Introduction

Ruby is a programming language and development environment. It’s often used in web applications, data analysis, and other general-purpose programming.

This guide will show you two options to install Ruby on a Windows 10 system.

tutorial on installing Ruby on Windows 10

Prerequisites

  • A system running Windows 10, updated to version 2004 (May 2020)
  • A user account with administrator privileges
  • Access to the command line / powershell
    (click Start > type “cmd” > right-click > Run as administrator OR Start > type “powershell” >right-click > Run as administrator)

About Ruby: Ruby was developed under the Linux and macOS architecture. There are two ways to run Ruby on Windows. The more straightforward method is to use the Ruby installer to install all the software packages required. The more robust method is to install the Linux subsystem on Windows 10, then use Linux commands to install Ruby.


Installing Ruby Using the RubyInstaller Tool

This process uses the latest version from the Ruby Developer Download page. There are multiple options on this page.

If the system is used for developing software, or you aren’t sure which to choose, use a version With Devkit (Developer’s Kit). If you only need to run Ruby applications, use the version Without Devkit.

Step 1: Download the RubyInstaller Tool

Use a web browser to navigate to the Download page (linked above). If no specific version is needed, select the bolded option:
Downloading the Ruby installer tool.r
Save the file and remember its location.

Step 2: Run the Ruby Installer

1. Browse to the location of the RubyInstaller tool, and double-click.

2. A Setup dialog launches and displays the License Agreement. Review it, tick the box to accept the agreement, then click Next.

installing ruby from install tool

3. The installer asks to adjust the installation location and associated file types. Leave the defaults selected, unless the system requires differently, then click Install.

Set up destination of ruby installation

4. The system prompts to select components. Leave the default settings, and click Next.

Select components for Ruby installation.

5. The Setup dialog runs for several minutes. When finished, it prompts to “Run ‘ridk install’ to setup MSYS2 and development toolchain.” Leave this checked and click Finish.

ruby install is finished

6. A black command-line-style window appears, labeled RubyInstaller2 for Windows. Select the components to install. Press Enter to install the default tools.

Completing Ruby installation for Windows.

7. Once it finishes, press Enter again for the installer to close.

Step 3: Verify the Ruby Installation

If you have any terminal windows open, close them. Open a new terminal window, and enter the following:

ruby –v

The system displays the current version of Ruby installed on Windows 10.

Check Ruby version to verify install

Installing Ruby with the Linux Subsystem

Step 1: Enable the Windows Linux Subsystem (WSL)

Open a command line, and enter the following command:

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart

The system takes a few moments to enable the feature. Then, make sure to reboot the system for the changes to take place.

Enable the Windows Linux subsystem.

Step 2: Install Linux Distro

1. Once the system reboots, launch the Microsoft Store, click Search, and type Linux. The store lists several different versions of Linux that can run within Windows. If you don’t have a preference, Ubuntu 20.04 is a modern, easy-to-use version.

Searching for Linux in Microsoft Store

2. Select the version, then click Get.

3. The store displays that you now own the software. Select Install. You may be prompted to sign in with a Microsoft account. You may skip signing in.

4. Once the process finishes, you can either click Launch or exit the Microsoft Store.

5. Search for the Ubuntu Linux Subsystem in the Start Menu. Open it to complete the installation.

6. Follow the prompts and set up a user account and password for the Ubuntu subsystem. The output then notifies you have successfully installed Ubuntu.

screenshot of Launching Ubuntu subsystem on Windows


Note: The Linux subsystem includes many tools commonly used in Linux. These include the BASH shell, the APT package manager, and others.


Step 3: Update the Linux Subsystem

When using Linux, it’s essential to update the system and software packages before installing new software.

To update your Linux subsystem, open a command line, and enter the following:

sudo apt update

Allow the process to complete. You may be prompted to confirm the installation of some packages – to do so, type y and Enter.


Note: The sudo command stands for SuperUser DO. It lets you run a single command as an administrator, maintaining security on the system while accessing essential tasks.


Step 4: Install Ruby

Once your Linux subsystem is fully installed and updated, install Ruby by entering the following:

sudo apt install ruby-full

Confirm the installation with y and Enter.

Step 5: Verify the Installation

To verify Ruby was successfully installed on Windows 10, enter the following command:

ruby –v

The system should display the current version of the installed Ruby software.

displaying the current Ruby version installed


Note: There are several ways to install Ruby on an Ubuntu system. To find out more, refer to How to Install Ruby on Ubuntu.


Conclusion

You should now have the Ruby programming language installed on Windows 10. Next, you may want to look into setting up Ruby on Rails.


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