Troubleshooting ruby build

Have you found problems building ruby on a local machine? How to configure your local environment once and for all?

Failed to build ruby

Building ruby is dependent on several key elements: build tools, compilers, linkers, also shared libraries like openssl, libyaml, readline and etc. And we need to help ruby-build to find all those tools and libraries.

The shared solution is designed for macOS with Homebrew.

Install system packages

brew install gmp libyaml rbenv readline zlib

As a bonus, it will also install Xcode Command Line Tools.

Preconfigure ruby-build

  --with-libyaml-dir=$(brew --prefix libyaml) \
  --with-zlib-dir=$(brew --prefix zlib) \

Install Ruby 3.1+

brew install openssl@3 rust 
export RUBY_CONFIGURE_OPTS="$RUBY_CONFIGURE_OPTS --with-openssl-dir=$(brew --prefix openssl@3)"
rbenv install 3.2.0-preview2

Note: We need rust for the new YJIT.

Install Ruby 2.x-3.x

brew install [email protected]
export RUBY_CONFIGURE_OPTS="$RUBY_CONFIGURE_OPTS --with-openssl-dir=$(brew --prefix [email protected])"
rbenv install 2.7.5

(Optional) Let’s add Jemalloc

To enable Jemalloc we need to do next before ruby installation:

brew install jemalloc

export LDFLAGS="$LDFLAGS -L$(brew --prefix jemalloc)/lib"
export CPPFLAGS="$CPPFLAGS -I$(brew --prefix jemalloc)/include"
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="$(brew --prefix jemalloc)/lib/pkgconfig:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH"



Best place to have ENV configuration

All those settings are better placed in .profile, .bashenv or .zshenv, then you do not need to recall them each time you install or reinstall ruby.

My .zshenv looks like:

## Make: tune conf

export MAKEOPTS="-j 10" # increases the number of parallel build processes

## Build Ruby configuration

  --disable-install-doc \
  --with-jemalloc \
  --with-libyaml-dir=/opt/homebrew/opt/libyaml \
  --with-openssl-dir=/opt/homebrew/opt/openssl@3 \
  --with-zlib-dir=/opt/homebrew/opt/zlib \
  --without-tcl \
  --without-tk \

## Jemalloc

export LDFLAGS="-L/opt/homebrew/opt/jemalloc/lib $LDFLAGS"
export CPPFLAGS="-I/opt/homebrew/opt/jemalloc/include $CPPFLAGS"
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="/opt/homebrew/opt/jemalloc/lib/pkgconfig:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH"


## Openssl

export PATH="/opt/homebrew/opt/openssl@3/bin:$PATH"
export LIBRARY_PATH="/opt/homebrew/opt/openssl@3/lib:$LIBRARY_PATH"

export LDFLAGS="-L/opt/homebrew/opt/openssl@3/lib $LDFLAGS"
export CPPFLAGS="-I/opt/homebrew/opt/openssl@3/include $CPPFLAGS"
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="/opt/homebrew/opt/openssl@3/lib/pkgconfig:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH"

## Readline

export LDFLAGS="-L/opt/homebrew/opt/readline/lib $LDFLAGS"
export CPPFLAGS="-I/opt/homebrew/opt/readline/include $CPPFLAGS"
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="/opt/homebrew/opt/readline/lib/pkgconfig:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH"


ruby-build Wiki is good to learn.

Paul Keen is an Open Source Contributor and a Chief Technology Officer at JetThoughts. Follow him on LinkedIn or GitHub.

If you enjoyed this story, we recommend reading our latest tech stories and trending tech stories.