Nokogiri fails to work on Solaris (11), but fix it like this!

I’ll have a better fix up in the near future, but for now, the ruby gem “Nokogiri” crashed out on me on Joyent’s Solaris platform. Its error was a little cryptic unless you’re familiar with libc. I can’t reproduce it here because unfortunately it’s lost in the sands of scrollback buffer.

The crux of the problem was the reference to a missing vasprintf function. Nokogiri has an extension implemented in C that speeds it up with native functions. The extension is compiled when you do ‘gem install nokogiri’ and will compile even though the vasprintf function is missing in your environment.

vasprintf is available in Linux, but not in Windows or Solaris. Nokogiri already have a workaround in place for Windows, but they don’t yet detect the issue in Solaris so the error still occurs. I plan to submit a patch to detect this automatically. If for any reason you need to get nokogiri working immediately on your Solaris 11-based Joyent accelerator, I did the following after installing the nokogiri gem:

cd /opt/local/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/nokogiri-1.2.3/ext/nokogiri/
vi native.c
[remove the #if XP_WIN line and its corresponding #endif]
vi native.h
[remove the #if XP_WIN line and its corresponding #endif]
make
make install

FWIW, on Linux and Mac OS X nokogiri just works.

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