Home Linux Community Community Blogs General Linux Installing Ruby and Gems for Vagrant/Opscode/Chef on OSX 10.6.6

Installing Ruby and Gems for Vagrant/Opscode/Chef on OSX 10.6.6

So, I just finished a course in London by these guys ( which was awesome.

They have a really great platform that allows you to manage your infrastructure as code, by writing 'recipes' and uploading them into 'cookbooks' on the managed platform - defining amongst many other things  'this is what I want my sever to look like', and "these are the steps I need to take to make this environment 100% reproduceable with no deviation from its first incarnation to its last".

You can then run one-liners to run up your entire infrastructure either locally with a tool like Vagrant or on a cloud provider like AWS EC2 and Rackspace. - If you havent already, grab yourself an account and give it a try, you can run up to 5 clients/nodes at no monthly cost.

As you may have guessed this relies on a successful install of Ruby and Ruby gems and Fog (amongst other gems) on a local machine or designated management server, to allow you to communicate with the platform.

This worked really well on OSX 10.5, but I had really bad problems after getting a newer Mac with 10.6.6 on it. I found that by default when I tried to install Ruby the newer OSX 10.6.6 compiler was automatically detecting that it was capable of comiling as x84_64, so was downloading/compiling/installing a 64bit version of Ruby.

I tried to do a fat Ruby install of that both supported x86_64 and i386 but this didnt seem to work properly in 10.6.6 at the moment.

In itself this wasnt a problem until I came to use some of the gems that I need to communicate with the Opscode platform, I still havent confirmed if this is due to them only working on i386 version of Ruby or some issue with running different architectures under RVM. However I found that some of the gems failed to work on the x86_64 version of Ruby, even if I then installed a 32bit version, I'm guessing this is something to do with symlinking inside RVM.

Anyway, I thought some other people might find the steps I had to take helpful and hopefully save them wasted time.

To start with I installed the latest version of Xcode available on the Apple Developer site.

then I installed Git and grabbed RVM which allows me to run multiple version of Ruby on the same machine.

I grabbed it from here, by running the following:

bash < <( curl )

then I added this to my .bashrc

[[ -s "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" ]] && . "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm"

and reloaded Terminal

Then I grabbed the iconv gem and made sure it was available for one of the later versions of Ruby.

rvm package install iconv

Once I had done this I was ready to actually install a version of Ruby that was happy to run all of the gems I needed for Chef and Vagrant. As you will see I did this by forcing the architecture of the Ruby install to be i386

rvm_archflags="-arch i386" CFLAGS="-arch i386" LDFLAGS="-arch i386" rvm install 1.9.2 -C --with-iconv-dir=$HOME/.rvm/usr --patch osx-arch-fix

If I didnt include iconv, it appeared that the build had worked, until I came to use "knife", which gave me a horrible stack trace about it not being able to solve some things ruby was unhappy about.

Once I had finished with this a quick "rvm list" showed me that the 32bit install of ruby was successful =>ruby-1.9.2-p136 [ i386 ]

Then I installed Rubygems 1.3.7 and ran "gem install iconv" and "gem install chef"


"gem install net-ssh net-ssh-multi fog highline rb-appscript gem-man virtualbox vagrant"

So from this point on, assuming you have an Opscode account and all of the above, you can start doing stuff like:

"knife ec2 server create -i ami-id -G AWSdefaultsecuritygroup -Z AWSZONE --region AWSREGION -f m1.instancetype -S <ec2account> -I ec2account.pem -x ubuntu"

Or bring up a test environment following the simple instructions:

$ vagrant box add base
$ vagrant init
$ vagrant up
$ vagrant ssh

Loads more really good info available at

Hope you find it useful....



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