Getting Started on the Fast Track

Curt Hibbs, who maintains both Instant Rails and the One-Click Ruby Installer, contributed much of this section.

In this section we are going to set up a fully functional, integrated Rails development environment by installing only two pieces of software—Instant Rails and RadRails. This environment is used by many new developers and is an excellent way to get started with Rails quickly.

Instant Rails

Instant Rails is a complete Ruby on Rails development environment that includes Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Apache, MySQL, MyPhpAdmin, and Mongrel—all pre-configured and ready to run. If you don't know what all the components are, don't worry; we will cover them as we progress through this section.

One of the best things about Instant Rails is that it doesn't modify your system in any way. It doesn't touch your system registry or your environment variables. It doesn't even have an installer—you simply unzip Instant Rails, run its management application, and you're ready to develop Rails applications.

Download the current version of Instant Rails (version 1.7 at the time of this writing) here:

Unzip it into a destination that does not contain any space characters in its path (this means, for example, you cannot place it in c:\Program Files). Figure 1 shows the top-level layout of the Instant Rails directory tree.

The Instant Rails directory structure

Figure 1. The ...

Get Rails on Windows now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.