[arch-general] Ruby gem packages in Arch

Paul Gideon Dann pdgiddie at gmail.com
Mon Jan 13 07:33:30 EST 2014

On Monday 13 Jan 2014 12:59:28 Maxime Gauduin wrote:
> IMHO, the reason why you would choose to use rubygem over pacman depends of
> how extensive a ruby user you are. I like to have gems handled by pacman,
> but I only use a few of them and don't need to have several versions of the
> same gem. Having them installed system-wise also makes them easily
> available to all users. That being said, you can achieve the same with
> rubygem by sharing a common ruby home between your users. As for the files
> not handled by pacman, home dirs are not referenced anyway so having gems
> in it really doesn't hurt.

For system-wide gems, I do "sudo gem install <gem>".  That works because I've restored 
/etc/gemrc so that it reads simply "gem:", instead of "gem: --user-install".  I'm still not clear 
on why this configuration file is altered in the Arch package.  I think it's because there's a 
feeling that system-wide gems should be handled by pacman, which I personally find weird.

I get that people may be afraid of using a second package manager, but Rubygems is 
incredibly easy to use, and handles gems much more effectively than can be achieved in 
pacman, because Rubygems is domain-specific.  A quick command reference on the Ruby 
page on the Wiki should be enough.

When you start doing Ruby development, you quickly come to rely on Bundler, which relies 
on Rubygems.  Throwing Pacman into the mix would cause a big mess, at least until you 
learn to use rbenv or something similar.


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