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Revision as of 16:03, 25 March 2013 by Ichimonji10 (talk | contribs) (Created a new "plugins" subsection under "installation", and added a link to the rbenv plugins wiki page.)
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rbenv (Simple Ruby Version Management) lets you easily switch between multiple versions of Ruby. It's simple, unobtrusive, and follows the UNIX tradition of single-purpose tools that do one thing well.

Another tool to be used for the same purpose is rvm.

Comparison with RVM

From the wiki:

rbenv does...

  • Let you change the global Ruby version on a per-user basis.
  • Provide support for per-project Ruby versions.
  • Allow you to override the Ruby version with an environment variable.

In contrast with rvm, rbenv does not...

  • Need to be loaded into your shell. Instead, rbenv's shim approach works by adding a directory to your $PATH.
  • Override shell commands like cd. That's dangerous and error-prone.
  • Have a configuration file. There's nothing to configure except which version of Ruby you want to use.
  • Install Ruby. You can build and install Ruby yourself, or use ruby-build to automate the process.
  • Manage gemsets. Bundler is a better way to manage application dependencies. If you have projects that are not yet using Bundler you can install the rbenv-gemset plugin.
  • Require changes to Ruby libraries for compatibility. The simplicity of rbenv means as long as it's in your $PATH, nothing else needs to know about it.
  • Prompt you with warnings when you switch to a project. Instead of executing arbitrary code, rbenv reads just the version name from each project. There's nothing to "trust."



It is really straightforward; please refer to the application's website.


A shared installation is an experimental feature. Here you can read the official documentation.

These instructions were used to install rbenv in an Arch server; although in Spanish, almost for sure you will be able to go through them.


rbenv can be extended via a plugin system. The rbenv wiki includes a list of useful plugins. In particular, you may wish to install ruby-build. Though rbenv allows you to use a particular Ruby version, it does not include any built-in method of installing Ruby executables. ruby-build is a plugin that provides this capability.

External links