Aug 192010

UPDATE: New version for OS X Lion HERE

I choose the simple and I believe clean way to use everything from macports and passenger.

The advantage is that it’s all isolated from the OS X system and using latest cutting edge version of softwares.

I assume you have textmate, because it’s easy to edit files that need sudo access. Textmate will just ask for your password.

Try and download the 30 days trial for easy of this tutorial.

Trust me, you will love Textmate, it’s state of the art editor.

ps: I use “mate” instead of “open -a TextMate” but not everyone might have the mate symlink.


  • Snow Leopard 10.6.4 or greater
  • Xcode 3.2.3, 2.4.1 or greater
  • Admin privileges on your mac.

Software preliminary:

  • Mysql 5.1.49 (macports)
  • Ruby 1.8.7 (macports)
  • Apache 2.2.9 (part of OS X)
  • Rubygems (download)
  • passenger (gem)
  • ImageMagick
  • rmagick

1. Preparing System

If you are upgrading from Leopard to Snow Leopard, I recommend you delet your old installation.

sudo rm -rf \
    /opt/local \
    /Applications/DarwinPorts \
    /Applications/MacPorts \
    /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.* \
    /Library/Receipts/DarwinPorts*.pkg \
    /Library/Receipts/MacPorts*.pkg \
    /Library/StartupItems/DarwinPortsStartup \
    /Library/Tcl/darwinports1.0 \
    /Library/Tcl/macports1.0 \

1.1 Prepare PATH environment:

$ open -a TextMate ~/.bash_profile

Edit your ~/.bash_profile file and add these 2 line.
Check if they are not there already.

export PATH=/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:$PATH
export MANPATH=/opt/local/share/man:$MANPATH

1.2 Download and Install Xcode

1.3 Download Macports and install

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You might use this guide for installing Macports:

Full Install Guide:

1.3.1 Update macports

sudo port -v selfupdate

2. Mysql

2.1 Intall Mysql

sudo port -v install mysql5-server mysql5

2.2 Make mysql autoload on startup

sudo port load mysql5-server
sudo -u mysql mysql_install_db5

3. Memcached (Optional)

sudo port -v install memcached libmemcached

3.1 Autoload memcached on startup

sudo port load memcached

4. Ruby, Rubygems, Rails, other gems

4.1 Install Ruby from macports

sudo port -v install ruby
$ ruby -v
ruby 1.8.7 (2010-08-08 patchlevel 302) [x86_64-darwin10]

4.2 download rubygems from

cd /tmp
tar xpf rubygems-1.3.7.tgz
cd rubygems-1.3.7
sudo ruby setup.rb

4.3 Install rails, rake, rspec etc.

sudo gem install rake rails thin tzinfo capistrano ruby-debug rspec


4.4 install mysql gem

sudo env ARCHFLAGS="-arch x86_64" gem install mysql -- --with-mysql-config=/opt/local/lib/mysql5/bin/mysql_config

5. ImageMagick, Rmagick and mini_magick (Optional)

lets install ImageMagick with support for JPEG, TIFF, WMF, PDF, and PNG images, and for Postscript and TrueType fonts.

sudo port -v install tiff -macosx imagemagick +q8 +gs +wmf
sudo gem install mini_magick rmagick

Test rmagick

$ irb -rubygems -r RMagick
>> puts Magick::Long_version
This is RMagick 2.13.1 ($Date: 2009/12/20 02:33:33 $) Copyright (C) 2009 by Timothy P. Hunter
Built with ImageMagick 6.6.3-0 2010-08-19 Q8
Built for ruby 1.8.7
Web page:
=> nil

6. Passenger

6.1 Install Passenger gem

sudo gem install passenger

6.2 Check Passenger path

passenger-config --root
 -> /opt/local/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/passenger-2.2.15

6.3 Build passenger for apache

follow instructions on screen

sudo passenger-install-apache2-module

6.4 Enable Passenger on apache:

open -a TextMate /etc/apache2/extra/httpd-passenger.conf

Put this on that file, change wherever necessary for your directories.

LoadModule passenger_module /opt/local/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/passenger-2.2.15/ext/apache2/
PassengerRoot /opt/local/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/passenger-2.2.15
PassengerRuby /opt/local/bin/ruby
PassengerMaxPoolSize 6  # maximum global rails servers
PassengerMaxInstancesPerApp 2  # maximum rails servers per application
RailsFrameworkSpawnerIdleTime 1800
RailsAppSpawnerIdleTime 600
PassengerPoolIdleTime 600
PassengerMaxRequests 1000  # after 1000 requests will restart server, to skip memory leak :)

# Enabling NameBased Virtualhost
NameVirtualHost *:80

# my rails app virtual host 1

    ServerName my-rails-app.local
    DocumentRoot "/Users/fred/rails/my-rails-app/public" # change this to match your folder
    RailsEnv "development"
        # change this to match your folder
        # MultiViews must be turned off
        Options -MultiViews
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all
    # logs are optional, change this to match your folder
    CustomLog  "/Users/fred/rails/my-rails-app/log/access_log" combined
    ErrorLog   "/Users/fred/rails/my-rails-app/log/error_log"

# my rails app virtual host 2

    ServerName myapp-xyz.local
    DocumentRoot "/Users/fred/rails/myapp-xyz/public"  # change this to match your folder
    RailsEnv "development"
        # change this to match your folder
        # MultiViews must be turned off
        Options -MultiViews
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all
    CustomLog  "/Users/fred/rails/myapp-xyz/log/access_log" combined
    ErrorLog  "/Users/fred/rails/myapp-xyz/log/error_log"

6.5 Enable Virtual host on apache:

open -a TextMate /etc/apache2/httpd.conf

Add this new line at the bottom:

# Include Passenger ModRails config file
Include /private/etc/apache2/extra/httpd-passenger.conf

6.6 Add your .local domain to /etc/hosts/

open -a TextMate /etc/hosts

Add this line to that file and change to the name of your choosen application

You might add as many as you want, each line for each that ServerName on your VirtualHost blocks my-rails-app.local myapp-xyz .local

I have more than 50 .local apps in there.

5 Start Apache

first let’s test apache configuration:

apachectl configtest

if you get “Syntax OK” then you are ready to start it

sudo apachectl start

If you want Apache to autostart when you boot your computer,
then enable Web Sharing from preferences.

7. Final

go to your browser and open the url of your application http://my-rails-app.local

If it works, congratulations.

If didn’t work, let me know here in the comments.



  sudo port -v install libxml2 libxslt
  sudo gem install nokogiri -- --with-xml2-include=/opt/local/include/libxml2 --with-xml2-lib=/opt/local/lib --with-xslt-dir=/opt/local


sudo port install sqlite3
sudo gem install sqlite3-ruby

9. Sphinx, thinking-sphinx, sphinxsearchlogic

sudo port install sqlite3
sudo gem install thinking-sphinx sphinxsearchlogic


From the comments, some people might want to enable php and your Sites folder.

To be able to enable php and others you will have to enable another default vhost with localhost as servername.

Edit the file /etc/apache2/httpd.conf to enable vhosts

# Virtual hosts
Include /private/etc/apache2/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf

then open /private/etc/apache2/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf file,
delete or comment everything from there and add this block only:

# Use name-based virtual hosting.
NameVirtualHost *:80

# Change /Users/fred/ to your appropriate login name

    ServerName localhost
    DocumentRoot /Users/fred/Sites/
    RewriteEngine On
    DefaultType text/html
        DefaultType text/html
        Options +ExecCGI FollowSymLinks Indexes
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all

Links and Resources

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 Posted by at 3:36 pm

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