Step-by-step instructions for installing rails on Ubuntu Dapper 6.06:
Here is some explaination why we are not using the dapper repository:
It's Just this Little Chromium Switch Here
Ubuntu Dapper does not provide a working Ruby on Rails environment, but it does eliminate the need for custom builds. Ruby version 1.8.4 is provided, along with a number of useful modules such as rmagick and openssl. The Ruby Gems system, however, is not provided, due to packaging issues. You need to download and install it yourself (which is easy.)
The biggest problem with Ubuntu Dapper is that it includes a useless Rails package. The problem isn't that you need to install Rails on your own (that's easy, it's a one-line gem command). The problem is that unless you know this, you'll spend hours beating your head against the wall trying to figure out why you can't get the Ubuntu Rails package to work. Why could anybody think Rails without Active Record would be something worth shipping? Including a broken, unusable Rails package was an exceedingly bad product decision.
And if I get tired of trying to host the site myself I can always try Dreamhost. They are one of the few hosting services that offer Ruby on Rails. I have not used their service but wanted to keep a link for any future need I might have.