Ruby 2D on Linux

Learn how to set up your Ruby environment on Linux

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 (3.0.1 in this case) and set it as the global default:
    rbenv install 3.0.1
    rbenv global 3.0.1
  7. Check to make sure everything works (the $ symbol represents the prompt):
    $ rbenv versions
    * 3.0.1 (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 »

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