Installing Rubinius Using RVM

Rubinius is an implementation of the Ruby language designed for concurrency. The lead developer of Rubinius, Brian Shirai, will present Rubinius at ChicagoRuby on March 4, 2014. ChicagoRuby will follow-up with a Rubinius-themed hack night on March 12th. Details.

To prepare for the Rubinius events, some people may choose to install Rubinius locally. RVM makes the process smooth.

RVM Recap

Ruby Version Manager (RVM) is an awesome tool that enables developers to:

Similar tools exist, but RVM is the one that has always worked for me. If you don’t have RVM installed, detailed installation instructions can be found at

Get the Latest RVM

These instructions work on Mac OS X v10.8.5. The same steps will probably work on Linux, except for the references to Homebrew.

First, make sure you’re running the latest version of RVM.

$ rvm get head

Upgrading the RVM installation in /Users/rth/.rvm/
    RVM PATH line found in /Users/rth/.bashrc /Users/rth/.zshrc.
    RVM sourcing line found in /Users/rth/.bash_profile /Users/rth/.zprofile.
    Migrating environment ruby-1.9.2-p290 to use with 'gem-wrappers' gem.


     Installing gem-wrappers gem in 3 gemsets.
Upgrade of RVM in /Users/rth/.rvm/ is complete.


In case of problems: and

RVM reloaded!


Next, Install Rubinius

As of this writing, Rubinius can operate in 1.8 language mode (the default) or 1.9 language mode. Installing in 1.9 mode requires an additional command line flag, shown below.

$ rvm install rbx --1.9

Testing the Rubinius Installation

First, let’s make sure that RVM shows the new Rubinius (rbx) installation.

$ rvm list

rvm rubies

=> rbx-2.2.4 [ x86_64 ]
   ruby-1.9.2-p290 [ x86_64 ]
 * ruby-1.9.3-p484 [ x86_64 ]
   ruby-2.0.0-p353 [ x86_64 ]

# => - current
# =* - current && default
#  * - default


It’s always good to have multiple ways to verify information.

$ ruby --version
rubinius 2.0.0.n37 (1.9.3 6d611c7a 2014-02-06 JI) [x86_64-darwin12.5.0]


And now, let’s do a quick “Hello World” test drive using the Rubinius version of irb.

$ irb
rbx-2.2.4 :001 > p 'Hello World, from Rubinius'
"Hello World, from Rubinius"
 => "Hello World, from Rubinius"
rbx-2.2.4 :002 > quit


Post Installation Notes

The installation script found two outdated Homebrew-installed packages on my system: automake and openssl. It would have been better for me to upgrade Homebrew and related packages before installing Rubinius.

Why install Rubinius? Why do we care about concurrency? These are two questions I expect to explore through my new Rubinius installation.

Come Hack With Rubinius

If March 2014 finds you in the Chicago area, you’re invited to visit ChicagoRuby for some back-to-back Rubinius action. See for details.