I had a bloody awful Sunday three days ago. I had started work on a new application that had Ruby 3.1 set in its Gemfile and I blithely installed Ruby 3.1 using RVM. And then my life began to suck slimy green toads with errors like this:

/System/Library/Frameworks/Ruby.framework/Versions/2.6/usr/lib/ruby/2.6.0/yaml.rb:3: warning: It seems your ruby installation is missing psych (for YAML output).
To eliminate this warning, please install libyaml and reinstall your ruby.

I'd like to say that I wasn't quite as diligent in fixing this because, well, it was sunday. However, given the readiness by which most of us generally install new versions of ruby, that wasn't it. We simply aren't used to breaking changes with Ruby.

The ctrl blog does a great job of describing this. Thank you. The basic issue is that psych is a low level gem and once it changes, well, your world kind of just breaks.

What I pretty much found out immediately is that every single thing I wanted to do with Ruby just failed:

  • bundle install
  • irb
  • rails c
  • rake
  • And, "drum roll" – changing over to a different ruby

The fact that I couldn't change over to a different ruby basically meant that I was screwed. I don't think that this was intended. And it is entirely possible that this was some kind of whacky interaction on a development system with, ahem, a lot of rubies and crazy legacy conflicts but that is what happened.

Declaring Ruby Bankruptcy

Since I couldn 't change rubies, everything just devolved into an amazing pool of suckitude. Not only couldn't I use Ruby, I couldn't blog, run any of my utility scripts, etc. My final answer was to declare ruby bankruptcy and:

  • delete rvm
  • delete rbenv
  • delete all references to rvm and rbenv from zsh and other profile files
  • reboot
  • rm -rf ~/.rvm
  • rm -rf ~/.rbenv
  • reboot

I've been a long time Ruby user so this process exposed some craziness like 2.3.1 log files owned by root which couldn't be deleted.

Taking a Break

This was the point where I threw my hands up, walked away and decided that it was a bad day for software. My workshop, table saw and the desire to get my hands actually dirty (instead of virtually dirty) took over.

Moving Forward - Separating my 3.1 and 3.1 + Apps from Earlier

After a calming break that involved reducing large pieces of wood to smaller pieces of wood and saw dust, I returned to my computer. My decision was to be a bit more judicious moving forward with how I managed my rubies. Given that you have to have different rubies to work on different projects, I decided:

  • For anything 3.1 or later, I would use RVM to manage the project
  • For anything below 3.1, I would use Rbenv
  • To avoid any conflicts, I would further isolate RVM and Rbenv by NOT having Rbenv fully installed in my shell environment

Note: RVM and Rbenv are software to manage your ruby versions. The issue, particularly on OSX, is that the operating system (OS) generally ships with a version of Ruby designed to run system scripts. As this ruby cannot be replaced since that might break operating system level code, you need a way to isolate application level ruby from OS level ruby. This led to the creation of tools like:

  • RVM
  • Rbenv
  • asdf
  • and others

All of these tools essentially play games with your shell code and pathing to inject a different version of Ruby before the OS level ruby is called. Opinions on which is better vary but I've historically been an RVM guy, mostly, because it is what I used first.

Note: Once you've installed new rubies, you're going to need to also bundle install EVERYTHING all over again because your gem bundles are stored with your rubies.

Installing RVM and Ruby 3.1

RVM can be installed from https://rvm.io with these two commands:

gpg2 --recv-keys 409B6B1796C275462A1703113804BB82D39DC0E3 7D2BAF1CF37B13E2069D6956105BD0E739499BDB
\curl -sSL https://get.rvm.io | bash -s stable 

Once it is installed, I did:

source /Users/sjohnson/.rvm/scripts/rvm
rvm list
rvm install ruby-3.1.2
rvm use ruby-3.1.2

These commands do the following:

  1. Update my existing shell so it can be used with RVM. An alternative is closing the shell and re-opening but I don't like to do that.
  2. See what rubies are available.
  3. Install ruby 3.1.2
  4. Use ruby 3.1.2

Installing Rbenv and Ruby 2.7.1

Rbenv can be installed with:

brew install rbenv ruby-build
eval "$(rbenv init - zsh)"
rbenv install 2.7.1
rbenv versions
rbenv local 2.7.1

This was the process I needed to get Jekyll, my ruby based blogging engine working, but there was an additional wrinkle – bundler:

❯ ruby -v
ruby 2.7.1p83 (2020-03-31 revision a0c7c23c9c) [x86_64-darwin19]

blog on  gh-pages [🤷‍] via 💎 v2.7.1 on ☁️  (us-west-2) 
❯ bundle install
Traceback (most recent call last):
	2: from /Users/sjohnson/.rbenv/versions/2.7.1/bin/bundle:23:in `<main>'
	1: from /Users/sjohnson/.rbenv/versions/2.7.1/lib/ruby/2.7.0/rubygems.rb:294:in `activate_bin_path'
/Users/sjohnson/.rbenv/versions/2.7.1/lib/ruby/2.7.0/rubygems.rb:275:in `find_spec_for_exe': Could not find 'bundler' (1.17.3) required by your /Users/sjohnson/Dropbox/fuzzygroup/blogging/blog/Gemfile.lock. (Gem::GemNotFoundException)
To update to the latest version installed on your system, run `bundle update --bundler`.
To install the missing version, run `gem install bundler:1.17.3`

blog on  gh-pages [🤷‍] via 💎 v2.7.1 on ☁️  (us-west-2) 
❯ gem install bundler:1.17.3
Fetching bundler-1.17.3.gem
Successfully installed bundler-1.17.3
Parsing documentation for bundler-1.17.3
Installing ri documentation for bundler-1.17.3
Done installing documentation for bundler after 2 seconds
1 gem installed

blog on  gh-pages [🤷‍] via 💎 v2.7.1 on ☁️  (us-west-2) took 3s 
❯ bundle install

Final Thoughts

I'm not going to say that this approach is perfect:

  • I have to remember that I'm using two different tools for the same task
  • I have know the commands for both tools
  • I can't use Rbenv without the eval command

The eval command:

eval "$(rbenv init - zsh)"

The benefit tho is that I do have careful isolation between 3.1 and earlier rubies. Yes, I get that this isn't supposed to be necessary – and maybe it was my system that was at fault – but I never want to have to declare Ruby Bankruptcy again.