice in my opinion.

Well, I apologize. I screwed up, badly. I was tired, and it was 4:00
AM. I don’t pretend that is a valid excuse, merely a possible cause.
In the future, I will attempt to put some more thought before hitting
.

I hope we can put my mistake aside and get back to Ruby, Ruby, and more
Ruby:
Not to veer off-topic in an already very off-topic post, but I’m
thinking of writing a drop-dead simple mutt-like email client in Ruby.
Anyone know of existing efforts?

Sincerely,
Jacob