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Note: Due to Apple’s abandonment of the Objective-C Garbage Collector (libauto) which MacRuby relied heavily on, future development of MacRuby is on an indefinite hiatus. If you would like to develop applications for iOS and OS X please check out RubyMotion, the spiritual successor to the MacRuby project.

MacRuby is a Ruby implementation based on Mac OS X technologies, such as the Objective-C runtime and garbage collector, the CoreFoundation framework and the LLVM compiler infrastructure.

It is the goal of MacRuby to enable the creation of full-fledged Mac OS X applications which do not sacrifice performance in order to enjoy the benefits of using Ruby.

MacRuby is copyrighted free software by the MacRuby team and covered by the terms of the Ruby license. Please refer to the COPYING file for more information.

The project website contains more documentation, such as tutorials and guides:


  • An Intel 64-bit machine. PowerPC and Intel 32-bit machines are not supported anymore, but may still work.

  • Mac OS X 10.6 or later.

  • LLVM ToT, compiled for x86_64.

    LLVM is a moving target and breaks periodically. We recommend to install revision 127367 of branch 2.9, being sure to specify the correct C and C++ compilers through environment variables.

    $ svn co llvm-2.9
    $ cd llvm-2.9
    $ env CC=/usr/bin/gcc CXX=/usr/bin/g++ ./configure --enable-bindings=none --enable-optimized --with-llvmgccdir=/tmp
    $ env CC=/usr/bin/gcc CXX=/usr/bin/g++ make
    $ sudo env CC=/usr/bin/gcc CXX=/usr/bin/g++ make install

    Note that compiling LLVM can take quite a while. If you have a machine with multiple cores, which is quite likely, you might want to speed up the process by using all/more cores. However, doing this can make your machine unresponsive during compilation. To use multiple cores pass the `-j N' option, where `N' stands for the number of cores you'd like to use. So for a Core Duo the command would look like:

    $ env CC=/usr/bin/gcc CXX=/usr/bin/g++ make -j2

    If you would prefer to update an existing LLVM Subversion working copy you need to be careful to remove any previous build files before you compile:

    $ svn status --no-ignore | awk '{print $2}' | xargs rm -rf
    $ svn revert -R .
    $ svn switch <repository-URL>

Note for using Xcode 4.3 (or later)

If you use the Xcode 4.3 (or later), you might need to configure Xcode path before installing MacRuby:

$ sudo xcode-select -switch /Applications/

Build Instructions

You can build MacRuby by doing the following command:

$ rake

Or, as with LLVM, you can specify the amount of jobs to run simultaneously:

$ rake jobs=2

Once done, you can run the RubySpec-based regression tests as well as the performance suite:

$ rake spec:ci
$ rake bench:ci

To install MacRuby on your machine:

$ sudo rake install # --quiet

Then you should be all set! Please report us any problem you will find (the website has pointers). Thanks!


Once you've made your great commits:

  1. Fork MacRuby

  2. Create a topic branch - git checkout -b my_branch

  3. Push to your branch - git push origin my_branch

  4. Create a pull request:

  5. That's it!