A rake task generator to help with building/packaging/deploying Ruby applications for release (builds for win32/OS X and source, building on all platforms).
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Releasy automates the release of Ruby applications, such as games or GUI applications, for non-Ruby users. By configuring a {Releasy::Project} in your application's Rakefile, Releasy can generate Rake tasks for use when there is a need to build, package (archive) and/or deploy a new version of the application.

Features and Limitations


  • Package up Ruby applications (Games, GUI applications, etc.) for non-ruby users.
  • Build OS X application bundle (.app) on any platform.
  • Build Windows executable (.exe) on any platform.
  • Build Windows installer (Windows only).
  • Build, package (compress) and deploy your executables for all platforms from a single rake command ('rake deploy').


  • Building Windows executable on non-Windows systems will not work with compiled gems that aren't published as pre-compiled for Windows (i386-mingw or x86-mingw).
  • Building OS X apps on non-OS X systems will not currently work with compiled gems at all (other than Gosu, Chipmunk & TexPlay).
  • One or more external applications need to be installed, separate to the Releasy gem (see below for details).
  • :windows_wrapped executable with Ruby 1.8.7, 1.9.2 and 1.9.3 only.
  • :osx_app executable with Ruby 1.9.2 only.


gem install releasy


Project's Rakefile

require 'rubygems'
require 'bundler/setup' # Releasy requires require that your application uses bundler.
require 'releasy'

Releasy::Project.new do
  name "My Application"
  version "1.3.2"
  verbose # Can be removed if you don't want to see all build messages.

  executable "bin/my_application.rb"
  files "lib/**/*.rb", "config/**/*.yml", "media/**/*.*"
  exposed_files "README.html", "LICENSE.txt"
  add_link "http://my_application.github.com", "My Application website"
  exclude_encoding # Applications that don't use advanced encoding (e.g. Japanese characters) can save build size with this.

  # Create a variety of releases, for all platforms.
  add_build :osx_app do
    url "com.github.my_application"
    wrapper "wrappers/gosu-mac-wrapper-0.7.41.tar.gz" # Assuming this is where you downloaded this file.
    icon "media/icon.icns"
    add_package :tar_gz

  add_build :source do
    add_package :"7z"

  # If building on a Windows machine, :windows_folder and/or :windows_installer are recommended.
  add_build :windows_folder do
    icon "media/icon.ico"
    executable_type :windows # Assuming you don't want it to run with a console window.
    add_package :exe # Windows self-extracting archive.

  add_build :windows_installer do
    icon "media/icon.ico"
    start_menu_group "Spooner Games"
    readme "README.html" # User asked if they want to view readme after install.
    license "LICENSE.txt" # User asked to read this and confirm before installing.
    executable_type :windows # Assuming you don't want it to run with a console window.
    add_package :zip

  # If unable to build on a Windows machine, :windows_wrapped is the only choice.
  add_build :windows_wrapped do
    wrapper "wrappers/ruby-1.9.3-p0-i386-mingw32.7z" # Assuming this is where you downloaded this file.
    executable_type :windows # Assuming you don't want it to run with a console window.
    exclude_tcl_tk # Assuming application doesn't use Tcl/Tk, then it can save a lot of size by using this.
    add_package :zip

  add_deploy :github # Upload to a github project.

Tasks created

Note: The windows:folder, windows:installer and windows:standalone will be created only if running on Windows. The windows:wrapped task will not be created if running on Windows.

The output from "rake -T" on Windows would be:

rake build                                # Build My Application 1.3.2
rake build:osx                            # Build all osx
rake build:osx:app                        # Build OS X app
rake build:source                         # Build source
rake build:windows                        # Build all windows
rake build:windows:folder                 # Build windows folder
rake build:windows:installer              # Build windows installer
rake deploy                               # Deploy My Application 1.3.2
rake deploy:osx:app:tar_gz:github         # github <= osx app .tar.gz
rake deploy:source:7z:github              # github <= source .7z
rake deploy:windows:folder:exe:github     # github <= windows folder .exe
rake deploy:windows:installer:zip:github  # github <= windows installer .zip
rake package                              # Package My Application 1.3.2
rake package:osx:app:tar_gz               # Package osx app .tar.gz
rake package:source:7z                    # Package source .7z
rake package:windows:folder:exe           # Package windows folder .exe
rake package:windows:installer:zip        # Package windows installer .zip

A variety of unlisted tasks are also created, that allow for more control, such as deploy:github (Deploy all packages to Github only), deploy:windows:folder (deploy all windows folder packages all destinations) or package:windows (Package all windows builds).

Build types supported

The project can build one or more release folders:

  • :source
    • Plain source folder, which can be used by anyone with Ruby already installed.
    • See {Releasy::Builders::Source}
  • :osx_app
    • OS X application bundle (.app) build, requiring a pre-made Ruby OS X wrapper. Note that this only contains binary gems for Gosu, TexPlay and Chipmunk, but will work with applications using any other source gems.
    • See {Releasy::Builders::OsxApp}
  • :windows_folder
    • A folder containing Ruby, application source files and an EXE to run them.
    • Available on Windows only.
    • See {Releasy::Builders::WindowsFolder}
  • :windows_wrapped
    • A folder containing Ruby, application source files and an EXE to run them, requiring a copy of a RubyInstaller archive.
    • Available on OS X and Linux only.
    • Creates larger release than other Windows build options.
    • See {Releasy::Builders::WindowsWrapped}
  • :windows_installer
    • A Windows installer.
    • Available on Windows only and requires InnoSetup to be installed.
    • See {Releasy::Builders::WindowsInstaller}
  • :windows_standalone
    • Standalone EXE file that self-extracts to a temporary directory, which is the default behaviour for Ocra.
    • Available on Windows only.
    • Slower startup than the other Windows build options (up to 2s slower).
    • See {Releasy::Builders::WindowsStandalone}

See {Releasy::Project#add_build}

Package types supported

Optionally, release folders can be packaged into an archive using one or more of:

  • :"7z"
    • 7Zip format (.7z - Best compression).
    • See {Releasy::Packagers::SevenZip}
  • :dmg
    • OS X self-extractor (.dmg - requires hdiutil to be installed, so only available on OS X).
    • Available on OS X only (hdiutils command required).
    • See {Releasy::Packagers::Dmg}
  • :exe
    • Windows self-extractor (.exe - Includes a 7z decompression module, so not efficient for small releases).
    • See {Releasy::Packagers::Exe}
  • :tar_bz2
    • Bzip2 tarball (.tar.bz2).
    • See {Releasy::Packagers::TarBzip2}
  • :tar_gz
    • Gzip tarball (.tar.gz).
    • See {Releasy::Packagers::TarGzip}
  • :zip
    • Standard zip format (.zip - Poor compression, but best compatibility).
    • See {Releasy::Packagers::Zip}

See {Releasy::Mixins::HasPackagers#add_package}

Deploy types supported

Optionally, packaged releases can be deployed using one or more of:

  • :github
    • Upload to a Github project's downloads page.
    • See {Releasy::Deployers::Github}
  • :local
    • Copy files locally, for example into a local web server or dropbox folder.
    • See {Releasy::Deployers::Local}
  • :rsync
    • Upload to remote server with rsync (requires 'rsync' command be installed).
    • See {Releasy::Deployers::Rsync}

See {Releasy::Project#add_deploy}

CLI Commands

Releasy also provides some supplementary commands:

  • releasy install-sfx [options] - Installs a copy of the Windows self-extractor in the local 7z installation, to allow use of the :exe archive format (it comes with the Windows version of 7z, so only need to use this command on OS X/Linux).

External Requirements


The 7z command must be installed on your system for Releasy to work:

  • OS X homebrew:

    brew install p7zip
  • Ubuntu/Debian:

    sudo apt-get install p7zip-full
  • Windows

    • 32-bit

      • 7z 32-bit executable included in gem.
    • 64-bit

      • 7z 32-bit executable included in gem, which will work fine.
      • If compression/decompression speed is really important to you, install the 64-bit .msi version of 7-Zip
  • Other OS

To build :windows_installer release (Windows only)

InnoSetup is used to create an installer for the application.

To build :windows_wrapped release (OS X/Linux)

RubyInstaller 7-ZIP archives for Ruby 1.8.7, 1.9.2 or 1.9.3. Used as a wrapper for a Windows release built on non-Windows systems.

To build :osx_app application bundle release (any platform)

libgosu app wrapper. Latest version of the OS X-compatible wrapper is "gosu-mac-wrapper-0.7.44.tar.gz" which uses Ruby 1.9.2 and includes some binary gems: Gosu, Chipmunk and TexPlay.

Warning: "gosu-mac-0.7.44.tar.gz" is NOT the complete OS X app wrapper, but rather just the Gosu gem pre-compiled for OS X!

Similar tools

  • Ocra: Builds standalone Windows executable or a Windows installer. Releasy uses Ocra, but greatly extends its capabilities.

    • Advantages: Creating a standalone executable requires just a simple command.
    • Disadvantages: Can't build except on Windows; standalone executable slow to load; more difficult to create an installer.
  • Crate: Cross-platform executable builder.

    • Advantages: Probably faster to load, since all source files are stored in an SQLite database; works anywhere Ruby can be compiled.
    • Disadvantages: Requires C compiler; not compatible with Ruby 1.9; may not be supported any more.
  • exerb-mingw

    • Advantages: Unsure.
    • Disadvantages: Unsure; no English documentation; may not be supported any more.
  • rubyscript2exe: Builds a standalone Windows executable.

    • Advantages: None.
    • Disadvantages: Not compatible with Ruby 1.9; may not be supported any more.


  • Thanks to jlnr for creating "RubyGosu App.app", an OS X application bundle used to wrap application code.
  • Thanks to larsh for the Ocra gem, which is used for generating Win32 executables.
  • Thanks to jlnr, SukiSan and shawn42 for help testing on OS X; without you I would have been screwed!
  • Thanks to shawn42 and everyone at #gosu and #ruby (irc.freenode.org) for suggestions on how to improve the API.
  • Thanks to kyrylo for coming up with the name, Releasy!

Third Party Assets included

  • bin/7z.sfx - Windows 7-ZIP self-extractor module, which can be installed using releasy install-sfx [License: GNU LGPL]
  • bin/7za.exe - Windows 7-ZIP CLI executable.