Getting Rails up and Running on Windows Subsystem for Linux

Jake Moening
Oct 3 · 2 min read

As part of #hacktoberfest 2019 I’ve noticed a lot of interesting teams/companies/projects are still using Rails. In the spirit of learning I decided I’d setup a rails environment give it a whirl on a test app to see how it compares to my server-side tool of choice, ASP.NET core.

Since I’m part of the ever shrinking world of developers that don’t work on a MacBook I decided first to try the native window install. I immediately ran into a bunch of conflicts and an out of date installer for windows. Not looking to spend two hours just getting a dev environment running I decided to change tactics.

I thought perhaps it would be best to try to do what the rest of the rails world is doing I opted to switch over to the WSL and try this experiment from a more *nix perspective. Unfortunately, WSL still isn’t quite a normal distro setup and I ran into a few more issues attempting the Ubuntu standard setup.

After a bit of research and struggle I finally landed on a working combination of packages that got things up and going. In the interest of saving the next poor developer some of that effort I’m documenting those steps here:

  1. Add the Yarn Repo for apt-get to find the latest Yarn
curl -sS https://dl.yarnpkg.com/debian/pubkey.gpg | sudo apt-key add - echo "deb https://dl.yarnpkg.com/debian/ stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yarn.list
sudo apt-get update

2. Install all Rails development dependencies

sudo apt-get install make gcc zlib1g-dev ruby ruby-dev sqlite3 libsqlite3-dev yarn

3. Install Rails

sudo gem install rails

4. Once the rails install is finished you can run your rails new command:

rails new myprojectname

5. Now we can startup the new rails project

cd ./myprojectnamerails server

Open a browser and navigate to http://localhost:3000

A few steps, but nothing too crazy. I hope this helps someone else out, and saves some time so you can just get coding!

Jake Moening

Written by

Married, software-developing, backpacking, photographing, cooking, father of three. https://www.codecutting.com

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade