Ruby on Rails Getting started with Ruby on Rails Installing Rails

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Installing Rails on Ubuntu

On a clean ubuntu, installation of Rails should be straight forward

Upgrading ubuntu packages

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Install Ruby and Rails dependecies

sudo apt-get install git-core curl zlib1g-dev build-essential libssl-dev libreadline-dev libyaml-dev libsqlite3-dev sqlite3 libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev python-software-properties libffi-dev

Installing ruby version manager. In this case the easy one is using rbenv

git clone ~/.rbenv
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc
echo 'eval "$(rbenv init -)"' >> ~/.bashrc

Installing Ruby Build

git clone ~/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc

Restart Shell

exec $SHELL

Install ruby

rbenv install 2.3.1
rbenv global 2.3.1
rbenv rehash

Installing rails

gem install rails

Installing Rails on Windows

Step 1: Installing Ruby

We need Ruby programming language installed. We can use a precompiled version of Ruby called RubyInstaller.

  • Download and run Ruby Installer from
  • Run the installer. Check "Add Ruby executables to your PATH", then install.
  • To access Ruby, go to the Windows menu, click All Programs, scroll down to Ruby, and click “Start Command Prompt with Ruby”. A command prompt terminal will open. If you type ruby -v and press Enter, you should see the Ruby version number that you installed.

Step 2: Ruby Development Kit

After installing Ruby, we can try to install Rails. But some of the libraries Rails depends on need some build tools in order to be compiled, and Windows lacks those tools by default. You can identify this if you see an error while attempting to install Rails Gem::InstallError: The ‘[gem name]’ native gem requires installed build tools. To fix this, we need to install the Ruby Development Kit.

  • Download the DevKit
  • Run the installer.
  • We need to specify a folder where we’re going to permanently install the DevKit. I recommend installing it in the root of your hard drive, at C:\RubyDevKit. (Don’t use spaces in the directory name.)

Now we need to make the DevKit tools available to Ruby.

  • In your command prompt, change to the DevKit directory. cd C:\RubyDevKit or whatever directory you installed it in.
  • We need to run a Ruby script to initialize the DevKit setup. Type ruby dk.rb init. Now we’ll tell that same script to add the DevKit to our Ruby installation. Type ruby dk.rb install.

The DevKit should now be available for your Ruby tools to use when installing new libraries.

Step 3: Rails

Now we can install Rails. Rails comes as a Ruby gem. In your command prompt, type:

gem install rails

Once you press Enter, the gem program will download and install that version of the Rails gem, along with all the other gems Rails depends on.

Step 4: Node.js

Some libraries that Rails depends on require a JavaScript runtime to be installed. Let’s install Node.js so that those libraries work properly.

  • Download the Node.js installer from here.
  • When the download completes, visit your downloads folder, and run the node-v4.4.7.pkg installer.
  • Read the full license agreement, accept the terms, and click Next through the rest of the wizard, leaving everything at the default.
  • A window may pop up asking if you want to allow the app to make changes to your computer. Click “Yes”.
  • When the installation is complete, you’ll need to restart your computer so Rails can access Node.js.

Once your computer restarts, don’t forget to go to the Windows menu, click “All Programs”, scroll down to Ruby, and click “Start Command Prompt with Ruby”.

Got any Ruby on Rails Question?