Over the course of recent months, I have deployed a number of Ruby applications onto Solaris, many of which use a handful of Gem packages. Most of the Gem packages are written in Ruby but a handful are not (e.g. Mongrel, FastThreads and Hpricot) and require native compilation on the host system (part of the installation process).
In order to complete the installation of these Gem packages, you need some form of C compiler. Ordinarily, I would choose GCC, but because the Ruby binaries (and most of the other supporting software packages) I use (i.e. Solaris Coolstack) were compiled using Sun Studio, using GCC is not really an option. So, instead I have to install Sun Studio.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against the Sun Studio product per say (actually, it’s a superb product). My problem is rather that, in order to install a basic C compiler on my system, I have to download, unzip, untar and then install from a now enormous 1GB (zipped) file (as of Sun Studio 12). This is a real pain and takes a very, very long time (unzip along takes over 15 minutes due to use of Bunzip2 compression). This is all the more painful (and wasteful) when you consider that the disk space consumed by the installation of just the C compiler is a mere 200MB from this 1GB monster.
What I would like (and have requested) is a reduce-size package that contains a basic C compiler only – one that would be used purely for native compilation of the likes of Ruby Gem packages.