Well, it ends up that installing Ruby 1.8.5 and the associated Gems is a pain on Ubuntu. I’m here to take away that pain, yo.
Installing Ruby 1.8.5 from source
First, get the source tarball of 1.8.5 from the ruby lang web page, and put it in /usr/local/src
sudo tar -xvzf ruby-1.8.5-p12
sudo make install
If all goes well, you’re in business. But if it complains about “cannot open crt1.o”
(which is likely on Ubuntu), you’ll divine on google that it needs a “glibc-devel-2.3.3-74.i386” package. But I’ve done the legwork already, and under ubuntu, it’s actually called “libc6-dev”
sudo apt-get install libc6-dev
So try making Ruby again. It should be ok. If not, well, it’s not documented here, since I didn’t run into that problem.
What I did run into was more pain installing Gems.
Installing Ruby Gems from source
Again, go get the source tarball of ruby gems, and put it into /usr/local/src
sudo tar -xvzf rubygems-0.9.1
sudo ruby setup.rb
Now, if all is well, you’re golden. But since this is Ubuntu, it’s likely that you’re missing zlib. So, some people seemed to have been able to get it to work from using the “zlib-ruby” package. What I had to do was install zlib from source.
Installing Ruby Zlib from source
Get the Ruby Zlib source and again put it into /usr/local/src/
sudo tar -xvzf ruby-zlib-0.6.0
sudo ruby extconf.rb
If that didn’t work, most likely, you got a bunch of stuff that said:
checking for deflateReset() in -lz... no
checking for deflateReset() in -llibz... no
checking for deflateReset() in -lzlib... no
That means that you need the headers for zlib. So install the package “zlib1g-dev”
sudo apt-get install zlib1g-dev
Then try it again. That should work, and once you get zlib installed, you can get gems up and running.