Ruby on Rails Virtual Machine for VMware (RORVMv0.10)

[update: the .torrent is no longer up. I'd recommend using Ubuntu 6.06 or later, as the Ruby support is much cleaner]

I’ve been working on a project using the Ruby on Rails framework, which is ultimately deployed to a webhost running a Unix variant. At first, I was building this in an OS X environment, but then I had to switch over to a Windows laptop.

So in order to have a (at least somewhat) common development environment, I wanted to make use of some of the amazing progress that’s being made in virtualization software to do my development in a Unix VM on Windows.
So here is a very early, rough release of a VM intended to meet my needs (and perhaps yours). The basis of the VM is Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy) Linux text-mode-only server. On top of that are Ruby and Rails packages, several fixes (for example, 5.10 comes with Ruby 1.8.3, which is incompatible with rails — so I upgraded the VM with Ruby 1.8.4 from Ubuntu 6.0), and some customization useful for running in a VM (e.g. prominantly displaying the DHCP-assigned IP address). All off-the-shelf open source pieces — thanks to the tons of people involved to make all that work, and to VMware for releasing a great, free VM “player”.
I’ll be tracking the rbuntu live CD work, as that comes out, possibly merging this work with that. I’m just making this available via Azureus torrents for now — it’s intended to be a minimal VM, but it’s still 250MB. :)
Steps to install RORVMv0.10

  1. Install VMware Player
  2. Install Azureus bittorrent client (.torrent below may only be avilable via Azureus’ decentralized tracking)
  3. Click the RORVMv0.10 .torrent file to have Azureus download it, and unzip.
  4. Click on the .vmx file to have VMware player run the VM. Follow directions before login.

Let me know if something just doesn’t work here, or if you have feedback or ideas to make this more useful.

Comments (3) to “Ruby on Rails Virtual Machine for VMware (RORVMv0.10)”

  1. Now that you’re playing around with the new Amazon EC2 service, any chance that you could come up with a similar EC2 ‘Amazon Machine Instance’ image and make it available via S3 torrent?

  2. That would be a good project. Since I moved to doing all my development on a MacBook, RORVM has been on ice. But having a VM image or filesystem image based hosting environment like EC2 would bring back the motivation to have a clean, small, simple image for Rails to build on.

    Please post a comment if you see anyone else heading down this same path. Thanks.

  3. [...] haven’t been doing much with VMs in the past year. It’s the source of some guilt, since my RORVM post still gets search-related hits every day. And I haven’t had anything useful & additional [...]

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