Ruby + MySQL + Windows = SUCCESS! (Finally)

If you do a Google for “ruby mysql windows” you will find, among other things, lots of people trying to use Ruby to access MySQL on a Windows system. I’ve been trying for some time, and have finally gotten things going.

About a year ago I found this article in which he fought the same fight. He was able to get a working .so file, using the .Net C++ compiler, and offered his binary, but that won’t work for everyone. Specifically, a file compiled with VC7 isn’t usable by VC6 (at least not that I could see).

Anyway, I followed his advice to a point, and then started experimenting. I opened up irb and started poking MKMF to see what I could accomplish. What I finally ended up with is a hacked extconf.rb that can be edited easily to get the library built on your own system. It will work with both VC6 and VC7, by changing one line in the file. Assuming that you have MySQL 4.1 installed in the default location, and you are using VC6, and Ruby 1.8.2 is installed in the default location, you should be able to do this

    ruby extconf.rb
    nmake install

and have everything compile and install. Notice that I said should. You should still take a look at the file, near the top, to see if the settings are appropriate for your system.

Once installed, you can use this module directly, or install DBI for that “standard” interface. DBI will use the library you just built and installed, so all you have to do is download the DBI module, then do this

    cd ruby-dbi-all
    ruby setup.rb config --with=dbi,dbd_mysql
    ruby setup.rb setup
    ruby setup.rb install

If you want to install other DBD drivers, add them after dbd_mysql. That should be it.

Here’s the hacked extconf.rb file.

There are only two lines you might need to change, and they are at the top of the file with comments around them.

I have tested this slightly using the binary I built with VC6 and it seems to work fine. I have not tested the VC7-compiled binary, because I don’t have a Ruby distro that was compiled with VC7. Let me know if these directions don’t work for you. Not that I can do anything about it, but I could put a note here for others.

Also, notice that I used 8.3 pathnames, which is really ugly. I would have been happy to use the pathnames with spaces, but VC6 doesn’t like spaces in pathnames. VC7 can grok them fine, but not 6. Both understand the 8.3, so it was just easier to use that.

One more thing. I don’t believe that installing Visual Studio.Net installs the necessary header and library files for building non-.Net binaries. IOW, you might not have windows.h which will cause things not to work. If you download and install the Platform SDK, then you’ll be fine. My extconf.rb will add the default Platform SDK directory to the necessary paths, so if you have that installed, and try to do a VC7 build, you should be ok.


2 thoughts on “Ruby + MySQL + Windows = SUCCESS! (Finally)

  1. Oh! The picture of Bush at the top of your blog is a little bit questionable! Or maybe there have been fireworks held on his head and… 😉

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