Fixing the @#$!! RMagick.bundle: [BUG] Bus Error

After upgrading gems on my Macbook Pro a few months ago, I started getting this horrible error whenever I tried to get to my application’s console in Rails.

The-Me:~/Sites/socialight michael$ script/console
Loading development environment.
/usr/local/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rmagick-1.14.1/lib/RMagick.bundle: [BUG] Bus Error
ruby 1.8.4 (2005-12-24) [i686-darwin8.6.1]

Abort trap

I tried everything. Reinstalling Ruby, Rails and the RMagick gem. Downloading new versions of ImageMagick and GraphicsMagick as discussed here. I threw DarwinPorts, fink, HiveLogic and even resorted to reading installation instructions, all to no avail. script/console seemed destined to be something I used on other machines, something I watched others caress lovingly. *sigh*

Then, one day, after half an hour of my usual round of aimless download and reinstallation of ImageMagick and GraphicsMagick, I finally got it. I randomly started reading the non-OS X install instructions for RMagick which pointed out that by adding the “–with-graphics-magick” option to ./configure, it forces RMagick to use GraphicsMagick instead of ImageMagick. Voila! It’s all working. Yippee!