RMagick on Centos5

Posted by Tejus Parikh on July 18, 2008

In a week that included running 10 kilometers for the first time in over 12 months, getting jabbed with a needle for a blood test, and setting a personal best for the cycle ride to the office, by far the most painful was trying to get RMagick installed on a Centos5 box. For starters, the RMagick 2.x series requires ImageMagick 6.3.0 (which came out in early 2006). Of course, CentOS5 ships with ImageMagick 6.2.28. I understand the need for stability. But what’s a developer to do if COBOL isn’t a viable solution? David Bock’s website suggests to try the older version. Which worked, kinda. However, the rmagick build threw up while running sanity checks. The issue is that I didn’t have the Microsoft True Type Fonts installed. Now to find an easy way to install them. More googleing lead me to Corefonts, which has the installation instructions. I followed these directions and tried again. Same error. The finally step is to link the directory with the fonts to where ImageMagick wants them to be.


ln -s /usr/share/fonts/msttcorefonts /usr/share/fonts/default/TrueType

One more gem install and everything is happy. As rock-solid as Centos is, I’m getting very reluctant to recommend it anymore because of issues like this. Unless you’re running software that’s older or from a commercial vendor, it’s just not worth it. Eventually you’re going to want a library, a major upgrade or a snazzy new language that’s going to make you jump through all sorts of crazy hoops.

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Tejus Parikh

Tejus is an software developer, now working at large companies. Find out when I write new posts on twitter, via RSS or subscribe to the newsletter: