I came across this problem when trying to setup Capistrano on my dreamhost box.
Capistrano (orginally SwitchTower); is a standalone deployment utility that can integrate nicely with Rails. It allows you to deploy your apps across multiple servers from a subversion; Its handy for any shared environment (such as dreamhost), since you can use it to migrate databases and reset running fcgi processes.
Checking the Dreamhost Gemlist (or; gem list —local) I found that Capistrano wasnt installed – so I had to go about setting up my shared box so I could install any Gem I liked, in my home directory.
Its easier than I thought, but I had some trouble searching Google to find an answer so Im posting it up here; share the knowlegde and all that …
First up, create a new .gems folder in your home directory;
Next open up your ~/.bashrc and ~/.bash_profile files and make sure to add the following lines as new environment variables;
Also adjust your PATH variable to include your new ~/.gems folder;
Thats basically it ! – For any gems you want to install you’ll need to grab them from somewhere online; I picked up Capistrano from here with
Then ran this command to install the gem (from my home dir)
gem install ~/capistrano-1.1.0.gem
Since we added the ~/.gems folder to the PATH variable in your bash files, you can simply type cap -V to check capistrano is installed.
Although this is not nessecary for Capistrano – in order to get your rails app to use other gems installed in your home directory, you first have to unpack them in RAILS_ROOT/vendor. Therefore, to be able to require them in your code, enter the RAILS_ROOT/vendor directory and do the following:
gem unpack gem_name