Dive into Ruby on Mac OS X


I would like to be able to use different versions of Ruby without getting in trouble with load paths.

I currently have two versions of Ruby installed on my system. The base package is

ruby 1.8.7 (2008-08-11 patchlevel 72) [universal-darwin10.0]

and comes with my Snow Leopard install.

It is installed as a Mac framework in /System/Library/Frameworks/Ruby.framework, whereas MacRuby is located in /Library/Frameworks/MacRuby.framework. On Mac OS X, /usr/bin only contains sym links to the Ruby framework, e.g.

$ ls -l /usr/bin/rub*
lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  76 29 aoû 14:37 /usr/bin/ruby@ -> \ 

I also installed a more recent Ruby from CVS which is actually

ruby 1.9.2dev (2009-10-09 trunk 25266) [x86_64-darwin10]

with all extensions in /usr/local/lib/ruby.no/.

If I put /usr/local/bin at the end of my PATH variable, I get the original configuration:

$ ruby -e ‘puts $:’

But, my path is set up such that /usr/local/bin comes before /usr/bin. Therefore, default Ruby is Ruby 1.9 and the load paths are:


However, these aren’t the correct path anymore! I can force Ruby to look at the right place by setting the RUBYLIB environment variable but I am not convinced by the results it gave:

$ irb
/usr/local/bin/irb:9:in `require’: no such file to load — irb (LoadError)
    from /usr/local/bin/irb:9:in `

The problem is that I permanently encounter problems with my configuration. This may be due to conflicting load paths or applications that don’t access the same environment variables.

$ irb
irb(main):001:0> $”
=> [“enumerator.so”, “e2mmap.rb”, “irb/init.rb”, “irb/workspace.rb”, “irb/context.rb”, 
“irb/extend-command.rb”, “irb/output-method.rb”, “irb/notifier.rb”, “irb/slex.rb”, 
“irb/ruby-token.rb”, “irb/ruby-lex.rb”, “readline.bundle”, “irb/input-method.rb”, 
“irb/locale.rb”, “irb.rb”, “prettyprint.rb”, “pp.rb”, “rubygems/rubygems_version.rb”, 
“rubygems/defaults.rb”, “thread.bundle”, “thread.rb”, “rbconfig.rb”, “rubygems/exceptions.rb”, 
“rubygems/requirement.rb”, “rubygems/version.rb”, “rubygems/dependency.rb”, “rubygems/gem_path_searcher.rb”, 
“rubygems/user_interaction.rb”, “rubygems/platform.rb”, “rubygems/specification.rb”, 
“rubygems/source_index.rb”, “rubygems/builder.rb”, “stringio.bundle”, “yaml/error.rb”, 
“syck.bundle”, “yaml/ypath.rb”, “yaml/basenode.rb”, “yaml/syck.rb”, “yaml/tag.rb”, 
“yaml/stream.rb”, “yaml/constants.rb”, “rational.rb”, “date/format.rb”, “date.rb”, 
“yaml/rubytypes.rb”, “yaml/types.rb”, “yaml.rb”, “rubygems/config_file.rb”, “rubygems/custom_require.rb”, 
“rubygems.rb”, “etc.bundle”, “fileutils.rb”]

Likewise, I have cloned version of some programs in both bin/ directories

$ diff -rqu /usr/bin /usr/local/bin | grep “^Files”

I came to the following solution: Just append the framork’ized version of Ruby to my PATH settings:

export PATH=/System/Library/Frameworks/Ruby.framework/Versions/1.8/usr/bin:$PATH

which seems to me very sad because /usr/bin is already in my path, or reverse the order of /usr/local/bin and /usr/bin when exporting my PATH variables.


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