A fresh ruby development environment in 1* hour

By November 5, 2013 No Comments

This weekend I replaced a failed hard drive in my laptop. These are the tools I used to get back up, running and ready to develop as soon as possible.

* Internet connection dependent. Your results may vary 🙂

Mac / Linux

The vast majority of the Ruby on Rails world develop on OS X or Linux. Both have advantages depending on where you spend most of your time in the stack. On the back end and DevOps side then Linux should synergise well as there’s a high chance you will be deploying to a Linux server. Developers that sit closer to the front end will naturally find OS X a good choice if they use design tools.

For this setup I installed a fresh installation of Ubuntu 13.10 however the tools used here should work fine on OS X. If using Windows then you could run a Ubuntu virtual machine (VMware Player, Virtual Box) or you could dual boot, which has never been easier – as always, make sure you backup anything important.


thoughtbots laptop is a great little automated tool that installs everything you need on the Ruby on Rails side of things. There are a couple of decisions that are made for you, it uses the lightweight rbenv instead of RVM and installs Postgres instead of MySQL.


zsh installed with oh-my-zsh is fantastic. Many great features and I recommend looking through them as there are too many to list here.


You probably have your preferred editor. Here at Cookies, I use Sublime Text and Nic uses Vim.

What next?

Generally I’ll install Chrome, Diodon for clipboard history, git-flow and dropbox. You might want to setup your ssh keys.

If you have any other tips or tools then please let me know!