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"gem install X" never, ever works for me on the first try (on OS X AND on Ubuntu, as someone who rarely does any Ruby hacking). I wish packages like this would include a link to somewhere that helps troubleshoot things when they go wrong.

Last time I used localtunnel I eventually figured out I needed to run "sudo apt-get install ruby1.9.1-dev" first.

I used to be an occasional Ruby user and it was only after I started using it more often that I got the hang of things. I can give you a "pro tip", which is to never, ever use the Ruby provided by your distro, and to always use RVM. Getting RVM running on OS X and Ubuntu should be smooth sailing, and you'll find that installing gems just works after that.

The only caveat is that some gems require compilation of native C extensions, which if you don't regularly compile things on your machine may require you to install lots of extra stuff (especially on the Mac).

The state of affairs with Ruby OS integration is pretty poor.

It's not a problem for me because Ruby is my bread and butter, so of course I have rvm (or rbenv) installed at all times. But as I user I think it's unacceptable to have to do a manual installation just to run extremely simple programs. It'd be nice if the community were more responsive to fixing the problems faced by the package manager maintainers.

IMO, it'd also be nicer if package manager maintainers worked harder to not break the default assumptions of Ruby developers.

All of the RubyGems developers are volunteers—as are most (if not all) of the various package manager maintainers. The way that Debian broke Ruby in the past (I don't know if it still does, but I have heard reports that it's better)…was unconscionable. (This mostly because Debian tried to treat RubyGems like C-based libraries, which are hard to have multiple usable versions of; RubyGems was based on the idea that you might need multiple usable versions of a package around.)

Rather than repos providing out of date Rubies and gems, wouldn't it make sense to solve the conflict between the two approaches in just one place, and make nice reliable RVM packages for everyone to use if they need Ruby?

As a Python user, I think Python is just about equally bad.

If you want a strange Python package or a certain version, you're better off on Debian and Ubuntu just installing pythonbrew to keep a compiled python in your home folder.

Its quite difficult for anyone who is newish to linux to do an RVM installation using the provided instructions: https://rvm.io/rvm/install/ - the instructions are not very clear. They also recommend reading the installation script, which is long and scary: "I recommend you read the installation script yourself. This will give you a chance to understand what it is doing before installing, and allow you to feel more comfortable running it if you do so." ... https://github.com/wayneeseguin/rvm/blob/master/binscripts/r...

Amen. I just guided my manager through the install and only then realised how much of it was muscle memory for me. The script tells you to install XCode 4.1 because it doesn't work with 4.2... but XCode is up to 4.4 now, and I know 4.3 works because that's what I have installed! It also advises you to install "latest stable" but has references to 1.9.2 in several places... it is, overall, a mess.

I ran through installing RVM yesterday on a new Mac and it wasn't a problem - 10.8, XCode 4.4, homebrew (okay, you have to install XCode CLI and Quartz separately), but it ran right through it. Then again, this is one combination that I know to work, I've definitely had it get byzantine with other versions of XCode in the past.

I've found rbenv to be a much easier option with homebrew.

well yeah you need ruby to run a ruby gem?

I had ruby - I was missing the ruby-dev header files.

My original complaint though is that people are using "gem install" as the sole documentation for installing a general purpose command-line tool. I'd rather not even know it's written in Ruby (I just want to install it and use it) - instead, I need deep Ruby knowledge just to get the thing running.

I hate that it's using gem for install, too.

If knowing how to type "yum install ruby-devel" qualifies as "deep Ruby knowledge", I must be some kind of god.

More importantly, apparently in this case you need the ruby dev package to install the relevant gem from source.

Smug reply implies that gems are only for people who develop in ruby.

Smug reply says that gems require things to work, and given that they're usually dependent on some version of ruby then the smug reply is usually right.

It's not generally obvious to non-developer end users that they will (sometimes) need to install the -dev package on their OS. Would be nice if it were. I'm mostly taking issue with the unfriendliness of the comment.

Gems ARE only for people who develop in ruby.

Did you happen to read the article? It has nothing to do with developing in ruby.

There is no article attached to this post. Just the homepage of a small piece of software targeted at developers who are familiar with installing gems.

If YOU read the content that was linked, you'd see there is a very long README targeted at people who aren't Ruby developers.

Strange that you mention this, because it ALWAYS works for me on my Windows machine. Kind of nice to be on the other side of the fence for a change....

It's about the same for Pythonistas, but I think I generally have less trouble with Python packages than Ruby packages.

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