Ruby Gem package guidelines

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Revision as of 03:32, 14 December 2013 by Anatolik (talk | contribs) (versioned packages should not install shared files)
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Template:Package Guidelines

Writing PKGBUILDs for software written in Ruby.

Package naming

For libraries, use ruby-$gemname. For applications, use the program name. In either case, the name should be entirely lowercase.

Always use ruby- prefix even if $gemname already starts with word ruby. It is needed to avoid future name clashes in case if a gem with shorter name appear. It also makes names more easily parseble by tools (think about PKGBUILD generators/version or dependency checkers, etc...). Examples: ruby-ruby-protocol-buffersAUR.

Versioned packages

If you need to add a versioned package then use ruby-$gemname-$version, e.g. ruby-builder-3.2.1. So rubygem dependency builder=3.2.1 will turn into ruby-builder-3.2.1 Arch package.

In case if you need to resolve "approximately greater" dependency ~> then package should use version without the last part, e.g. rubygem dependency builder~>3.2.1 will turn into ruby-builder-3.2. An exception for this rule is when "approximately greater" dependency matches the latest version of the gem - in this case avoid introducing a new versioned package and use just ruby-$gemname instead (the HEAD version).

Another problem with versioned packages is that it can conflict with other versions, e.g. because the packages install the same files in /usr/bin. One solution for this problem is that versioned packages should not install such files - only HEAD version package can do this.


For examples, please see ruby-rethinkdbAUR ruby-json_pureAUR ruby-hpricotAUR.


Add --verbose to gem arguments to receive additional information in case of troubles.

Note: Usage of --no-user-install gem argument is mandatory since latest Ruby versions (See FS#28681 for details).


An example PKGBUILD can be found at /usr/share/pacman/PKGBUILD-rubygem.proto, which is in the abs package.


The gem installation can be automated completely with the tool pacgemAUR which creates a temporary PKGBUILD, calls makepkg and namcap. The resulting package is then installed with sudo pacman.

There is also gem2archAUR tools which aid in automating the process of creating a ruby gem PKGBUILD. Make sure to manually check the PKGBUILD after generation.