RPi Ruby on Rails

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Installing Ruby on Rails on Raspberry Pi

This guide is aimed at developers, although it can be used by beginners if they know what they are after. It is provided as neither Ruby or Rails are included as standard in Debian "squeeze". Other Linux RPi distributions may contain this by default.

THE GUIDE IS STILL DRAFT; IT NEEDS FURTHER TESTING/OPTIMISATION AND EXPANDED EXAMPLE PROJECT.

Start with a clean image of Debian "squeeze". The installation was all done from the basic (pre startx) command prompt.

This method uses the Ruby Version Manager (RVM), so first we must install all its prerequisites:

# Install prerequisites
sudo apt-get install -y git
sudo apt-get install -y curl
sudo apt-get install -y zlib1g-dev
sudo apt-get install -y svn

Now we can use RVM straight from github using:

curl -L get.rvm.io | bash -s stable --rails

This will download and compile ruby 1.9.x and rubygems (gem command). This takes a long time! Have a sleep and check in the morning. The above step has been successfully performed on a real RPi, but not managed to complete successfully on Qemu.

Now you should have ruby:

pi@raspberrypi:"$ ruby -v
ruby 1.9.3p194 (2012-04-20 revision 35410) [armv61-linux-eabi]

And you should have a gem command:

pi@raspberrypi:"$ gem -v
1.8.23

We now need to install Rails using the gem command:

gem install rails

This will also take a long time! We can then check it worked:

pi@raspberrypi:"$ rails -v
Rails 3.2.3

Testing Installation

In order to test the installation, let's create a simple project. My first attempt at this filled the OS partition on the SD card, so need to try where there is space. In this example the name for our new project is register.

rails new register
cd register
rails s