The best open source OS for Rails?


#1

I’m rigging up some virtual machines in VMware to test out a new
production configuration.

Up till now I’ve been using Ubuntu Breezy Server distribution pre-
installed on dedicated boxes by the hosting company, but in this
scenario I am free to choose whatever OS I want.

I’ve had some problems with Ubuntu Breezy (likes to call fastgi -
fcgid etc.) and a low (1.8.2?) pre-packaged version of Ruby.

What do people suggest for OS? Any of the Signals feel like sharing
the OS their apps run on? :slight_smile:

David S.
w: http://davidsmalley.com/blog


#2

Pretty sure most of the developers are using Macs - not 100% sure, but
that’s certainly the impression I’ve had to date.

As far as FOSS goes, although I personally would recommend Gentoo or
Debian Linux, I’d go with whatever you’ve got the most sysadmin
expertise in. If you’ve got a FreeBSD sysadmin guy who knows his
stuff, use FreeBSD. There’s lots of Rails production systems running
on Macs. If it’s Windows, umm, well, I guess you could do that also,
but you want FOSS so I guess you’re probably choosing between *BSD and
various flavours of Linux.

Really, I don’t think there’s much to choose between any of the OS
variants as a Rails hosting platform; I like Gentoo because I’m
familiar with it and it consumes the least amount of my time per box
to keep it secure and current. Other people like Debian for pretty
much the same reason - they’re more expert than me with Debian, and
I’m possibly more expert with Gentoo.

Have you got a compelling reason to move away from Ubuntu? You’ve
found a few challenges with it, but you’ve presumably worked around
those problems to some extent and already invested something in it to
date as a Rails platform, so I’d put it at the top of the list unless
you’re already more expert with something else. All platforms have
limitations; at least you know what they are with Ubuntu already.

Regards

Dave M.


#3

What do people suggest for OS?

FreeBSD 6

It has the best Rails support with the rubygem-rails port and integrated
dependencies. You get Rails with several native DB-bindings,
Lighttpd+FastCGI, and memcache-client up and running with two or three
commands.

Installing Rails 1.0 / Ruby 1.8.4 on FreeBSD:

cd /usr/ports/www/rubygem-rails

make install clean

And you can choose support for all the above from a ncurses menu. After
that it will compile everything for you and you’re done.

Greets,
Jonathan


#4

David M. wrote:

Have you got a compelling reason to move away from Ubuntu? You’ve
found a few challenges with it, but you’ve presumably worked around
those problems to some extent and already invested something in it to
date as a Rails platform, so I’d put it at the top of the list unless
you’re already more expert with something else. All platforms have
limitations; at least you know what they are with Ubuntu already.

I’ve been using Debian for almost 10 years, and Ubuntu is the first
thing that has come along that I have found to be a convincing
alternative. Keep in mind that a new Ubuntu release is coming out soon
(something that we haven’t done so well in Debian as of late), so
perhaps that will have improved Ruby and Rails support. If you want to
be sure, you could always give them a hand and test the betas:-)


David N. Welton

Linux, Open Source Consulting