Installing Rails 3.1 pre-release

Create a rvm gemset:

rvm 1.9.2@my_gem_set --create

Install Rails 3.1

gem install rails --pre

If you don’t have a javascript engine like Node installed, you need to manually add one to your Gemfile:

gem 'execjs'
gem 'therubyracer'

Install your gems:

bundle install


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Teach your MySQL database to talk giberish (Add UTF-8 support to your MySQL database for Rails)

June 29, 2011 Leave a comment

MySQL needs to be configured to support UTF-8 encoding with Rails. Here are the steps –

1. Make sure this line in in your database.yml:

encoding: utf8

2. Edit your MySQL configuration file /etc/mysql/my.cnf, and place the following codes in these sections:


If things are set correctly, you should get the following results:

mysql> SHOW VARIABLES LIKE 'character\_set\_%';
| Variable_name            | Value  |
| character_set_client     | utf8   |
| character_set_connection | utf8   |
| character_set_database   | utf8   |
| character_set_filesystem | binary |
| character_set_results    | utf8   |
| character_set_server     | utf8   |
| character_set_system     | utf8   |

3. Restart your database

sudo /etc/init.d/mysql restart


*Note that only databases created AFTER this change will support UTF8 encoding. I’ve seen others modifying the existing databases, but I find it easier to drop everything and recreate the databases since my app was in development anyway.


Talking to your EC2

June 24, 2011 Leave a comment

To SSH to your instance, do:

ssh -i /path/to/keyname ubuntu@<external-host-name>

The rails files are located in /mnt/your_app_name-production/current

<< Real-time logging >>

tail -f /path_to_rails_root/log/production.log

You can also combine it with the grep command for filtering. For example, to view all the lines with the word GET only:

tail -f /path_to_rails_root/log/production.log | grep 'GET'

Or if you are using rubber, just do:

cap rubber:tail_logs

To find out where your apache log file is located:
grep ErrorLog /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

for Ubuntu, it’s here:



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Deploying your Rails app to AWS EC2 using Rubber

June 24, 2011 5 comments

1. Setup your keypair Download your private key:
Change keyname.pem to keyname:

chmod 400 keyname
ssh-keygen -y -f keyname >

2. Install Rubber

sudo gem install rubber
bundle install
rails g vulcanize complete_passenger_mysql

3. Edit config/rubber/rubber.yml

cloud_providers → aws → access_key
cloud_providers → aws → secret_access_key
cloud_providers → aws → account
cloud_providers → aws → keyname
image_type: t1.micro
image_id: 'ami-3e02f257'

4. Change the ruby version if necessary

The default uses ruby version 1.9.2, which was giving my trouble when parsing YAML files.  You can get around this by either:

a) Set “rvm_ruby” to 1.8.7 in your app/config/rubber/rubber-rvm.yml, or

b) Add these two lines to your boot.rb if YAML doesn’t parse correctly:

require 'yaml'
YAML::ENGINE.yamler= 'syck'

5. Deploy

cap rubber:create_staging

It’s a good time now to go grab a bite and hope that it’s finished by the time you’re back….

<<To push new changes up>>

cap deploy:check
cap deploy:setup
cap deploy:cold

or simply

'cap deploy'

<<To run migrations>>

cap deploy:migrate (migration without deploy)
cap deploy:migrations (migration with deployment)

<<To terminate the instances>>

cap rubber:destroy_staging


To see all the documented rubber tasks:
cap -T | grep rubber
To describe one in more detail:
cap -e rubber:bootstrap
To really see all rubber tasks (including undocumented ones):
cap -Tv | grep rubber


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Set up your Rails 3 app to use MySQL

June 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Create a new rails project using MySQL as the backend:

rails new <app_name> -d mysql

Run the following commands to install MySQl:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client
sudo apt-get install libmysql-ruby libmysqlclient-dev
sudo gem install mysql

Edit your database.yml file if necessary

adapter: mysql2
encoding: utf8
reconnect: false
database: your_database_development
pool: 5
username: root
host: localhost


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Install Ruby RVM

June 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Install the RVM:

bash < <(curl -s

Edit your ~/.bashrc file by following the instructions given:

You must now complete the install by loading RVM in new shells.

1) Place the folowing line at the end of your shell's loading files (.bashrc or .bash_profile for bash and .zshrc for zsh), after all PATH/variable settings:
   [[ -s "/home/eric/.rvm/scripts/rvm" ]] && source "/home/eric/.rvm/scripts/rvm"  # This loads RVM into a shell session.
   You only need to add this line the first time you install rvm.

2) Ensure that there is no 'return' from inside the ~/.bashrc file, otherwise rvm may be prevented from working properly.
  This means that if you see something like:
    '[ -z "$PS1" ] && return'
  then you change this line to:
  if [[ -n "$PS1" ]] ; then
    # ... original content that was below the '&& return' line ...
  fi # be sure to close the if at the end of the .bashrc.
  # This is a good place to source rvm v v v
  [[ -s "/home/eric/.rvm/scripts/rvm" ]] && source "/home/eric/.rvm/scripts/rvm"  # This loads RVM into a shell session.
EOF - This marks the end of the .bashrc file
   Be absolutely *sure* to REMOVE the '&& return'.
   If you wish to DRY up your config you can 'source ~/.bashrc' at the bottom of your .bash_profile.
   Placing all non-interactive (non login) items in the .bashrc,
   including the 'source' line above and any environment settings.

3) CLOSE THIS SHELL and open a new one in order to use rvm.

Note – Use this line if you installed as user:

[[ -s "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" ]] && . "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm"

To see if it works:

rvm list known

Install the recommended dependencies:

apt-get install build-essential bison openssl libreadline6 libreadline6-dev curl git-core zlib1g zlib1g-dev libssl-dev libyaml-dev libsqlite3-0 libsqlite3-dev sqlite3 libxml2-dev libxslt-dev autoconf libc6-dev ncurses-dev

Install the ruby version you want to use:

rvm install ruby-1.9.2-p180

To use a specific version:

rvm use 1.9.2

To check which version you are using:

ruby -v

Alternatively, you can set it as default:

rvm --default 1.9.2

Switch to default:

rvm use default

You can also create a .rvmrc file so that rvm automatically changes to that particular gemset when you enter the folder:

rvm --rvmrc --create 1.9.2@project_name


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