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Setting up Mountain Lion 10.8 for Rails

So you just got your shiny new macbook and you're ready to get back to work. Here's how you get it all setup the standard way to be running rails.

The whole process usually takes around 30 minutes (most of the time is ruby compiling). It's very important you run these steps in order! Some steps will look like they succeeded if they are run out of order, but in fact will fail (like installing the pg gem before you've installed postgres. You've been warned!

1. Homebrew

Home brew can be installed by running the one liner at the bottom of the homebrew site.

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSkL raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go)"

Some kids at school may have told you about macports. Ignore them (at least for now) and just use homebrew. Its newer and more maintained. You can install them side by side later.

After this, in order to install anything, you're going to need the OSX command line tools. They don't ship with OS X for licensing reasons, but they are easy enough to get. Choose one of the following options.

  1. Download the most recent version of "Command Line Tools (OS X Mountain Lion) for xCode" from the apple developer site. You will need to make a free account.

  2. Install the 4+ gb xCode from the app store. Open it and goto xCode > Preferences > Downloads. Install the "Command Line Tools".

  3. The old way is osx-gcc-installer, which was the solution before Apple offered the command line tools separate from xCode. This is no longer necessary.

Now, test it out, run on the command line brew install wget without sudo. If it doesn't work, you may need to run the following command to give your user account permissions to change /usr/local where brew installs all your new packages.

chown $USER /usr/local/bin

Test it out:

wget --version

Whew! That was the hardest step. Let's do some easier stuff.

2. Git & Github

First, install git. Should be easy now that we have homebrew! If you already downloaded it from the git website, its ok, but this way its easier to upgrade.

brew install git

Now in order to push to github and to SSH into your servers, you're going to need some SSH keys. If you already have them on your old computer, just copy them over to ~/.ssh and make sure permissions are set (ssh will let you know if the permissions are wrong).

If you haven't set them up, follow this great github guide.

To test that it's all set up right, for one you should have id_rsa and id_rsa.pub files and be able to SSH to github.

~ $ ls -la ~/.ssh
drwx------  10 derek  staff    340 Dec 12 12:48 .
drwxr-xr-x+ 67 derek  staff   2278 Dec 24 16:41 ..
-rw-r--r--   1 derek  staff    412 Nov 12 22:32 authorized_keys
-rw-------   1 derek  staff   1024 Nov 27 14:38 config
-rw-------   1 derek  staff   1675 Jul 19 13:51 id_rsa
-rw-r--r--   1 derek  staff    412 Jul 19 13:51 id_rsa.pub
-rw-r--r--   1 derek  staff  10818 Nov 27 14:43 known_hosts

~ $ ssh -T git@github.com
Hi ddgromit! You've successfully authenticated, but GitHub does not provide shell access.

3. RVM

You have to have installed GCC via the command line tools in step #1 by now. Otherwise, you will get errors when you try this. If you are using RBEnv (vs RVM) instead, that's totally cool, but follow some other guide for this step.

Run the command on the RVM homepage for "Install RVM with ruby":

curl -L https://get.rvm.io | bash -s stable --ruby

This should install RVM and then ruby without any errors. You should get something like this

  ~ $ rvm list

rvm rubies

=* ruby-1.9.3-p194 [ x86_64 ]

# => - current
# =* - current && default
#  * - default

Do not jump ahead and install any gems right now or try doing a bundle install on your project. The pg gem needs postgres to be installed first, and if you don't do it its really annoying to clean up the problem.

4. Postgres

This is where brew really helps you out.

brew install postgres

Once that's done, follow the instructions for "if this is your first install". If you lost the instructions, you can get them back with "brew info postgres". Running these commands will make postgres start on boot so you never have to do it manually.

They should look like

# DONT ACTUALLY RUN THESE, your version numbers are probably different
If this is your first install, automatically load on login with:
  mkdir -p ~/Library/LaunchAgents
  cp /usr/local/Cellar/postgresql/9.2.1/homebrew.mxcl.postgresql.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents/
  launchctl load -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.postgresql.plist

Verify its running

~ $ ps aux | grep postgres
derek            483   0.0  0.0  2439076    428   ??  Ss   10:31PM   0:05.37 postgres: stats collector process       
derek            482   0.0  0.0  2442984    980   ??  Ss   10:31PM   0:04.28 postgres: autovacuum launcher process       
derek            481   0.0  0.0  2442852     56   ??  Ss   10:31PM   0:05.44 postgres: wal writer process       
derek            480   0.0  0.0  2442852    144   ??  Ss   10:31PM   0:06.94 postgres: writer process       
derek            400   0.0  0.0  2442852    208   ??  S    10:31PM   0:01.38 /usr/local/bin/postgres -D /usr/local/var/postgres -r /usr/local/var/postgres/server.log
derek          34378   0.0  0.0  2432768    604 s003  S+    5:04PM   0:00.00 grep postgres

Now, this is a really important "gotcha" Mountain Lion comes with its own outdated version of psql. Verify this with "psql --version" which shows that its not 9.1.x. You need to hide these alternate binaries or change your PATH. I recommend you just run the curl command on this NextMarvel guide.

If you are successful, this perplexing error

~ $ psql
psql: could not connect to server: Permission denied
    Is the server running locally and accepting
    connections on Unix domain socket "/var/pgsql_socket/.s.PGSQL.5432"?

should turn into a user or database error like this

~ $ psql
psql: FATAL:  database "derek" does not exist

Finally, set your user account name up as a super user (or whatever users your rails app needs)

createuser --superuser $USER

5. Test it on your project!

cd myproject
rvm gemset create myproject
rvm gemset use myproject
bundle install
rake db:migrate
rails s

If you run into any other problems along the way, let me know via comments or email.