Linux Suggestions


#1

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!


#2

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 :wink: ). 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


#3

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:


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#4

Hi Jason ~

Linux thrives on a lot of older hardware. Ubuntu should “just work” :wink:
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


#5

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!


#6

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

#7

Hi Jason ~

This Wiki article should be helpful:

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


#8

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…


#9

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

#10

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-on-linux-lighttpd/


#11

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… :frowning: )

b


#12

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.


#13

Once again,

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

regards
Jan


#14

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… :frowning: )

Haven’t had any issues with Java on gentoo.

~ Ben


#15

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


#16

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


#17

Hi Ben ~

http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/java/tiger-faq.xml


#18

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. :wink:

b


#19

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


#20

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! :open_mouth:

b