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Ruby 2D on macOS

Learn how to set up your Ruby environment on the Mac

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macOS comes pre-installed with Ruby 🥳, but doesn’t have Ruby’s development libraries needed to build native extensions. 😩 No problem though — there are a few tools we can use to set up a proper Ruby development environment. 😎

Using Homebrew

Our favorite, and perhaps the easiest, is using Homebrew. After installing Homebrew (see their website for details), you can install Ruby using: brew install ruby

Make sure to add Ruby to your $PATH variable, for example by running:

echo 'export PATH="/usr/local/opt/ruby/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile

To get access to Ruby in the current shell, run source ~/.bash_profile. Ruby should now be available for this and all new shells. Try running ruby --version to check.

Multiple Ruby versions with rbenv

Even better, if you want to switch Ruby versions on-the-fly, you can use rbenv. Install with Homebrew using brew install rbenv ruby-build

Then, add eval "$(rbenv init -)" to your ~/.bash_profile. Install a Ruby version and set it as the global default like so:

rbenv install 2.6.2
rbenv global 2.6.2

Check to make sure everything is set up by running the following (the $ symbol represents the prompt):

$ rbenv versions
  system
* 2.6.2 (set by /home/<me>/.rbenv/version)
$ ruby -e "puts 'Hello Ruby'"
Hello Ruby

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