Rails (also known as Ruby on Rails) is an open source, free and full-stack web framework that can be used by programmers to develop database-backed web applications according to the Model-View-Control pattern.
Features at a glance
The application supports a wide range of web servers and databases, including Apache,lighttpd, MySQL, SQLite, PostgreSQL, Oracle, DB2, Firebird, and SQL Server. It works well on any UNIX-like operating system.
Rails is heavily used on both non-profit and enterprise organizations, for developing any type of web application, such as software for collaboration, e-commerce, community, content management, statistics, etc.
Taking a look under the hood of the Rails project, we can notice that it has been written entierly in the Ruby programming language.
Getting started with Rails
In order to install Rails on your GNU/Linux operating system, you will need to first install Ruby. After that, you can easily install Rails and all of its runtime dependencies through RubyGems, using the ‘gem install rails’ command in a terminal emulator application.
Alternatively, you can install Rails from the main software repositories of several popular distributions of GNU/Linux, including Arch Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE or Linux Mint. It can be installed on computers supporting either of the 32-bit or 64-bit hardware platforms.
After installation, you can interact with the Rails framework via a console environment. At first, you will have to create the app skeleton by running the ‘rails new path/to/your/new/application’ command, navigate to the location of the newly created app skeleton (e.g. cd path/to/your/new/application) and start the server with the ‘rails server’ command.
At this moment, you are successfully running Ruby on Rails inside your Linux box. Open a web browser, access the http://localhost:3000 location and follow the instructions displayed on the screen.