Ruby is available on the major platforms. The following sections show you how to install Ruby on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. Ruby's general download page is at http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/downloads. Most of you could likely figure out how to install Ruby just by following the links there, but the material here provides a little extra guidance.
Installation procedures are a moving target, and print media can't keep up with electronic media. That means that some of this material may get out of sync with what's happening out there on the Web, so I'll be as generally specific as I can.
As shipped, Tiger comes with an older version of Ruby. Which version depends on what release of Tiger you're dealing with. The release of Tiger on my system at the moment is 10.4.8, which comes with version 1.8.2. You'll want an updated version, as I did.
The simple way to install Ruby (and a boatload of other software) is with Locomotive (http://locomotive.raaum.org). For information on what comes with the Locomotive download (a dmg file), which includes Ruby on Rails, see http://locomotive.raaum.org/bundles.html. It might be more than you want to deal with. You can find a mirror at http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/locomotive/Locomotive_2.0.8.dmg?download. Select a mirror and then follow the steps just like you would when installing any other dmg.
The purest form of installation, at least in my mind, is to download and compile the
source files. In other words, you download the file distribution for a given release, pull
the files out of the release archive, compile the files (those that need compilation), and
then copy those files to their proper directories. Those are the basic steps, but there
are a few tools to make this job easier, like
make. We'll take advantage of them here as we
install a new version of Ruby on Tiger (these steps could apply to a Linux installation as
These steps may appear daunting at first, but they really are not. Just follow along and things will come together in the end.
You can find excellent instructions on installing Ruby on Tiger in Dan Benjamin's "Building Ruby, Rails, LightTPD, and MySQL on Tiger" (http://hivelogic.com/articles/2005/12/01/ruby_rails_lighttpd_mysql_tiger). He covers installing more software than you need to install now; I'll only use his steps for installing Ruby, and I'll update those steps to include the latest versions of software.
You need to have XCode installed on your Mac for this install procedure to work. XCode is a set of programming tools from Apple. You can learn about it at http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/xcode and download it from http://developer.apple.com/tools/download. The download instructions are easy to follow.
As shipped, Tiger has some issues with Ruby (see http://wiki.rubyonrails.com/rails/pages/HowtoInstallOnOSXTiger). One way to
resolve some of the problems is by downloading and installing
readline (http://tiswww.tis.case.edu/~chet/readline/readline.html), which lets you do
command-line editing (irb uses
readline). Here are the steps for downloading and installing
Go to ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/readline to find the latest version
(5.2 at this writing) and download it. (I put source archives in the directory
/usr/local/src on my Mac so I can keep track of
them.) You can avoid using the browser or FTP. Just use
curl (http://curl.haxx.se). The
-O option takes the last part of the URL to create a desination
$ curl -O ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/readline/readline-5.2.tar.gz
Extract the archive with
x means extract,
v means verbose,
f means use file
$ tar xzvf readline-5.2.tar.gz
$ cd readline-5.2
configure (generated from
Autoconf, a tool that produces shell scripts for
configuring software packages), replacing
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr/local
make, a tool for building applications.
This compiles the source files, and gets things ready to install. You can test the
$ make $ make test
$ make install
If you have not logged in as root, you can assume superuser powers by prefixing
this command with the
sudo utility (http://www.sudo.ws), which will require a
$ sudo make install
The steps to install Ruby are very similar:
/usr/local/src, grab the archive for
the latest version of Ruby (1.8.6 at this writing):
$ curl -O ftp://ftp.ruby-lang.org/pub/ruby/ruby-1.8.6.tar.gz
Extract the archive:
$ tar xzvf ruby-1.8.6.tar.gz
$ cd ruby-1.8.6
configure (enabling POSIX threads, with
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr/local --enable-pthread --with-readline-dir=/usr/local
make and then test it:
$ make $ make test
Install the software:
$ make install
You may need the
sudo utility (http://www.sudo.ws/), which will require a password):
$ sudo make install
Then install the documentation:
$ make install-doc
$ sudo make install-doc
Place /usr/local/bin in the path if it is not already. If you don't know how to do this, see the sidebar "Setting Up the Path Environment," later in this chapter.
Now test to make sure Ruby is in place:
$ ruby -v
You should get this happy reply:
$ ruby 1.8.6 (2007-03-13 patchlevel 0) [powerpc-darwin8.9.0]
Alrighty then. You are ready to roll with Ruby on Mac OS X.
It's easy to install Ruby on Windows with the One-Click Installer, available on RubyForge at http://rubyforge.org/projects/rubyinstaller. Here are the steps:
Go to the Ruby download site and click on the link labeled "1.8.6 One-Click Installer (or later)," or go to the One-Click Installer site and click the Download link. Click on the latest executable, which is ruby186-25.exe at this writing.
Open the executable. An install wizard will appear (see Figure 1-5). You'll have a chance to include other goodies in the download, such as the SciTE editor (http://www.scintilla.org/SciTE.html). Also, be sure to enable RubyGems when asked, as it is installed by default, and you'll no doubt want use it later.
Select a destination folder (such as C:\Ruby or C:\"Program Files"\Ruby). If you try to install over an older version of Ruby, you'll be asked to uninstall the old version first.
Add the new Ruby bin directory to your path; for example, if your Ruby directory is C:\Ruby, add C:\Ruby\bin to your path (see the sidebar "Setting Up the Path Environment," later in this chapter, if you don't know how to do this; it's OK to set up the path after the installation).
After you install Ruby, open a DOS window and type this line:
$ ruby -v
You should get something like the following response:
$ ruby 1.8.6 (2007-03-13 patchlevel 0) [i386-mswin32]
Check your system path variable and make sure it contains the path to the Ruby binaries in the bin directory. The One-click installer should take care of all this for you, however.
Decide where you want to install the Ruby files—for example, C:\Ruby or C:\"Program Files"\Ruby.
Download the stable binary ZIP archive for the latest release of Ruby (1.8.6 at this writing). Go to the Ruby download page at http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/downloads, and find the "Ruby on Windows" section, then click the link Ruby 1.8.6 Binary. Or you can just point to ftp://ftp.ruby-lang.org/pub/ruby/binaries/mswin32/ruby-1.8.5-i386-mswin32.zip (or latest version) in a browser. This will download the file archive.
Open the archive (ruby-1.8.6-i386-mswin32.zip or later) with Windows Explorer, and then extract it to the directory you set up in step 1 (see Figure 1-6).
Place the new Ruby bin directory in your path; for example, if your Ruby directory is C:\Ruby, add C:\Ruby\bin to your path (see the sidebar "Setting Up the Path Environment," later in this chapter, if you don't know how to do this).
After you install Ruby, open a DOS window and type:
$ ruby -v
If you don't get something like the following answer, check your system path variable and make sure it contains the path to the Ruby binaries in the bin directory:
$ ruby 1.8.6 (2006-08-25) [i386-mswin32]
The installation steps I discussed for installing Ruby on Mac OS X from source will also work for Linux, but I will just mention a few other options here. If you know Linux, you'll know what I am talking about.
If you're running Red Hat (http://www.redhat.com), you can find the
latest version of Ruby at RPM Find (http://rpmfind.net/linux/rpm2html/search.php?query=Ruby) and then use
rpm to install it.
On Gentoo (http://www.gentoo.org), use