Category Archives: ubuntu

Installing Rails 3 on Ubuntu 11.04

One of the more challenging problems with the opensource world (and joys in my opinion) is the rate of change of the software and systems. Unfortunately it means that every year I seem to be having to learn new ways of installing the latest tools. Every 6 months when I install the latest Ubuntu and Rails, something needs hand holding. Here is my attempt to get Rails running on Ubuntu 11.04.

Firstly, credit goes to yasi8h from theKindOfMe blog – see the original post here

Below is a variation of the process outlined in the blog post, however I have changed things to make it work for a fresh Ubuntu 11.04 install.

Run the following in sudo/root

apt-get install curl git-core build-essential bison openssl libreadline5 libreadline5-dev zlib1g zlib1g-dev libssl-dev libsqlite3-0 libsqlite3-dev sqlite3 libxml2-dev libmysqlclient-dev mysql-client mysql-server autoconf

curl -L > rvm-install-head
bash rvm-install-head

Read and follow the instructions given as shell output after  rvm-install-head to edit your .bashrc. You will need to remove the return statement and wrap the whole code block in if’s and append the command to load the rvm into the shell environment. 

OR suggests running:

echo '[[ -s "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" ]] && . "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" # Load RVM function' >> ~/.bash_profile

rvm install 1.9.2
rvm use 1.9.2 –default
rvm 1.9.2 –passenger
rvm 1.9.2
gem install passenger
apt-get install libcurl4-openssl-dev
rvmsudo passenger-install-nginx-module

gem install rails

rm rvm-install-head

Ubuntu 9.04 Release soon

Not long to wait for the next ubuntu. Release date is 23rd April (5 days).

For more info check out the technical overview. I have been using the beta and haven’t noticed any serious issues, overall it has been stable for me. My gotcha’s for those wanting to play along were pulse audio and sounds not playing for flash (I had to install the adobe flash player not the default one that came with the install), getting a mic to work (my unfamiliarity with pulse audio) and (not necessarily an ubuntu issue) Firefox 3.0.8 is just getting slower and stranger – just times out, net banking gives me strange errors (something about using the back button) and some other javascripty/ajax kinda weirdness – for example captchas on never worked for me. Midori browser worked for all of those issues.

Ubuntu 9.04 Beta

Installed Ubuntu 9.04 Beta on my Dell Inspiron notebook today.

First impressions: I like. It’s not perfect, I’ve seen a few odd things (more on that below) but overall my first impression is that it is faster and feels smoother. Everything worked out of the box – wifi, correct resolution, sound etc. So far so good.


  • Some nice new visuals – boot screen is okay, nice login screen.
  • New wallpaper is still brownish, but deeper and richer looking. I still changed it as one of the first things, but it was an improvement.
  • Finally dust is a pre-installed theme. Massive props.
  • Smooth transitions – this one is hard to explain until you see it in action, but it feels more polished.
  • Disk partitioning at install was faster to scan. The last few ubuntu’s have been slow as a dog when you try to manual partition from the installer.


  • The timezone selector at install time has the +10 zone band all over the shop. Brisbane, Australia is in Indonesia, Sydney is off the sunshine coast. Canberra is near Sydney. Not a total show stopper, but it has been right in past versions, why be wrong now? Bug confirmed and fix committed in launchpad.
  • I formatted / as ext4. Grub wouldn’t boot. Reformatted as ext3 and no problems.
  • While using it after the first reboot, after I left the laptop idle for 10mins I came back and it was back at the login screen. It hasn’t happened since (yet) but it was not a good feeling to lose what I was working on.
  • Firefox 3.0.8 feels more sluggish than ever, especially since the rest of the desktop feels even faster by comparison.

Conclusion: Being dumped out to the login screen makes me hesitant to recommend the beta unless you like living on the wild side. Other than that issue, on my Dell it feels much faster than 8.10. The greater selection of pre-installed themes is very nice. Roll on the final release!