Rubygems binary repository for Arch Linux
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Rubygems binary packages repository a.k.a Quarry

Quarry is a tool that manages a rubygems binary repository for Arch Linux. The binary packages repository is hosted at; currently only 64 bit is supported. If you want to use the quarry repository, add the following lines to /etc/pacman.conf:

Server =

Unlike packages from the AUR, using the binary repository is better because:

  • installing packages from binary repo is much easier and faster.
  • quarry packs the minimal set of files needed for a user. E.g. rubygems with native extensions contain 3 (three!) copies of the same *.so files, rubygems install a lot of garbage such as test file, readmes, etc..
  • quarry handles dependencies correctly.
  • a new version appears in the Arch repo soon after it is published in rubygems, we are talking about hours latency here.

Quarry tool internals

Source code is hosted at github and released under the GPL3 license.

Quarry manages gems listed in the whitelist_packages file, plus all dependencies of these packages. If you want to see your package in the binary repo add it to

Converting a gem into a binary Arch package is simple and straightforward for most gems. Some rubygems need additional configuration. This specific information is stored in config.pkg/$PACKAGE.yaml config files. These are YAML files with the following fields:

  • depends - array of additional dependencies. Quarry extracts ruby dependencies from the gem specification file, but if you want to add native dependencies you should list them here.
  • makedepends - array of additional makedepends.
  • optdepends - a map of optional dependencies. It has the same structure as PKGBUILD optdepends field - (dependency, description).
  • include - by default Quarry copies only bin and lib gem directories. If you want to copy other files/directories then add them here.
  • exclude - exclude the list of directories from the final package. Is useful to exclude default directories such as lib. e.g. some gems do not contain directory lib despite Rubygem says otherwise. exclude property helps Quarry to avoid copying (and failing) such unexistent directories.
  • rename - a map of pairs that rename files in /usr/bin/. Most rubygems files are kept in rubygems specific folders under /usr/lib/ruby/gems. But some rubygems create files under /usr/bin and such files can conflict with popular packages. To avoid this we added a mechanism to prevent conflict by renaming files in /usr/bin. This config option is a map of 'from_name: to_name' renames.
  • gem_install_args - additional arguments used during the gem install step. It can be useful to pass parameters like --use-system-libraries

If the slot version has no config then it checks config for a less specific slot. E.g. if there was a slot version rails-3.2.6 then it would check configs for rails-3.2.6, rails-3.2, rails-3, rails until it finds an existing file.

If a gem requires patching then you can add a $PACKAGE.patch file and it will be applied automatically before installing the gem.

File rebuild_packages contains a list of gems to force rebuild with new pkgrel. It might be useful if e.g. configuration for the gem has changed.