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Set up Your Local Environment for Ruby on Rails

Engine Yard
posted this on February 16, 2012, 10:03 AM

This page describes getting your local environment ready for Ruby on Rails development.


For Windows users, check out Rails Windows Installer. This one-click installer will provide an environment with Ruby, Rails, Git, Sqlite, the DevKit, and SQLServer support. After the download is complete, you are ready to start writing and running Rails code. Check out their video for more details on the installation process.


The easiest and simple way of getting a Mac ready for development is by using the open source tool cinderella. Before you install it you will need to download Xcode first. Login with your Apple ID and then download the latest version of Xcode.

To start the process immediately run the below command after you get Xcode installed.

curl -o - | sh 

The build will take about 45 minutes so go make yourself some coffee or tea while you are waiting.

Cinderella is a fully managed development environment for open source hacking on Mac OSX. It provides you with Ruby (1.8.7), Rails, Git, MySQL and a lot of other essential tools to be able to develop on your Mac. Go read up on the tools that it installs by clicking on the cinderella link.

Now that will get your environment setup, your next step is picking an editor that you are comfortable with. Some people prefer using an IDE and a good one for RoR development is Netbeans. You can download the IDE with just the barebones for Ruby development or you can get it with everything setup for Ruby, PHP, C++ and Java. Other people prefer to just use a text editor. Text editors alone have caused many debates between programmers. The three big ones are Textmate, VIM and Emacs. Textmate is the editor of choice for most RoR developers, but there are still plenty that stick with VIM or Emacs.


Linux users especially Ubuntu users should follow the directions on the Ubuntu community forum for getting setup to use Ruby on Rails. If you do not want to install Ruby on Rails the manual way, you can use the unofficial pre-integrated TurnKey Ruby on Rails Appliance. After you get that done go to the GitHub website and follow the tutorial on getting git setup for Linux.

Also, there is a great step-by-step guide on how to setup Ruby, Rails, RVM, MySQL, and PostgreSQL by Ryan Bigg for Ubuntu.

The next step is choosing your editor. There are many out there, but the de facto two that most Linux people use are VIM and Emacs.

If you have feedback or questions about this page, add a comment below. If you need help, submit a ticket with Engine Yard Support.



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Ary Ribeiro Rabelo

it still working?

February 13, 2013, 9:25 AM
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Evan Machnic
Engine Yard Inc.

Hi Ary,

This article is actually a bit out-dated and there is a version of RailsInstaller for OSX if you visit Are you trying to set up an environment on Windows, Mac, or Linux?

Evan Machnic

February 13, 2013, 12:16 PM