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Using Elastic Beanstalk via command-line on a Mac? Keep that OS X Install DVD handy

The title pretty much says it all.

Elastic Beanstalk is the new service from Amazon Web Services offering you easier deployment of Java WAR files. More languages and platforms are expected to be supported in the future.

Most people will use the service via the convenient web console, but if you want to automate things you’ll either end up using the command-line tools (CLI tools) or the API in the Java SDK (until their other SDKs add Beanstalk support).

But, if you’re running on a Mac, you’ll have a problem running the command-line tools:

Shlomos-MacBook-Pro:ec2 shlomo$ elastic-beanstalk-describe-applications/System/Library/Frameworks/Ruby.framework/Versions/1.8/usr/lib/ruby/1.8/rubygems/custom_require.rb:31:in `gem_original_require': no such file to load -- json (LoadError)
from /System/Library/Frameworks/Ruby.framework/Versions/1.8/usr/lib/ruby/1.8/rubygems/custom_require.rb:31:in `require'
from /Users/shlomo/ec2/elasticbeanstalk/bin/../lib/aws/client/awsqueryhandler.rb:2
from /Users/shlomo/ec2/elasticbeanstalk/bin/../lib/aws/client/awsquery.rb:4:in `require'
from /Users/shlomo/ec2/elasticbeanstalk/bin/../lib/aws/client/awsquery.rb:4
from /Users/shlomo/ec2/elasticbeanstalk/bin/../lib/aws/elasticbeanstalk.rb:19:in `require'
from /Users/shlomo/ec2/elasticbeanstalk/bin/../lib/aws/elasticbeanstalk.rb:19
from /Users/shlomo/ec2/elasticbeanstalk/bin/setup.rb:18:in `require'
from /Users/shlomo/ec2/elasticbeanstalk/bin/setup.rb:18
from /Users/shlomo/ec2/elasticbeanstalk/bin/elastic-beanstalk-describe-applications:18:in `require'
from /Users/shlomo/ec2/elasticbeanstalk/bin/elastic-beanstalk-describe-applications:18

If you remember from the README (which you read, of course 😉 there was some vague mention of this:

If you're using Ruby 1.8, you will have to install the JSON gem:
gem install json

OK, let’s try that:

Shlomos-MacBook-Pro:ec2 shlomo$ sudo gem install json
Building native extensions. This could take a while...
ERROR: Error installing json:
ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension.

/System/Library/Frameworks/Ruby.framework/Versions/1.8/usr/bin/ruby extconf.rb
mkmf.rb can't find header files for ruby at /System/Library/Frameworks/Ruby.framework/Versions/1.8/usr/lib/ruby/ruby.h

Gem files will remain installed in /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/json-1.4.6 for inspection.
Results logged to /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/json-1.4.6/ext/json/ext/generator/gem_make.out

The first complaint is about the ruby tools not being in the path. Let’s fix that and try again:

Shlomos-MacBook-Pro:ec2 shlomo$ export PATH=$PATH:/Users/shlomo/.gem/ruby/1.8/bin
Shlomos-MacBook-Pro:ec2 shlomo$ sudo gem install json
Building native extensions. This could take a while...
ERROR: Error installing json:
ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension.

/System/Library/Frameworks/Ruby.framework/Versions/1.8/usr/bin/ruby extconf.rb
mkmf.rb can't find header files for ruby at /System/Library/Frameworks/Ruby.framework/Versions/1.8/usr/lib/ruby/ruby.h

Gem files will remain installed in /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/json-1.4.6 for inspection.
Results logged to /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/json-1.4.6/ext/json/ext/generator/gem_make.out

Uh oh, no dice. What now? StackOverflow to the rescue:

The ruby headers don’t come installed with the base ruby install with Mac OS X. These can been found on Mac OS X Install Disc 2 by installing the XCode Tools.

If you’re like me and you don’t carry around the OS X Install DVD wherever you go, you’re stuck.
Any readers in Seoul with an OS X 10.6 Install DVD?

Update 20 Jan 2011: I’ve gotten some comments that made me realize the title really didn’t say it all. Some clarifications are in order.

Some people pointed out that I should just download the XCode .dmg DVD image – all 3.4 GB of it. Unfortunately that wasn’t applicable for me at the time: I was connected via 3G, tethered to my Android phone. I’ve never tried to download 3.4 GB on that connection, and I don’t plan to try today: it would be expensive.

See the great comment below by Beltran (who works for Bitnami) about a great solution.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Beltran January 20, 2011, 3:01 am

    Hi,

    You can use RubyStack which include json gem. This Stack installs everything in a folder and do not interfere with any software already installed on your system so you can try without any problem. I hope it helps you.

    http://bitnami.org/stack/rubystack

    • shlomo January 20, 2011, 5:59 am

      @Beltran,

      I much prefer a 137 MB download (RubyStack) to a 3.4 GB download (XCode tools). This is a great turnkey solution for Ruby development – thanks for sharing it!

  • Nathan McCourtney January 20, 2011, 8:33 am

    You should just download XCode from apple and install it. You need it to run macports and it has FileMerge – an awesome visual diffing tool.

  • Clay Graham December 30, 2011, 4:42 pm

    This is why I use virtualbox.

    https://www.virtualbox.org/

    Screwed up the ruby install on the virtual unbuntu instance? No Problem!

    Clay

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