Installing Ruby on Rails on Tiger

This article is now out of date, and has been supplanted by a newer version, located here.

Many readers have written-in requesting instructions for manual installation of Ruby, Ruby on Rails, FastCGI, and Apache on Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).

Rather than making readers wait for the release of these instructions until a time when you can fully flesh them out with commentary, you have decided to release them immediately, sans-annotation and with apologies for the lack thereof.

Starting Out

It’s best to compile in a src file of some kind. It doesn’t really matter where this folder is, it could be one’s Desktop, or /usr/local/src for example. All operations should take place there. You’d start like this:

mkdir ~/Desktop/src
cd ~/Desktop/src

You’ll download to and compile everything from right there.

System Prerequisites

You might want to have Xcode 2.1 or newer installed. It contains a few updates to the stock Tiger Xcode (2.0) that can make for better executables, like a newer version of Apple’s cctools.


Once again, be sure that your path precedence is for /usr/local/bin before /usr/bin or else things won’t work correctly. This can be accomplished with the following lines in a file called .bash_login in your home directory:

export PATH

Be sure to close Terminal and open a new one prior to running the commands below.


Do this stuff at your own risk. The Narrator won’t take any responsibility if you break your system, cross the streams, or initiate the apocalypse.

Ruby Stuff

First we install Readline, a prerequisite for Ruby.

curl -O
tar xzvf readline-5.0.tar.gz
cd readline-5.0
./configure --prefix=/usr/local
sed -e 's/-dynamic/-dynamiclib/' shlib/Makefile > shlib/
mv shlib/ shlib/Makefile
sudo make install
cd ..

Next up, Ruby.

curl -O
tar xzvf ruby-1.8.2.tar.gz 
cd ruby-1.8.2
./configure --prefix=/usr/local --with-readline-dir=/usr/local
sudo make install
cd ..

RubyGems is next.

curl -O
tar xzvf rubygems-0.8.10.tgz
cd rubygems-0.8.10
sudo ruby setup.rb
cd ..

With Gems installed, we can get Rails.

sudo gem install rails --include-dependencies

FastCGI is next.

curl -O
tar xzvf fcgi-2.4.0.tar.gz
cd fcgi-2.4.0
./configure --prefix=/usr/local
sudo make install
cd ..

Next up, Ruby-FastCGI bindings

curl -O
tar xzvf ruby-fcgi-0.8.6.tar.gz
cd ruby-fcgi-0.8.6
/usr/local/bin/ruby install.rb config --prefix=/usr/local
ruby install.rb setup
sudo ruby install.rb install

Next, the Ruby-FCGI Gem.

sudo gem install fcgi

Apache Stuff

Mod-FastCGI is first.

curl -O
tar xzvf mod_fastcgi-2.4.2.tar.gz 
cd mod_fastcgi-2.4.2
apxs -o -c *.c
sudo apxs -i -a -n fastcgi
cd ..

Add this to /etc/httpd/httpd.conf at the end of the file. BBEdit works well for this, and handles authentication for you (bbedit /etc/httpd/httpd.conf from the command line). Feel free to change the port (from 3000) to a port of your choice.

<IfModule mod_fastcgi.c>
  FastCgiIpcDir /tmp/fcgi_ipc/
  AddHandler fastcgi-script .fcgi

    <p>Listen 80
Listen 3000
<VirtualHost *:3000></p>
  DocumentRoot /path/to/my/rails/app/public/
  <Directory /path/to/my/rails/app/public/>
    Options ExecCGI FollowSymLinks
    AddHandler cgi-script .cgi
    AllowOverride all
    Allow from all
    Order allow,deny

Restart apache (using sudo apachectl restart) to get the changes.


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