Ruby on Rails on Windows - The Last Frontier

As Ruby continues to grow and gain acceptance, one large challenge remains: developing on Windows.

It’s no secret that the Ruby community has been slow to welcome Windows users into our world. Projects like Instant Rails were a great start, but have long since been abandoned. For the continued momentum of Ruby, Windows users need the ease of setup and use that all the rest of us have long enjoyed.

Have hope, all you Ruby Windows developers! Last week, returning Engine Yarder Wayne E. Seguin wrote about his plan to simplify and streamline the process for getting a Rails development environment on Windows. Today, we have a list of current Ruby resources for Windows users. Later this week, Tom Enebo of the JRuby Team will share more about why JRuby is a great choice for Windows Rubyists. Then, Luis Lavena will discuss other areas the community can contribute to improve Ruby performance on Windows. Brighter days are approaching for all you Ruby Windows users!

###Ruby Resources for Windows Users


  • Ruby Installer - RubyInstaller is the de facto method for quickly and easily setting up Ruby on a Windows machine. RubyInstaller is an installer for Windows that includes the Ruby language, an execution environment, and RubyGems.
  • DevKit - After using RubyInstaller, some gems will not work. To remedy this, the RubyInstaller team has released a DevKit that contains the tools needed to compile these gems. This can be downloaded from the RubyInstaller downloads page.
  • Git For Windows - Download Git for Windows. One of the popular Git clients currently is TortoiseGit.
  • Pik - Pik allows you to manage multiple versions of Ruby on Windows, similar to RVM.
  • Databases - Neither SQLite, MySQL, or PostgreSQL are installed on Windows to start. Download SQLite, MySQL, PostgreSQL and make sure to install their gems as well.
  • Whatever Wayne is up to …


The debate surrounding which IDE is best could go on for days. Instead of stating which one is ideal, here is a list of IDEs that will allow you to develop Ruby on Windows. The choice is yours.


  • Installing Ruby - The RubyInstaller team has also provided a collection of tutorials from users who have setup a Ruby environment on Windows. Many of these include common issues experienced during the installation process, as well as the steps for setting up Git, MySQL, SQLite3, etc.
  • Setting Up Git - GitHub has a set of instructions outlining how to setup Git on Windows.
  • Rails Tutorials - Check out the Rails Installation (Windows) video as well as other great resources for learning Rails.
  • Finally, join the RubyInstaller Google Group for any additional questions.

For any current Ruby Windows users, please let us know what issues you’ve experienced and let us know of any tools we may have missed that you’ve found beneficial.


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