1 The Easy Way
The easiest and recommended way to get a development environment ready to hack is to use the Rails development box.
2 The Hard Way
In case you can't use the Rails development box, see section above, these are the steps to manually build a development box for Ruby on Rails core development.
2.1 Install Git
Ruby on Rails uses Git for source code control. The Git homepage has installation instructions. There are a variety of resources on the net that will help you get familiar with Git:
- Try Git course is an interactive course that will teach you the basics.
- The official Documentation is pretty comprehensive and also contains some videos with the basics of Git
- Everyday Git will teach you just enough about Git to get by.
- The PeepCode screencast on Git is easier to follow.
- GitHub offers links to a variety of Git resources.
- Pro Git is an entire book about Git with a Creative Commons license.
2.2 Clone the Ruby on Rails Repository
Navigate to the folder where you want the Ruby on Rails source code (it will create its own
rails subdirectory) and run:
$ git clone git://github.com/rails/rails.git $ cd rails
2.3 Set up and Run the Tests
The test suite must pass with any submitted code. No matter whether you are writing a new patch, or evaluating someone else's, you need to be able to run the tests.
Install first libxml2 and libxslt together with their development files for Nokogiri. In Ubuntu that's
$ sudo apt-get install libxml2 libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev
If you are on Fedora or CentOS, you can run
$ sudo yum install libxml2 libxml2-devel libxslt libxslt-devel
If you are running Arch Linux, you're done with:
$ sudo pacman -S libxml2 libxslt
On FreeBSD, you just have to run:
# pkg_add -r libxml2 libxslt
Alternatively, you can install the
If you have any problems with these libraries, you can install them manually by compiling the source code. Just follow the instructions at the Red Hat/CentOS section of the Nokogiri tutorials .
Also, SQLite3 and its development files for the
sqlite3-ruby gem - in Ubuntu you're done with just
$ sudo apt-get install sqlite3 libsqlite3-dev
And if you are on Fedora or CentOS, you're done with
$ sudo yum install sqlite3 sqlite3-devel
If you are on Arch Linux, you will need to run:
$ sudo pacman -S sqlite
For FreeBSD users, you're done with:
# pkg_add -r sqlite3
Or compile the
Get a recent version of Bundler
$ gem install bundler $ gem update bundler
$ bundle install --without db
This command will install all dependencies except the MySQL and PostgreSQL Ruby drivers. We will come back to these soon.
If you would like to run the tests that use memcached, you need to ensure that you have it installed and running.
You can use Homebrew to install memcached on OSX:
$ brew install memcached
On Ubuntu you can install it with apt-get:
$ sudo apt-get install memcached
Or use yum on Fedora or CentOS:
$ sudo yum install memcached
With the dependencies now installed, you can run the test suite with:
$ bundle exec rake test
You can also run tests for a specific component, like Action Pack, by going into its directory and executing the same command:
$ cd actionpack $ bundle exec rake test
If you want to run the tests located in a specific directory use the
TEST_DIR environment variable. For example, this will run the tests in the
railties/test/generators directory only:
$ cd railties $ TEST_DIR=generators bundle exec rake test
You can run the tests for a particular file by using:
$ cd actionpack $ bundle exec ruby -Itest test/template/form_helper_test.rb
Or, you can run a single test in a particular file:
$ cd actionpack $ bundle exec ruby -Itest path/to/test.rb -n test_name
2.4 Active Record Setup
The test suite of Active Record attempts to run four times: once for SQLite3, once for each of the two MySQL gems (
mysql2), and once for PostgreSQL. We are going to see now how to set up the environment for them.
If you're working with Active Record code, you must ensure that the tests pass for at least MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite3. Subtle differences between the various adapters have been behind the rejection of many patches that looked OK when tested only against MySQL.
2.4.1 Database Configuration
The Active Record test suite requires a custom config file:
activerecord/test/config.yml. An example is provided in
activerecord/test/config.example.yml which can be copied and used as needed for your environment.
2.4.2 MySQL and PostgreSQL
To be able to run the suite for MySQL and PostgreSQL we need their gems. Install first the servers, their client libraries, and their development files. In Ubuntu just run
$ sudo apt-get install mysql-server libmysqlclient15-dev $ sudo apt-get install postgresql postgresql-client postgresql-contrib libpq-dev
On Fedora or CentOS, just run:
$ sudo yum install mysql-server mysql-devel $ sudo yum install postgresql-server postgresql-devel
If you are running Arch Linux, MySQL isn't supported anymore so you will need to use MariaDB instead (see this announcement):
$ sudo pacman -S mariadb libmariadbclient mariadb-clients $ sudo pacman -S postgresql postgresql-libs
FreeBSD users will have to run the following:
# pkg_add -r mysql56-client mysql56-server # pkg_add -r postgresql92-client postgresql92-server
You can use Homebrew to install MySQL and PostgreSQL on OSX:
$ brew install mysql $ brew install postgresql
Follow instructions given by Homebrew to start these.
Or install them through ports (they are located under the
If you run into troubles during the installation of MySQL, please see
the MySQL documentation.
After that, run:
$ rm .bundle/config $ bundle install
First, we need to delete
.bundle/config because Bundler remembers in that file that we didn't want to install the "db" group (alternatively you can edit the file).
In order to be able to run the test suite against MySQL you need to create a user named
rails with privileges on the test databases:
$ mysql -uroot -p mysql> CREATE USER 'rails'@'localhost'; mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON activerecord_unittest.* to 'rails'@'localhost'; mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON activerecord_unittest2.* to 'rails'@'localhost'; mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON inexistent_activerecord_unittest.* to 'rails'@'localhost';
and create the test databases:
$ cd activerecord $ bundle exec rake mysql:build_databases
PostgreSQL's authentication works differently. A simple way to set up the development environment for example is to run with your development account This is not needed when installed via Homebrew.
$ sudo -u postgres createuser --superuser $USER
And for OS X (when installed via Homebrew)
$ createuser --superuser $USER
and then create the test databases with
$ cd activerecord $ bundle exec rake postgresql:build_databases
It is possible to build databases for both PostgreSQL and MySQL with
$ cd activerecord $ bundle exec rake db:create
You can cleanup the databases using
$ cd activerecord $ bundle exec rake db:drop
Using the rake task to create the test databases ensures they have the correct character set and collation.
You'll see the following warning (or localized warning) during activating HStore extension in PostgreSQL 9.1.x or earlier: "WARNING: => is deprecated as an operator".
If you're using another database, check the file
activerecord/test/config.example.yml for default connection information. You can edit
activerecord/test/config.yml to provide different credentials on your machine if you must, but obviously you should not push any such changes back to Rails.
You're encouraged to help improve the quality of this guide.
Please contribute if you see any typos or factual errors. To get started, you can read our documentation contributions section.
You may also find incomplete content, or stuff that is not up to date. Please do add any missing documentation for master. Make sure to check Edge Guides first to verify if the issues are already fixed or not on the master branch. Check the Ruby on Rails Guides Guidelines for style and conventions.
If for whatever reason you spot something to fix but cannot patch it yourself, please open an issue.
And last but not least, any kind of discussion regarding Ruby on Rails documentation is very welcome in the rubyonrails-docs mailing list.