All of my websites are currently running on a VPS server provided by HostIcan. I recently discovered a little quirk involving VPS servers and RubyGems.
I’ve started learning Ruby on Rails and the Ruby part uses things called ‘Gems’ in a similar way to Perl using Modules. Where you read ‘gem’, thing ‘cpan’.
I wanted to install a new gem on my server to support some Paypal integration, but ‘gem’ kept segfaulting on me.
If you’re like me, you’ll see this behaviour:
root@server [~]# gem install rubygems-update Bulk updating Gem source index for: http://gems.rubyforge.org Terminated
It turns out that ‘Bulk updating…’ part gobbles up memory like it’s going spare and leads to a segfault.
The way to avoid this problem is to update RubyGems… but to do that, you need to use ‘gem’… and that leads to a segfault… and around we go again.
To break the cycle, you simply use:
gem update --system --no-update-sources
to prevent the updating of sources.
Once I’d done that, I found that I was still getting segmentation faults. Also, when I ran:
root@server [~]# gem install activemerchant --no-update-sources
I now got
ERROR: could not find activemerchant locally or in a repository
So the problem still wasn’t resolved!
The only solution was to force my system to the latest version of RubyGems. Unfortunately, this was not in my local repository. However, a manual update was pretty simple:
cd /tmp wget http://rubyforge.org/frs/download.php/60718/rubygems-1.3.5.tgz tar -xvzf rubygems-1.3.5.tgz cd rubygems-1.3 ruby setup.rb