Although the video below is from 2006 (it’s from the first Railsconf), it’s still pretty representative of the Ruby on Rails development world: most of it seems to happen on Macs. From the Supreme Overlord DHH down to the newest newbie typing “
rails s” on the console for the first time, it looks as though most Rails projects out there start their lives on computers with Apple logos:
(That’s me going “Mac…Mac…Mac…” as I tally each laptop. I can’t be certain, but I believe that the guy in the brown zip-up sweater at the 0:09 mark is Tobias Lütke, Shopify’s CEO and the guy who offered me my current job. Strange how things work out.)
It used to take a fair bit of jiggery-pokery to set up a Rails development environment on Windows. That’s not the case anymore, thanks to RailsInstaller, a single double-clickable setup program.
RailsInstaller installs the following on your Windows machine:
I used RailsInstaller to set up my Windows laptop for Rails development this weekend, and it worked like a charm. I took some screenshots along the way and present them below.
Double-clicking on the RailsInstaller executable gives you a familiar welcome window:
Blah blah blah legal stuff. Just give me the software and I’ll worry about compliance later, okay?
By default, RailsInstaller installs all its software into the
C:\RailsInstaller directory, creating it first if necessary. I broke away from the default and instead specified that the software should go into a new directory called
C:\Rails, a name that I thought made a little more sense:
And we’re off!
Less than two minutes later:
With the install wizard complete, we get kicked into command line mode to set up git and SSH:
And that’s it! I checked to make sure it was working by creating a new Rails app:
…we have lift-off!
The first time you run Rails on Windows, you might get a message from Windows Firewall asking if you’re cool with Ruby communicating with the outside world on private and/or public networks. I said “yes” to both:
So far, Rails on Windows, as installed by RailsInstaller, has been working like a charm for me.
- RailsInstaller.org: Site for the all-in-one Rails-on-Windows installer. They say they’re working on Mac and Linux versions, which they hope to release in the future.
- The RailsInstaller 1.1.1 video: A screencast showing RailsInstaller in action.
- The RailsInstaller Google Group: Having trouble with RailsInstaller? Talk about it here.