Installing Ruby 1.8.6 And RubyGems On OSX (Snow Leopard) With RVM

RubyGems no longer supports Ruby v1.8.6, so when I tried to install 1.8.6 on my Macbook, via RVM, I ran into this nice little error message:

Screen shot 2011 03 14 at 8 49 58 AM

The interesting bit is that ruby itself installed. It’s only RubyGems that didn’t install correctly. Parts of rubygems were installed, and I could run the “gem” command, but I would get errors with any ruby code that needed rubygems to be around.

The fix is pretty simple: install a compatible version of rubygems, manually.

Head over to and grab the version of rubygems that you want. I went with 1.4.2 even though the blog post I linked to says it won’t work. It does. Drop the .tgz file on your computer somewhere and unpack it:

tar xvf rubygems-1.4.2-tgz

Then be sure you are using the correct version of ruby in rvm:

rvm use 1.8.6

And install rubygems:

cd rubygems-1.4.2
ruby setup.rb

and that’s it! I now have ruby 1.8.6 with rubygems 1.4.2 running on OSX. I’ve installed gems and verified that my apps work, too.

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