RVM, my love, I must leave thee. And faster Ruby too!


I’ve been in a very passionate relationship with RVM, as have many others (it gets around, see) and I’ve seen a growing interest in a more attractive, “modest is hottest” alternative called rbenv. I thought they were fools at first, RVM has been nothing but pure joy for me. Until…

See, RVM fit two awesome needs: gemsets and managed ruby versions. Gemsets allowed me to stay away from the dreaded bundle exec preceeding my every command, as well as “blah blah gem version blah has already been activated!” errors. But gemsets also cause you to re-download every gem for every project, which began to wear on me. It was slow, and eating into my GB’s. But, it turns out the the bundle exec thing has been solved and with that, it’s a no brainer. I dumped RVM and rbenv is my new best friend. Fair-weather friend, indeed. Much lighter-weight and they tell me it’s safer for some reason, which I blindly accept.

I view this also from a teaching perspective. I run a Ruby on Rails student group at the University of Utah and teaching RVM, and in particular gemsets, is a friggin’ nightmare for beginners. rbenv + rbenv-bundler is a much cleaner option that is less likely to catch up beginners and experts alike. Set it and forget it! (I love that this video is a youtube video of a youtube video.)

As an aside, I found this really cool gist that installs a souped-up version of Ruby that runs about 30% faster. Again, that time adds up with how slow Rails is these days. I found my speed-up to be consistent with that gist. A win-win.