This is my recipe for starting up a new
Rackspace Cloud Server and getting it
set up for hosting Ruby on Rails applications.
Part one will take you from a new server to
a working installation of RVM and Ruby. Part
two will cover installing MySQL, Apache and Phusion
If you don’t already have an account with
Rackspace, I encourage you to go over to
and check them out.
I prefer Ubuntu Linux, so let’s start with
Starting a New Server
First, sign in to your Cloud Control Panel,
then click Hosting, Cloud Servers.
Click the Add Server button, scroll down to
Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat), then click
the Select button.
Now type in a server name and select how much
RAM you’ll need, then click the Create Server
After a short wait, your new server should be
ready to go. You will receive an e-mail with
your new server’s IP address and root password.
Connect to the IP Address with SSH, log in
as root with the password provided, and lets
The first thing you should do at this point is
change the root password.
Type in your new root password twice. Now
let’s add a new user account.
Type in the information for your new user.
Add the new user to the sudo group so you can
execute commands as root.
adduser testapp sudo
Now that we have a new account to use, we need
to deny the root user access via ssh. This
will stop people trying to brute-force our root
Find the line that contains “PermitRootLogin” and
change the value from “yes” to “no”. Restart the
ssh server when you’re done.
We have set up a new user account with sudo access
and denied root login via ssh, so let’s log out
New User Login
Now reconnect with your new user account and let’s
make sure all of our software is up to date.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
This should be really fast. Rackspace’s internet
connection puts mine to shame.
Next, we’ll install git so we can install rvm.
sudo apt-get install git-core
Now copy and paste the command below to install rvm:
bash < <(curl -s https://rvm.beginrescueend.com/install/rvm)
Once this finishes, you will see a lot of instructions for
setting up rvm as well as a nice “Thank you” from Wayne.
rvm automatically creates a file called .bash_profile in
our home directory. This causes bash to skip loading
the regular .profile.
The only thing in .bash_profile is rvm configuration,
so let’s just delete it…
and add the configuration to .profile instead.
Add this line at the very bottom:
[[ -s "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" ]] && . "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm"
Finally “source” your .profile file so the change will take effect.
Now we’ll install the rest of the packages we need to
build ruby. RVM can provide us a list of needed software.
Look at the line starting with “For Ruby” to get a list of
sudo 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 \
Again, this shouldn’t take long.
We’re finally ready to install Ruby.
rvm install 1.9.2
We have Ruby 1.9.2 now, let’s use it.
rvm --default use 1.9.2
Now that we have Ruby set up, we’re ready to install Rails. It should be as simple as this:
gem install rails
Note that when you’re using RVM, you do not have to precede this with “sudo”.
After another short wait, you should be all set.
Verify that the ruby and rails commands work as
expected. In part 2 we’ll setup MySQL, Apache and