Updating MacOS X to Ruby 2.0

ruby2MacOS X comes with ruby by default. It’s great, but what if you want to join the cutting edge and use Ruby 2.0 and Rails 4 like all the cool kids?

First, let’s look at which version we have installed.

Heinrichs-iMac:~ hbeck$ ruby -v
ruby 1.8.7 (2012-02-08 patchlevel 358) [universal-darwin12.0]

I like things simple, so let’s find a simple way to update this.


Fortunately there is a simple package manager called “Homebrew” which makes life very easy. I like easy.

Installing it takes one line in the terminal:

Heinrichs-iMac:~ hbeck$ ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go)"

After you install, pay attention to the instructions. You may need to run a command to update it, which you should do.


Some people prefer to manage their versions of Ruby using RVM. I prefer to use rbenv. It’s simpler and lightweight. The documentation for rbenv is here.

Heinrichs-iMac:~ hbeck$ 
brew update
brew install rbenv
brew install ruby-build
brew install openssl  #this part might be optional, if it is, you will get a notice saying, "already installed"
CONFIGURE_OPTS=--with-openssl-dir=`brew --prefix openssl` rbenv install 2.0.0-preview1

the last command will take a while to run.

When it finishes, you can run this command to see WHICH versions of ruby are installed

Heinrichs-iMac:~ hbeck$ rbenv versions
* system (set by /Users/hbeck/.rbenv/version)

So the asterisk shows that there is a system ruby (which we already is know 1.8.7) and a cool hotrod 2.0.0-preview1 available.

Since we installed rbenv, we need to tell our $PATH profile to use the settings from rbenv and then “restart” the shell to use the new settings

Heinrichs-iMac:~ hbeck$ echo 'eval "$(rbenv init -)"' >> ~/.bash_profile
Heinrichs-iMac:~ hbeck$ exec $SHELL -l

Let’s make that hotrod switch! You will need to CAREFULLY type the name of the version, so watch that you get all the characters correct.

Heinrichs-iMac:~ hbeck$ rbenv local 2.0.0-preview1

So let’s verify that we have the correct version.

Heinrichs-iMac:~ hbeck$ ruby -v
ruby 2.0.0dev (2012-11-01 trunk 37411) [x86_64-darwin12.4.0]



  1. Thanks for this, but I’m not getting the expected result.

    All commands go as expected, until the very last, which still shows the original version. I’ll check with rbenv Github and report back when I get things to work.

    OS X 10.6.8

    dev:JavaScript glen$ rbenv versions
    * 2.0.0-p247 (set by /Users/glen/Documents/JavaScript/.ruby-version)
    dev:JavaScript glen$ ruby -v
    ruby 1.8.7 (2012-02-08 patchlevel 358) [universal-darwin10.0]

  2. The solution turned out to be deleting the local .ruby-version. Odd since it _did_ contain the desired version.

    dev:JavaScript glen$ rbenv versions
    * 2.0.0-p247 (set by /usr/local/var/rbenv/version)
    dev:JavaScript glen$ ruby -v
    ruby 2.0.0p247 (2013-06-27 revision 41674) [x86_64-darwin10.8.0]

    Thanks again, your write-up was a big help.

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