[Rubygems-developers] How to freeze gems that require native extension without sudo rights ?

Chad Woolley thewoolleyman at gmail.com
Tue Nov 4 13:36:41 EST 2008

On Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 9:17 AM, Thibaut Barrère
<thibaut.barrere at gmail.com>wrote:

> Is there a way to install these gems without having sudo rights (ie:
> compiling into some specific folder, telling rubygems where to pick the
> binaries, or any other solution ?)

GemInstaller can help with this - not by freezing, but by ensuring you
install/activate the correct versions.  Check out
http://geminstaller.rubyforge.org.  Docs are a little out of date, but
here's the relevant parts:

1. Use rails config/preinitializer.rb or merb config/init.rb to hook in
GemInstaller.install (to install) and GemInstaller.autogem (to activate).
This will install/activate the exact version you have in your

2. Use standard RubyGems mechanisms to ensure that gems are installed/loaded
from a non-root location, like ~/.gems.  Currently you can do this by
setting gemhome and gempath in ~/.gemrc and ensuring the ~/.gem/.../bin dir
is on your path, but this capability may be removed in future rubygems
versions.  If it is removed, you can always override it with the
corresponding RubyGems environment variables for gem home and path.

Feel free to ask for help on the GemInstaller mailing list or lighthouse
tickets if you have problems/questions, and this will also inspire me to
update the docs (I just spent a ton of time getting them publishable again
after webgen/redcloth upgrades, so I can actually add new content again).

-- Chad
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