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Building Rubinius

You can build and run Rubinius from the source directory. You do not need to install Rubinius to run it. The directions below describe both installing Rubinius and running it from the source directory.

Getting the Source

The Rubinius source code is available as a tarball and as a project on Github. You can download the tarball here.

To use Git:

  1. Change your current working directory to your development directory
  2. git clone git://


Rubinius uses LLVM for the JIT compiler and depends on LLVM 3.x. The configure script will automatically check whether a version is already available or will download one if not. If you do have LLVM installed and Rubinius fails to link with it for any reason, pass --skip-system to the configure script in the directions below.

If the configure script does not have --skip-system then you can use --llvm-config=/path/to/bin/llvm-config to specify the correct llvm-config to use. E.g. on Ubuntu 12.04, apt-get install llvm-3.4 installs /usr/bin/llvm-config-3.4, so you would use --llvm-config=/usr/bin/llvm-config-3.4.

Installing Rubinius

If you are planning on using Rubinius to run your application, this is a good option. However, you can also run Rubinius directly from the source directory. See the next section for more details on that.

We recommend installing Rubinius to a location that does not require sudo or superuser privileges. To install Rubinius:

  1. bundle install
  2. ./configure --prefix=/path/to/install/dir
  3. rake install
  4. Add the Rubinius bin directory to your PATH

Running from the Source Directory

If you plan to work on Rubinius itself, you should use this option.

  1. ./configure
  2. rake

If you are just trying out Rubinius, add the bin directory to your PATH.

However, if you are developing Rubinius, you should NOT add the bin directory to your PATH because the Rubinius build system will pick up the ruby and rake links to the Rubinius executable. Rubinius needs a separate Ruby executable to bootstrap itself during the build process.

Development Mode for Debugging

If you are trying to debug the VM and want to attach a debugger, such as GDB, then you will want to compile Rubinius without optimizations. You can do this by setting the 'DEV' environment variable and then building.

For example: DEV=1 rake build

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