Install ruby gems without sudo on OSX

October 4, 2015

Quick guide to install latest version of ruby and avoid using sudo to install ruby gems.

If you encountered the following error when trying to install a ruby gem on MAC OSX, it’s only because of some persmission related to how/where the ruby version that come packed OSX is installed. To fix it, is enough to rely on rbenv, a ruby version manager.

$ gem install jekyll
$ Fetching: liquid-2.6.3.gem (100%)
$ ERROR:  While executing gem ... (Gem::FilePermissionError)

We’ll be using the Z shell (zsh) instead of bash. Replace any reference to .zshrc with .bash_profile/.bashrc in case you are running on bash instead.

Install rbenv

We’ll install rbenv via homebrew:

$ brew install rbenv ruby-build

Add the following references to your .zshrc

$ echo 'if which rbenv > /dev/null; then eval "$(rbenv init -)"; fi' >> ~/.zshrc
$ echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.zshrc
$ echo 'eval "$(rbenv init -)"' >> ~/.zshrc

Install Ruby

Install a more recent ruby version via rbenv

$ rbenv install 2.2.3

Set the globa version to the latest installed version of ruby, i.e:

rbenv global 2.2.3

To verify if everything installed successfully just run the following commands:

$ ruby -v 
// check version of ruby installed

Enjoy! You should now be able to install ruby gems without having to use sudo!

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