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Get started with Ruby on Rails on Oracle Cloud

Ruby on Rails is a rapid development framework. It’s used by over a million websites, including Airbnb, Bloomberg, GitHub, GitLab, CouchSurfing, and many more.

Author: Hassan Ajan


Ruby on Rails Logo


Ruby on Rails is a rapid development framework. It’s used by over a million websites, including Airbnb, Bloomberg, GitHub, GitLab, CouchSurfing, and many more.

The Ruby language is easy to understand as it’s close to English, making it great for beginners. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to get started with a new Ruby on Rails project and how to bring your existing Ruby on Rails application to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

Set up environment automatically

Don’t have time to read the whole article? Use the “Deploy Button” to provision the Ruby on Rails environment with a few clicks. In this environment, you can build a new application or bring your existing Ruby on Rails application to OCI.

Deploy to Oracle Cloud

The button takes you to Oracle Resource Manager which runs Terraform code that will provision the full Ruby on Rails environment.

The following resources will be created:

# Service Name Additional Info
1 Virtual Cloud Network  
1 Public subnet  
1 Private subnet  
1 VM - Ubuntu 1 OCPU, 8 Gb Memory 1 OCPU. can be scaled up to 1024 GB Memory and 128 OCPUs
1 MySQL Database Service can be scaled up to run in HA with up to 3 nodes
1 Bastion Host can optionally be replaced with bastion service
1 Load balancer 10 mpbs flex loadbalancer upto 4000 mbps

The public subnet will contain the following resources:

  • Load balancer
  • Bastion Host

The private subnet will contain the following resources:

  • Ruby on Rails VM(s)
  • Managed MySQL Database

Software packages installed on the VMs:

  • RBENV Package manager for ruby to make it easy to manage different ruby versions and gem packs
  • Node.js

The bootstrap script in the GitHub repo shows how the VMs are configured and all the packages that are installed:

You can check out the script on GitHub.

If you have deployed the environment using the deploy button, you can skip the next section. The bootstrap script has been run automatically when the VMs were provisioned.

How to setup environment automatically

  1. Click the “Deploy to Oracle Cloud"Deploy to Oracle Cloud
  2. If you aren’t already signed in, when prompted, enter the tenancy and user credentials.
  3. Review and accept the terms and conditions.
  4. Select the region where you want to deploy the stack.
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts and instructions to create the stack.
  6. After creating the stack, click Terraform Actions, and select Plan.
  7. Wait for the job to be completed, and review the plan. To make any changes, return to the Stack Details page, click Edit Stack, and make the required changes. Then, run the Plan action again.
  8. If no further changes are necessary, return to the Stack Details page, click Terraform Actions, and select Apply.

How to setup environment manually

If you prefer to setup the environment manually you need to provision the resources and then install the Ruby on Rails environment

Provisioning the VM and MySQL database is not covered in this guide.

Once you have a VM and MySQL database ready you can proceed to the next step to install Ruby on Rails.

Minimum requirements

  • VM running Ubuntu 20.04
  • MySQL Database

How to install Ruby on Rails on Ubuntu 20.04 with rbenv

SSH to your VM and run the following commands. Make sure to run the command with a user that has sudo rights. On Ubuntu the Ubuntu user is usually fine:

Update apt:

sudo apt update

Install ruby manager, mysql-client and other dependencies:

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential git libsqlite3-dev libssl-dev libzlcore-dev mysql-client libmysqlclient-dev git-core zlib1g-dev build-essential libssl-dev libreadline-dev libyaml-dev libsqlite3-dev sqlite3 libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev software-properties-common libffi-dev nodejs npm

Install yarn:

curl -sS | sudo apt-key add
            echo "deb stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yarn.list
            sudo apt update
            sudo apt install -y yarn

Install the ruby package manager to help install and manage different ruby versions:

            git clone ~/.rbenv
            echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile
            echo 'eval "$(rbenv init - bash)"' >> ~/.bash_profile
            source ~/.bash_profile
            git clone ~/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build
            echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile
            source ~/.bash_profile

Now we are ready to install ruby. If you need a different version, change the version number:

rbenv install 3.0.1

Check that the correct version of ruby is installed:

ruby -v

Use version 3.0.1 and make it default:

rbenv global 3.0.1
            rbenv local 3.0.1

Reload the environment variables to ensure the correct ruby binaries are run:

source ~/.bash_profile

Let’s install Rails framework and bundler gem:

gem install rails
            gem install bundler

Congratulations, you have now installed Ruby on Rails on your VM!

Create your Ruby on Rails application

In this section we will create a rails application using the built-in scaffolding methods of rails. We will connect the rails app to the database provisioned.

Let’s create a directory where our app will reside and make the Ubuntu user the owner of the directory:

sudo mkdir /opt/apps
            sudo chown ubuntu:ubuntu /opt/apps

Create a new app that is preconfigured with a mysql adapter:

cd /opt/apps
            rails new myapp -d mysql

Open up port 8080 for incoming HTTP requests:

sudo iptables -I INPUT 6 -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 8080 -j ACCEPT
            #SAVE STATE

Edit the database config file and add your MySQL username and MySQL database name and MySQL host URL:

nano /opt/apps/myapp/config/database.yml

Create a database schema. If you have already created a database schema you can skip this:

rake db:create

Run all migration scripts to create the tables in the DB. Every time you makes change to table definitions:

rake db:migrate

Start the rails server as a background process, listen on port 8080, bind all interfaces, and send log output to startup.log:

rails s -p 8080 -b >> ./log/startup.log &

Accessing the application

If you configured your VM manually you should now be able to access your new rails application at http://my-vm-public.ip:8080.

If you provisioned your environment automatically using the “Deploy Button” you can access the application through the load balancer, e.g. http://my-load-balancer-ip.

Check Oracle Resource Manager output for the IP or check the load balancer page.

The load balancer is configured to listen on port 80 and forwards all traffic to the VM where the Ruby on Rails application is running.

The load balancer will forward traffic to all the VMs if you provisioned more than one VM.


  • A new Rails App is created in the directory /opt/apps/myapp.
  • A database schema is created on the MySQL server.
    • Database schema name: myapp
  • The app is configured to connect to the database. Configuration can be found in /opt/apps/app/config/database.yml.

How to deploy your existing application

  1. Before deleting the app we will take a backup of the database.yml file. We’ll need it later.

     cp /opt/apps/myapp/config/database.yml /opt/apps/bck_database.yml
  2. Delete the existing vanilla Ruby on Rails app created in /opt/apps/myapp

     rm -rf /opt/apps/myapp
  3. Copy your application to the server using scp

     scp ubuntu@server-ip:/opt/apps/
  4. Unpack the application

     unzip ./myapp/
  5. Copy the generated database config file

     cp /opt/apps/bck_database.yml ./myapp/config/database.yml
  6. Or edit the existing database config file (database.yml)

  7. Migrate your data to the MySQL Database

  8. Install dependencies

     bundle install
  9. Run Rails migrations

     rake db:migrate 
  10. Start the server

     rails s -b -p 8080

How to change Ruby version

The default ruby version installed is 3.0.1. If you need a different ruby version simply run:

rbenv install 3.0.2

You can see available Ruby version by running:

rbenv install list