FIXED: extconf.rb:8:in `require’: no such file to load — mkmf (LoadError)

While reading Linux Journal Issue 181 today, I stumbled upon a section explaining about running Ruby on Rails on Apache using an Apache module called Phusion Passenger, also known as mod_rails.

To install Passenger, I followed the instruction provided in the magazine:

sudo gem install passenger

Unxpectedly, I got the following error:

Building native extensions. This could take a while...
ERROR: Error installing passenger:
ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension.

/usr/bin/ruby1.8 extconf.rb
extconf.rb:8:in `require': no such file to load -- mkmf (LoadError)
from extconf.rb:8

Gem files will remain installed in /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/fastthread-1.0.7 for inspection.
Results logged to /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/fastthread-1.0.7/ext/fastthread/gem_make.out

What’s happening? What did I do wrong?

According to a blog post by Al Hoang, a Ruby dev package needed to be installed. Well, I wouldn’t have a clue about this!

So, to FIX this, I need to install ruby1.8-dev:

$ sudo apt-get install ruby1.8-dev
...

Now, I’m ready to install Passenger gem:

$ sudo gem install passenger
Building native extensions. This could take a while...
Successfully installed passenger-2.2.4
1 gem installed
Installing ri documentation for passenger-2.2.4...
Installing RDoc documentation for passenger-2.2.4...

Credit: Fixing ‘mkmf’ load error Ruby in Ubuntu

Remove Universal Access Preference icon from Gnome panel

One of the advantages of using GNU/Linux operating system is that you hardly have to restart it. I have Debian on my laptop and it’s been running for months, until last night. It crashed and froze. Anyway, that’s not the main point this post was written.

After restarting, I saw this new icon in the Gnome top panel (the third icon from the right):

universal_preference

Well, for the start, I don’t know what it is and I don’t think I will have a need for it either. So I wanted to remove it, but right click on this icon would do nothing. Left clicked on it would give me some setting option, but nowhere does it mention how to remove it.

Thanks to the tip from Ubutu Forum, someone has found a solution. Basically, you need to go the “Keyboard Preferences” and untick the “Accessibility features can be toggled  with keyboard shortcuts“.

The following is the step by step guide:

On Debian, from the menu panel, click on System -> Preferences -> Keyboard (alternatively, you can just type gnome-keyboard-properties from the Terminal)

Screenshot-Keyboard Preferences

Then, untick or uncheck the Accessibility features can be toggled  with keyboard shortcuts and click on Close button. The undesired icon shall disappear.

Credit: How to remove universal access from notification area

Pidgin 2.5.5 – cannot connect to Yahoo messenger

I just noticed the abnormality with Pidgin 2.5.5 (running on Debian) these few days — I couldn’t connect my Yahoo messenger account at all. According to the discussion of Bug #389278 it appears that Yahoo was trying to change its protocol.

A quick way to have Pidgin connecting to Yahoo messenger server again is to change the Pager server setting for the Yahoo account in Pidgin.

To do this, from Pidgin:

  • Manage Accounts (Ctrl + A)
  • Select the Yahoo account from the list (assuming you’ve set one up before), and click Modify
  • Click on Advanced tab, under the Yahoo Options, in the Pager server field replace scs.msg.yahoo.com with cn.scs.msg.yahoo.com

Try to connect to Yahoo messenger server again. It worked for me.

Credit: Bug #389278 in pidgin (Ubuntu)

Update:

Please cosider upgrade your Pidgin to version 2.5.7. I just upgraded mine and the problem seems to have gone away. Don’t forget to change the Page Server back to scs.msg.yahoo.com.