Setup Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL and Redis on Ubuntu

November 2, 2014

In this post, I will share with you how I set up a Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL and Redis on Ubuntu for deploying Rails applications from scratch.


Update Ubuntu packages

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

After updating, you may have to restart your server for the changes.

Install Ruby Version Manager (RVM)

I use RVM to install and manage Ruby versions. To install the latest stable version of RVM, use:

curl -L | bash -s stable

Then load RVM to bash:

source ~/.rvm/scripts/rvm

Install required packages for RVM:

rvm requirements

Install Ruby

Check Ruby website for the latest Ruby version, then install:

rvm install 2.2.0

where 2.2.0 is the Ruby version you want to install. This will take a while as it downloads and compiles Ruby on your system. It also install the latest RubyGems for you.

That’s it. Now you can download your Rails application and run it on the server. You can skip the below setups (PostgreSQL, Redis) if you want.



Install the latest version of PostgreSQL for Ubuntu via:

sudo apt-get install postgresql

Check the version:

psql --version

If you have any warning like perl: warning: Setting locale failed. (more details here), use:

export LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8
export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8

By default, PostgresSQL will automatically run on your server after install, however we want to use our own data directory. To stop the default server, use:

sudo service postgresql stop

Setup data directory

After installing, you should create the PostgreSQL user which your Rails application will use to access the database:

sudo useradd postgres
sudo passwd postgres

Now, create the PostgreSQL data directory. The standard path is /var/lib/postgresql/9.4/data or /usr/local/pgsql/data:

sudo mkdir /var/lib/postgresql/9.4/data

where 9.4 is the version of your installed PostgreSQL. After that, add privileges for postgres user:

sudo chown postgres:postgres /var/lib/postgresql/9.4/data

Initialize the data directory:

su postgres
/usr/lib/postgresql/9.4/bin/initdb -D /var/lib/postgresql/9.4/data

Then, start PostgreSQL server with your created data directory:

/usr/lib/postgresql/9.4/bin/pg_ctl -D /var/lib/postgresql/9.4/data start

Integrate with Rails app

To create your database for Rails app, open PosgreSQL interactive terminal:

su postgres


create database <your-database-name>;

Install libpg-dev package to be able to install pg gem via bundle install:

sudo apt-get install libpq-dev


Follow the instruction on Redis download page to install Redis on Ubuntu:

tar xzf redis-2.8.19.tar.gz
cd redis-2.8.19
sudo make install

Here is my Redis configuration file redis.conf, run it:

redis-server redis.conf

To use Redis with your Rails application, add redis, redis-store, redis-rails to your Gemfile.

Discussion, links, and tweets