Cort3z Cort3z - 1 month ago 14
Ruby Question

Packaging Ruby into a portable executable

I have been trying to find a good solution to this for a long time:

Is there a sure-fire way to install ruby to a folder which is portable on that platform? I want to have a folder which I can easily copy into a distribution I am making so I can have a ruby environment "on the go". It is fine if I need to compile the source and stuff, as long as I end up with a portable ruby install.

I have found a few resources which tries to solve this, but none are satisfactory for me.

Portable Ruby on Rails environment

For me this is a major pain-point of Ruby. If it is not possible to get a Ruby script to work without having the clients install Ruby first, then ruby is essentially no good in my case. I truly hope I/we can figure this out so it is possible to have Ruby be lots more useful than what it already is.

Note: I know things like Releasy exists, but it's still not a simple ruby executable.

My goal is to be able to make a folder with a .bat/.sh script, which does this:

#some bat/sh
./bin/ruby ./my_script.rb

And yes, shoot me down if there is something about this problem I have not understood, as it would be a relief for me.


I got so tired of this that I decided to make my own solution to it. After a couple of days I finally got this working.

I present: Ruby Ship

It's just what I needed, and hopefully someone else will get the benefit of it too!

It's really simple: Download the repo (which is quite big because of the binaries). Put it on a usb-drive, or wherever you want it, then do:

path/to/ruby_ship/bin/ -v
=> ruby 2.1.2p95 (2014-05-08 revision 45877) [x86_64-darwin13.0]

That's for linux and mac, or on windows:

path\to\ruby_ship\bin\ruby_ship.bat -v
=> ruby 2.1.2p95 (2014-05-08 revision 45877) [i386-mswin32_100]

The ruby_ship wrapper acts just as your normal ruby, so you can pass in a script, or do anything you would use the normal ruby command for.

If you don't like the version that comes bundled with Ruby Ship, then simply use the compiling-script that is in the tools directory. Download the source code of you favourite version of Ruby, say X.Y.Z, then do this:

# *nix (osx/linux/...)
path/to/ruby_ship/tools/ path/to/ruby-X.Y.Z.tar.gz

# windows
path\to\ruby_ship\tools\ruby_ship_build.bat path\to\ruby-X.Y.Z.tar.gz

This will build your flavour of ruby and set up the wrappers correctly. Now you Ruby version X.Y.Z is portable! Copy paste this folder where you want it and you are ready to go! Remember though, it will only compile for your current platform, so if you need other platforms, go compile it on those platforms as well.

The compiling process has a few requirements. Look at the github site.

Anyways, hope that others might find this useful! If things are not quite working for you, please make an issue and I will look into it!