In my previous blog post, I attempted to assign a writing schedule to myself. It didn’t work out as well as I planned. I’m writing this entry two days later than intended. This entry is being posted at minimum 24 hours later than scheduled. “Better late than never” applies to this situation. However, for future posts, I will try to follow the writing plan outlined in the previous post.

Recommendation

If you’ve never heard of Ruby, or have heard of it but haven’t tried it, I want to recommend you browse to https://www.ruby-lang.org and try Ruby in your browser. (You can skip the main site and visit http://tryruby.org if you’d prefer). If you have previous programming experience, you may find the beauty and elegance of Ruby syntax heartwarming and refreshing. If you don’t have previous programming experience, take my word. It is truly heartwarming and refreshing!

Installing

Unless using Bitnami Ruby Stack, you must download and install NodeJS before you attempt to install Ruby. I also recommend you install git for Windows before installing Ruby. Download git for Windows Here: https://git-scm.com/download/win

Installing Ruby (or any *nix-based programming language) in a Windows development environment can be a daunting task. Here I’m going to outline a few installation options available to you. Then, I will walk you through the process of using the option I recommend. (Please Note: I may write articles covering the other options at some point in the future).

Browse to https://www.ruby-lang.org. Click “Downloads” in the menu at the top of the page. Once the “Download Ruby” page loads, look for “See the Installation page.” Click on “Installation” to browse to the “Installing Ruby” page.  Scroll down the page until you find the bulleted list (it starts with “Package Management Systems”). Locate the Installers bullet point. The last two items in this list are our points of interest.

The three options listed for Windows are:

  1. RubyInstaller
  2. RailsInstaller
  3. Bitnami Ruby Stack

RubyInstaller

Pros: You can install nearly the newest stable release of Ruby. As of this writing, the version of Ruby available is 2.3.1 while the latest stable release of Ruby is 2.3.2.

Cons: If you need to build Ruby gems from source, you have to download and install the DevKit manually. Then, you have to configure Ruby to use the DevKit. (The process is overly complicated and can discourage new developers from downloading and installing Ruby). See the con for RubyGems in the RailsInstaller section.

RailsInstaller (recommended)

Pros: Ruby 2.2.4, Rails 4.2, Bundler, Git, Sqlite, TinyTDS, SQL Server Support, and the DevKit are installed and configured by RailsInstaller.

Cons: Ruby 2.2.4 is the newest version of Ruby available using RailsInstaller. The latest features introduced in Ruby 2.3 are not available to you. You have to download and install the latest RubyGems manually. The RubyGems SSL certificate is no longer valid for the version included in RailsInstaller. This version of RubyGems cannot connect to the RubyGems server to download or update RubyGems. I will discuss the fix for this issue in my next article.

Bitnami Ruby Stack

Pros: NodeJS 6.9.1, PHP 5.6.27, MySQL 5.6.34, PostgreSQL 9.6.0, Redis 3.2.4, phpMyAdmin 4.6.4, OpenSSL 1.0.2j, and Ruby 2.2.5 get installed and configured by Bitnami.

Cons: You have to download, install, and configure DevKit manually.  See the con for RubyGems in the RailsInstaller section.

I recommend RailsInstaller. It’s easy to download and install NodeJS. It’s easy to download and install the DevKit, but it is not easy to configure Ruby to use the DevKit. RailsInstaller is the only Windows Installer that takes care of DevKit configuration for you (huge win!).

Download the RailsInstaller. Current RailsInstaller version is 3.2.0. The rest of the installation process is covered by screenshots. (Please Note: The location you install your version of RailsInstaller may differ from mine.)

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Accept the License Agreement. Click Next. You will be prompted to select an Installation location. Since I already have an installation on my PC, this step was skipped for me.

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Ruby (and the other packages listed above) is now being installed on your PC. Please be patient, this process may take several minutes.

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I recommend downloading git and configuring it separately from this Ruby installation. Downloading, installing, and configuring git is outside the scope of this article. Configuring SSL is outside the scope of this article.

I hope this blog post has helped you install Ruby. Until next time, have a great day!