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The geniuses over at Dreamhost decided to upgrade their Rails without telling anyone and without providing instructions on how to upgrade older apps meaning hundreds of websites crashing and not working for days.

Here is my fix for the problem.  I included some stuff here that wasn’t included in the dreamhost wiki.

From ssh shell:

cd ~
mkdir .gems bin lib src
mkdir .gems
echo 'export GEM_HOME="$HOME/.gems"' >> .bash_profile
echo 'export GEM_PATH="$GEM_HOME:/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8"' >> .bash_profile
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.gems/bin:$PATH"' >> .bash_profile
source ~/.bash_profile

Now I had to download and manually install an older version of rails:

Check here for manual installation details (

cd ~/src
tar xzvf rubygems-1.3.0.tgz
cd rubygems-1.3.0
ruby setup.rb --prefix=$HOME
gem install --local activerecord-1.14.4.gem
gem install --local actionpack-1.12.4.gem
gem install --local actionmailer-1.2.4.gem
gem install --local actionwebservice-1.1.5.gem
gem install --local rails-1.1.5.gem
cd ~/.gems/bin
vim rake

Now you need to add the following line:

require 'rubygems/gem_runner'


require 'rubygems/

Now finally:

cd ~/railsapp
rm -rdf vendor/rails
rake rails:freeze:gems

Now if you get issues you’ll have to run –trace

rm -rdf vendor/rails
rake rails:freeze:gems --trace

Also visit here if this doesn’t work.



  1. ruby setup.rb –prefix=$HOME

    gives me this error:

    $ ruby setup.rb –prefix=$HOME
    install -c -m 0644 rubygems.rb /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems.rb
    install -c -m 0644 ubygems.rb /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/ubygems.rb
    /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/fileutils.rb:1246:in `initialize’: Permission denied – /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/ubygems.rb (Errno::EACCES)
    from /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/fileutils.rb:1246:in `open’
    from /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/fileutils.rb:1246:in `copy_file’
    from /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/fileutils.rb:1245:in `open’
    from /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/fileutils.rb:1245:in `copy_file’
    from /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/fileutils.rb:459:in `copy_file’
    from /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/fileutils.rb:835:in `install’
    from /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/fileutils.rb:1379:in `fu_each_src_dest’
    from /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/fileutils.rb:1395:in `fu_each_src_dest0′
    from /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/fileutils.rb:1377:in `fu_each_src_dest’
    from /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/fileutils.rb:831:in `install’
    from /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/fileutils.rb:1510:in `install’
    from setup.rb:159
    from setup.rb:154:in `each’
    from setup.rb:154
    from setup.rb:151:in `chdir’
    from setup.rb:151

  2. I don’t know mate. Sorry.

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