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colindean and pushcx Notes mysql2 gem installation workaround for macOS
There is apparently a bug in the `mysql_config` script included in `mysql-connector-c` that the mysql2 gem uses to build the native extensions. This theoretically would trip up anyone using macOS 10.12+ without having MySQL or MariaDB running locally.
Latest commit 11592ac Dec 24, 2018
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
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.github housekeeping Apr 19, 2018
app revert changes to comment box until I can sort out form errors Dec 24, 2018
bin rm old yarn binary Dec 11, 2018
config Fix typo Oct 21, 2018
db ok, it's come up at least four times now Nov 8, 2018
extras meet the new cop, same as the old cop Dec 22, 2018
lib don't 500 if a user banned/deleted before server move tries to log in Nov 8, 2018
public operational wording of error messages on HTTP error pages. Nov 7, 2018
script Fix quoted-printable subject question-mark not being encoded Dec 5, 2018
spec Make merged votes voteable Dec 9, 2018
test fix 92a768e Nov 27, 2018
vendor/assets upgrade to rails v4.0.2 Dec 30, 2013
.gitignore generate sitemaps Aug 1, 2018
.rspec housekeeping Apr 19, 2018
.rubocop.yml Migrate deprecated form_tag and form_for to form_with Dec 9, 2018
.ruby-version ruby-version: bump to 2.3.3 which is running in production Jun 7, 2017
.ruumba.yml Migrate deprecated form_tag and form_for to form_with Dec 9, 2018
.travis.yml note about running ruumba Dec 9, 2018 note about running ruumba Dec 9, 2018
Gemfile Migrate deprecated form_tag and form_for to form_with Dec 9, 2018
Gemfile.lock Migrate deprecated form_tag and form_for to form_with Dec 9, 2018
LICENSE bump year, note contributors Jun 1, 2018 Notes mysql2 gem installation workaround for macOS Dec 25, 2018
Rakefile only load rubocop rake tasks in dev/test Apr 11, 2018 rubocop: Layout/ExtraSpacing, 142 Apr 11, 2018

Lobsters Rails Project Build Status

This is the quite sad source code to the site operating at It is a Rails 5 codebase and uses a SQL (MariaDB in production) backend for the database.

While you are free to fork this code and modify it (according to the license) to run your own link aggregation website, this source code repository and bug tracker are only for the site operating at Please do not use the bug tracker for support related to operating your own site unless you are contributing code that will also benefit

Contributing bugfixes and new features

Please see the CONTRIBUTING file.

Initial setup

Use the steps below for a local install or lobsters-ansible for our production deployment config. There's an external project docker-lobsters if you want to use Docker.

  • Install Ruby 2.3.

  • Checkout the lobsters git tree from Github

    $ git clone git://
    $ cd lobsters
  • Install Nodejs, needed (or other execjs) for uglifier

    Fedora: sudo yum install nodejs
    Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install nodejs
    OSX: brew install nodejs
  • Run Bundler to install/bundle gems needed by the project:

    lobsters$ bundle
    • If when installing the mysql2 gem on macOS, you see ld: library not found for -l-lpthread in the output, see this solution for a fix.
  • Create a MySQL (other DBs supported by ActiveRecord may work, only MySQL and MariaDB have been tested) database, username, and password and put them in a config/database.yml file. You will also want a separate database for running tests:

      adapter: mysql2
      encoding: utf8mb4
      reconnect: false
      database: lobsters_dev
      socket: /tmp/mysql.sock
      username: *dev_username*
      password: *dev_password*
      adapter: mysql2
      encoding: utf8mb4
      reconnect: false
      database: lobsters_test
      socket: /tmp/mysql.sock
      username: *test_username*
      password: *test_password*
  • Load the schema into the new database:

    lobsters$ rails db:schema:load
  • Define your site's name and default domain, which are used in various places, in a config/initializers/production.rb or similar file:

    class << Rails.application
      def domain
      def name
        "Example News"
    Rails.application.routes.default_url_options[:host] = Rails.application.domain
  • Put your site's custom CSS in app/assets/stylesheets/local.

  • Seed the database to create an initial administrator user, the inactive-user, and at least one tag:

    lobsters$ rails db:seed
  • On your personal computer, you can add some sample data and run the Rails server in development mode. You should be able to login to http://localhost:3000 with your new test user:

    lobsters$ rails fake_data
    lobsters$ rails server
  • Deploying the site in production requires setting up a web server and running the app in production mode. There are more tools and options available than we can describe; find a guide or an expert. The lobsters-ansible repo has our config files to crib from. Some app-specific notes:

  • Set up crontab or another scheduler to run regular jobs:

    */5 * * * *  cd /path/to/lobsters && env RAILS_ENV=production sh -c 'bundle exec ruby script/mail_new_activity; bundle exec ruby script/post_to_twitter'
  • See config/initializers/production.rb.sample for GitHub/Twitter integration help.


Basic moderation happens on-site, but most other administrative tasks require use of the rails console in production. Administrators can create and edit tags at /tags.