What’s Ruby

Ruby is an interpreted object-oriented programming language often used for web development. It also offers many scripting features to process plain text and serialized files, or manage system tasks. It is simple, straightforward, and extensible.

Features of Ruby

How to get Ruby

For a complete list of ways to install Ruby, including using third-party tools like rvm, see:



The mirror of the Ruby source tree can be checked out with the following command:

$ git clone https://github.com/ruby/ruby.git

There are some other branches under development. Try the following command to see the list of branches:

$ git ls-remote https://github.com/ruby/ruby.git

You may also want to use git.ruby-lang.org/ruby.git (actual master of Ruby source) if you are a committer.


Stable branches for older Ruby versions can be checked out with also the following command:

$ svn co https://svn.ruby-lang.org/repos/ruby/branches/ruby_2_6/ ruby

Try the following command to see the list of branches:

$ svn ls https://svn.ruby-lang.org/repos/ruby/branches/

Ruby home page


Mailing list

There is a mailing list to discuss Ruby. To subscribe to this list, please send the following phrase:


in the mail body (not subject) to the address ruby-talk-request@ruby-lang.org.

Requirements to build from repository

  1. GNU or BSD make

  2. C99 compiler

  3. autoconf 2.67 or higher

  4. automake 1.15 or higher

  5. bison 2.3 or higher

  6. Ruby 2.2 or higher

When building from a released version, only a C99 compiler and GNU or BSD make is required.

How to compile and install

  1. If you want to use Microsoft Visual C++ to compile Ruby, read win32/README.win32 instead of this document.

  2. Run ./autogen.sh to generate configure, when you build the source checked out from the Git repository.

  3. Run ./configure, which will generate config.h and Makefile.

    Some C compiler flags may be added by default depending on your environment. Specify optflags=.. and warnflags=.. as necessary to override them.

  4. Edit include/ruby/defines.h if you need. Usually this step will not be needed.

  5. Optional: Remove comment mark(#) before the module names from ext/Setup.

    This step is only necessary if you want to link modules statically.

    If you don't want to compile dynamic extensions (probably on architectures which do not allow dynamic loading), remove comment mark from the line "#option nodynamic" in ext/Setup.

    Usually this step will not be needed.

  6. Run make.

    • On Mac, set RUBY_CODESIGN environment variable with a signing identity. It uses the identity to sign ruby binary. See also codesign(1).

  7. Optionally, run 'make check' to check whether the compiled Ruby interpreter works well. If you see the message "check succeeded", your Ruby works as it should (hopefully).

  8. Run 'make install'.

    This command will create the following directories and install files into them.

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/bin

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/include/ruby-${MAJOR}.${MINOR}.${TEENY}

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/include/ruby-${MAJOR}.${MINOR}.${TEENY}/${PLATFORM}

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/lib

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/lib/ruby

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/lib/ruby/${MAJOR}.${MINOR}.${TEENY}

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/lib/ruby/${MAJOR}.${MINOR}.${TEENY}/${PLATFORM}

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/lib/ruby/site_ruby

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/lib/ruby/site_ruby/${MAJOR}.${MINOR}.${TEENY}

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/lib/ruby/site_ruby/${MAJOR}.${MINOR}.${TEENY}/${PLATFORM}

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/lib/ruby/vendor_ruby

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/lib/ruby/vendor_ruby/${MAJOR}.${MINOR}.${TEENY}

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/lib/ruby/vendor_ruby/${MAJOR}.${MINOR}.${TEENY}/${PLATFORM}

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/lib/ruby/gems/${MAJOR}.${MINOR}.${TEENY}

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/share/man/man1

    • ${DESTDIR}${prefix}/share/ri/${MAJOR}.${MINOR}.${TEENY}/system

    If Ruby's API version is 'x.y.z', the ${MAJOR} is 'x', the ${MINOR} is 'y', and the ${TEENY} is 'z'.

    NOTE: teeny of the API version may be different from one of Ruby’s program version

    You may have to be a super user to install Ruby.

If you fail to compile Ruby, please send the detailed error report with the error log and machine/OS type, to help others.

Some extension libraries may not get compiled because of lack of necessary external libraries and/or headers, then you will need to run 'make distclean-ext' to remove old configuration after installing them in such case.


See the file COPYING.


Questions about the Ruby language can be asked on the Ruby-Talk mailing list or on websites like stackoverflow.com.

Bugs should be reported at bugs.ruby-lang.org. Read HowToReport for more information.


See the file CONTRIBUTING.md

The Author

Ruby was originally designed and developed by Yukihiro Matsumoto (Matz) in 1995.