[arch-general] Ruby gem packages in Arch

Paul Gideon Dann pdgiddie at gmail.com
Tue Jan 14 05:18:59 EST 2014

On Monday 13 Jan 2014 11:03:32 Bigby James wrote:
> That was how I discovered the multi-version dependencies: As pacman will
> only allow a single version of a package to be installed on the system at a
> given time, I was frequently alerted to "updates" of dependency gems I had
> installed. Middleman depends on a later version of a particular library
> than does Jekyll; if I update the gem via pacgem, Middleman will function,
> while Jekyll will break. It simply wasn't possible to use both
> simultaneously, and since I depend on Jekyll for work I do, that's
> unacceptable. It's far simpler (in my opinion) to use "gem install" as
> $USER to install to my /home directory and add the installation directory
> to $PATH, as I'm the only one who uses my machine. In the event that gems
> do (for whatever horrific reason) become unmanageable, one can simply nuke
> the directory where they're installed and reinstall all necessary gems
> rather quickly, without risk to the system at large.

Thanks, Bigby, for articulating the point far better than I was doing :)

I'd like to add to this that I also use Ruby for general scripting and monitoring on several 
servers that I maintain, mostly through cron jobs.  These small system scripts run as root.  I 
could install the gems into /root, but I prefer to have them installed system-wide, as they're 
more visible that way (element of least surprise), and means I can write and test the 
scripts as non-root first.  That's why I use "sudo gem install" to manage system gems, and 
why I remove the --user-install option in my /etc/gemrc.


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