Dev Setup on Linux Mint

Instead of continuously plugging my nice big monitor and mechanical keyboard into my work Macbook Pro, I decided to setup a Linux VM on my home desktop so I could do the same things I can do on the Mac. As most of the things I work with are under version control, it should be relatively simple to switch between machines.

The main things I needed were:

  1. Ruby on Rails with Postgresql
  2. Latex
  3. Python 3 and IDLE, along with some of the graphics libraries

I usually use Ubuntu, but for a change I decided to check out Linux Mint, a very popular variant.

Ruby on Rails

Based on a quick read of various blog posts, rbenv seems to be the tool more people now use to manage their ruby versions, so that’s what I decided to go with. ruby-build is also necessary to actually install ruby versions easily. Both repos and their instructions can be found on github.


Bundler is used to manage rubygems. See more at

It’s really easy to install. Just run gem install bundler

Checkout the Rails app then run bundle install


To install Postgresql, I followed the instructions from their download page for Ubuntu. Linux Mint Rebecca is based on Trusty Tahr (Ubuntu 14.04), so I used that. It was also necessary to install the postgresql-server-dev-9.4 package as the pg gem needs it.

To allow my user to login with psql and do useful things, it was also necessary to create a postgres role with create db rights for my OS username.


This was easy. Install texlive from the package manager. I had a missing package later on but a quick Google search told me what to install. Can’t remember the package name.

Python 3

sudo apt-get install python3-dev
sudo apt-get install python3-pip
sudo pip3 install PILLOW
sudo apt-get install idle-python3.4