💊 How To Install #RubyonRails on Windows 7 / 8 / 10 — Complete Tutorial 2017 (September 2017)

Step-By-Step Tutorial on How To Install Ruby, Rails, RubyGems, Git, RMagick and MYSQL2 on Windows.

Ruby 2.4.1 & Rails 5.1.1 Running On Windows 10

We revised this article in September 2017 to reflect new update of
RubyInstaller2 (no longer supports DevKit).

Overview

To develop Rails on Windows, you require the following components:

  1. 💎Ruby
  2. 🔨 Build Tools (used for gem compilation)
  3. 📋 RubyGems
  4. 🚀 Rails
  5. 🚦 GIT
  6. 💻 IDE (Code Editor)

These are all freely available, and are required for any OS Ruby install ↴

💎Ruby💎

On Windows, you need a precompiled version of Ruby.

On Linux, you can compile from source. Not Windows.

Well, actually you can. But it requires MASSIVE amounts of patience in order to get the correct dependencies / libraries installed.

The best thing to do is download a pre-built version of Ruby.

This can be done with two packages → RailsInstaller / RubyInstaller:

You should **NOT** use RailsInstaller — ONLY RubyInstaller.

RailsInstaller does NOT keep its libraries up to date.

💾 Download RubyInstaller (IMPORTANT)

The best thing to do is to download the ZIP version of RubyInstaller. Whilst there is an installer, it’s better to just download the binaries in the ZIP.

If you do want to do this, there are two options:

  • Ruby 2.3.x
  • Ruby 2.4.x

Due to different build requirements, Ruby 2.4.x now uses RubyInstaller2:

I would personally recommend downloading Ruby 2.4.x (the latest), but if you have an application designed for Ruby 2.3.x you’re also able to use that:

1) Identify Windows Version:

The first step is to know your Windows version (x64 or x86):

  • Press “Windows” + “R” buttons on the keyboard
  • Type “dxdiag” and press “OK”
  • Identify the “System Type” from the list:

2) Download ZIP From RubyInstaller (you may need to install 7Zip):

x86 = 32bit | x64 = 64 bit

3) Save The Zip To Your Hard Drive

Save The ZIP File To A Folder On Your Hard Drive

4) Unzip To PERMANENT Folder:

Unzip To A Folder Without Any Spaces (This Is Where Your Ruby Install Will Reside)

5) Add to PATH:

The Windows PATH allows your system to load applications be referencing their name. To call ruby from CMD, you’ll need to add it to the PATH var:

WINDOWS 7

  • Click on “Start”
  • Right-click on “Computer” — select “Properties”
  • From the “System” dialogue, select “Advanced system settings”:
  • Select “Advanced” tab — “Environment Variables”:
  • From here, select the “PATH” variable from the “SYSTEM Variables” panel, and select “Edit”:

When the “path” variable setting loads, paste the path to the /bin directory of Ruby into it (keeping the other paths intact). After this, click “OK” to exit.

WINDOWS 10

  • Right-click on “Start” / “Windows” button (bottom left)
  • Select “System”:
  • From the right menu, select “System Info”
  • From the new menu that appears, select “Advanced system settings”:
  • Select “Advanced” tab
  • Select “Environment Variables”:
  • The following should appear:
  • Next, click “New” to add the bin directory for the new ruby directory you created (also add the devkit bin directory if you’ve installed that):
This is the Windows 10 Version Of The PATH Variable Editor
  • Click OK and exit any CMD instances you have open.

🔨 Build Tools 🔨

Next, you need to install “build tools”.

These are used to compile gems that rely on external libraries
(nokogiri / rmagick / mysql2):

All operating systems require build tools as extra downloads. They are applications, files and libraries which help your system compile gems.

In Ubuntu, you’d install the build-essential package:

In Windows, you need to download the tools separately.

How you do this is determined by which version of RubyInstaller you choose. If you used 2.3.x, you use Devkit; 2.4.x uses MSYS2:

Ruby 2.3.x (Devkit) (Good tutorial)

For older versions of RubyInstaller, you need to install “DevKit” ↴

You should pick the devkit version akin to your version of Windows

After downloading ONE of the above files, load the self extracting archive and “unzip” to a temporary directory:

Extract The Files To The Folder Where They Will Permanently Stay

Once complete, you need to initialize DevKit and bind it to your Ruby installation:

  1. Load up cmd and cd into the RubyGems directory
  2. Type the following: ruby init.rb & press Enter
  3. Next, load up the config.yml
  4. Add the directory for your Ruby installation:
# devkit/config.yml
# ...
#
# Example:
#
# ---
# - C:/ruby19trunk
# - C:/ruby192dev
#
---
- "C:/Program Files/Ruby200-x64"
  • Next, in cmd you should type ruby setup.rb & press Enter
  • This should bind DevKit to your Ruby installation, allowing it to call all the libraries.

Ruby 2.4.x (MSYS2)

Ruby 2.4.x (RubyInstaller2) uses “MSYS2” ↴

MSYS2 Is A CLI Toolchain To Download & Install Dependencies (VERY Similar To Apt-Get)
RubyInstaller2 Requires MSYS2 — Which has to be installed independently.

Setting up MSYS2 is slightly more involved than DevKit, but more effective.

The point is that both install a series of files or applications which allow
you to perform build / compilation operations:

  • Download the appropriate version of MSYS2 x86 or x64 :
  • Save the installer to your hard drive
  • Double-click the installer to get it to load:
  • After the installer completes, you need to set up pacman
  • Load a new MSYS2 console and type the following:
pacman -Sy pacman

You should see something similar to the following:

Using the above commands, pacman will be installed and ready to use.

Now, you need to install the various build dependencies. This used to be
done from within MSYS2 itself, but now it’s part of the RubyInstaller2 installation process:

  • Open up CMD
  • Type ridk install
  • The following screen should appear:

Press 3 and Enter.

From here, it should work to install the various components of the MSYS2 development toolchain. If this process fails (we had a Windows 8 user where the process hung randomly), you’ll want to switch back to MSYS2 and run one of the following commands (installs the build tools manually):

pacman -S base-devel mingw-w64-i686-toolchain #32-bit
pacman -S base-devel mingw-w64-x86_64-toolchain #64-bit

If this does not work (in Windows 8), you should continually resize the MSYS2 window. This is what it took to get it working on a reader’s system.

Installing C-dependent Gems (Nokogiri / SQLite3 etc)

The RubyInstaller2 repo has a good tutorial on how to do this:

📋 RubyGems 📋

Next, you need to install RubyGems.

RubyGems is the repository which stores all the “gems” you can install on Ruby. These gems are the “plugins” for the language, providing functionality.

As this is a separate package to Ruby, it has to be installed manually:

To install RubyGems, you need to download the ZIP and
unzip to a temporary folder:

Save the ZIP to your System

From there, you will need to open cmd.exe and cd into the TEMPORARY folder. You should then type ruby setup.rb and RubyGems willinstall:

If successful, you’ll be able to type gem -v in a new instance of cmd:

🚀 Rails 🚀

With RubyGems installed, you need to install the rails gem:

This should be a very simple procedure (in cmd type gem install rails)

  • You also need bundler because without it, you cannot use a Gemfile
  • You need rails because that’s the framework you’re using.

Installing Rails as a system-wide gem will give you the ability to call it whenever needed, not just as part of a Rails application:

🚦 GIT 🚦

You then need to install GIT.

Git is a source code management system (SCM), basically allowing you to sync your development source with production and staging environments.

It has taken over the role of FTP, allowing you to “push” code to “repositories”. If this sounds alien, you need to read up on it. It’s an essential part of modern web development — especially Rails. Github is a very good place to start:

The installation process should be performed as follows:

Deselect any OS integration — you don’t need “GIT” commands popping up in Windows Explorer
Make sure you use GIT from CMD
This ensures line endings are compatible with Windows and Linux etc
Make sure you’re using Windows’ own CMD window
Ensure you have all of the above checked

Once installed, you should load a new instance of cmd.exe and type the command git — version. If it returns a value, the installation was a success:

💻 IDE (Code Editor) 💻

Finally, you need an IDE (Integrated Development Environment).

Whist you’re free to use Notepad to edit code, the best system is to use a dedicated code editor. The old favorite was Sublime Text, however it was
not updated enough and cost.

We use Atom.io from GitHub (free & open source):

You can download here (free).

🎉 After this, you’re able to develop Ruby on Rails on Windows!