Ruby 2D on Linux

Learn how to set up your Ruby environment on Linux

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Install Ruby

Installing Ruby with package managers (e.g. apt, yum, pacman) can cause issues. We recommend using a Ruby version manager instead, like rbenv. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. In your terminal, clone the rbenv repo into ~/.rbenv:
    git clone ~/.rbenv
  2. Install ruby-build as an rbenv plugin, which will add the rbenv install command:
    git clone ~/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build
  3. Add rbenv to your path and initialize it by adding the following to your ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile:
    export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"
    eval "$(rbenv init -)"
  4. Get access to rbenv by loading the new shell config using:
    source ~/.bashrc  # or `~/.bash_profile`
  5. Install packages to prepare your build environment.

  6. Install the latest version of Ruby (2.6.2 in this case) and set it as the global default:
    rbenv install 2.6.2
    rbenv global 2.6.2
  7. Check to make sure everything works (the $ symbol represents the prompt):
    $ rbenv versions
    * 2.6.2 (set by /home/<me>/.rbenv/version)
    $ ruby -e "puts 'Hello Ruby'"
    Hello Ruby

Install packages

Ruby 2D needs a few packages to tap into low-level graphics and hardware. Install the following for your Linux distribution.

Ubuntu, Debian, and Mint

sudo apt install libsdl2-dev libsdl2-image-dev libsdl2-mixer-dev libsdl2-ttf-dev

CentOS and Fedora

sudo yum install SDL2-devel SDL2_image-devel SDL2_mixer-devel SDL2_ttf-devel


sudo zypper install libSDL2-devel libSDL2_image-devel libSDL2_mixer-devel libSDL2_ttf-devel


sudo pacman -S sdl2 sdl2_image sdl2_mixer sdl2_ttf

That’s it! Head back to the “get started” guide and write your first 2D app »