Using Ruby On Rails With Apache2 On Debian Etch
Author: Falko Timme
Last edited 05/19/2007
This article shows how you can install Ruby on Rails (RoR) and integrate it in Apache2 on a Debian Etch system (including a short section at the end showing how to use RoR in a web site created with ISPConfig). Ruby on Rails is a web application framework which is rapidly gaining popularity among web programmers. It aims to increase the speed and ease with which database-driven web sites can be created and offers skeleton code frameworks (scaffolding) from the outset. Applications using the RoR framework are developed using the Model-View-Controller design pattern.
This document comes without warranty of any kind! I want to say that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!
1 Preliminary Note
I will use the hostname testapplication.example.com in this tutorial for the virtual host running Ruby on Rails.
2 Installing Ruby And Rails
In order to install Ruby and Ruby on Rails, we simply run
apt-get install ruby libzlib-ruby rdoc irb rubygems rails eruby
3 Installing Apache2 And mod-fcgid
Ruby on Rails can be integrated in Apache2 using mod-fcgid. Therefore we install the following packages:
apt-get install apache2 libapache2-mod-fcgid libfcgi-ruby1.8
Afterwards, we enable a few Apache modules:
and reload Apache:
4 Installing MySQL And The Ruby MySQL Bindings
Most probably you or your users will like to create database-driven Ruby on Rails applications, therefore we install the MySQL server and the Ruby MySQL bindings now:
apt-get install libmysql-ruby mysql-server
You should set a root password for MySQL now:
mysqladmin -u root password yourrootsqlpassword
If MySQL is listening not only on 127.0.0.1, but on other addresses as well (e.g. server1.example.com), you should set a root password for these addresses as well:
mysqladmin -h server1.example.com -u root password yourrootsqlpassword
5 Creating Our Ruby On Rails Environment
We can now create a directory in which we want to develop our future RoR applications. I'd like to develop them in /var/rails, so I create that directory now:
Apache2 should have read/write access to that directory, so we make the Apache user (www-data on Debian) and Apache group (again www-data) the owner and group of that directory:
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/rails
Now we can create our first RoR application which we will call testapplication. We will create testapplication under the user www-data so that Apache has read/write access to it:
su -m www-data
Now that we're logged in as www-data, we run
This will create a directory called testapplication within /var/rails that contains all directories and files we need to develop our RoR application.
Next, we type in
to become the root user again.