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My environment consists of a desktop computer running Windows 7.

To get Ruby on Rails going I did the following.

Downloaded and installed Virtual Box.

Created a virtual machine with xubuntu.

The packages curl and git are needed to install rvm (Ruby Version Manager).

You can then follow the instructions for installing rvm, but before building Ruby make sure that the packages zlib1g-dev and libssl-dev are installed. If you don’t have this stuff installed before building Ruby, then Ruby is not built with support to run gems or rails.

Later down the road Rails will need node.js.

AFAIK there may be more packages which I should have installed. WTFK?

Anyway, it’s probably best to do all of the installations with synaptic (or apt) before starting with rvm at all.

For rvm we run:

$ bash < <(curl -s https://rvm.beginrescueend.com/install/rvm)
$ rvm install 1.9.2

Let’s also make 1.9.2 our default.

$ rvm default 1.9.2

It’s probably also best to read the rvm basics guide.

Now we can install rails.

gem install rails

Finally, we can restart the VM and map a port from our host to the port rails will run on so that we can hit our new web application from Windows land if desired. You don’t have to use VBoxManage for this. Virtual Box has a GUI for setting up port forwarding: Settings->Network->Advanced->Port Forwarding.

Having the port mapping will be good for testing IE compatibility at some point.