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Packs your Ruby project into a self-contained archive with gems and a Ruby runtime
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Tara packs your application into a gzipped TAR archive along with a complete Ruby runtime and all of the necessary gems.

To accomplish this, Tara uses the already packaged Ruby binaries and native gems provided by Phusion's Traveling Ruby project. If you're not familiar with the Traveling Ruby project I encourage you to check out their repo for more information and motivation on why it exists.


Add tara to your Gemfile, do a simple bundle install and you're good to go:

group :development do
  gem 'tara'


Tara uses Bundler to install your gem's dependecies, and without it Tara won't work.

Additionally, if you're using gems with native extensions, Tara needs to be able to download a precompiled version of those gems. See Traveling Ruby's tutorial on native extensions for more information about gems with native extensions and how they work with Traveling Ruby. Examples of gems with native extensions are thin, eventmachine and sqlite3.

Tara will automatically find gems with native extensions and attempt to download a precompiled version. and in the case that the specific version doesn't exist it'll raise an error and thus refuse to build an archive at all.


Tara is currently intended to be used from code, for example in a Rakefile or a Thor app, or whatever your preference is.

Below is a minimal code example for creating an archive in a Rake task:

task :build do

This will package your application into an archive in build/<app>.tgz, including all gems not in the development or test groups. By default the created archive will be for Linux x64. If you want to build it for some other platform, such as Mac OS X, all you have to do is to pass the target option to Tara::Archive#new:

task :build do 'osx').create

By default Tara will include all Ruby files in lib, though it's possible to override which files that'll be included by passing the files option with a list of globs to

One might run into issues when running Bundler while packaging an application, and it might be related to the global Bundler configuration. If that is the case then one can choose to ignore the global Bundler configuration by passing the bundle_ignore_config.


Due to how archives are packaged, executables (scripts usually placed in the bin directory) have to be "wrapped" in yet another script that uses the packaged Ruby library.

Tara will automatically create wrapper scripts for executables in the bin directory, and it'll assume that they are Ruby-only scripts (i.e. not Bash scripts or whatnot). I'd recommend to use a #!/usr/bin/env ruby shebang).

Executables placed at the top-level of a repository is currently not supported, as it's far from standard and causes some issues when creating the archive as the wrapper scripts are placed at the top-level of the archive, effectively overwriting the script that they're wrapping.

At this time it is not possible to supply your own wrapper scripts, but it'll most likely be possible in future releases.

Jara compatibility

Jara is a tool that creates clean artifacts from Git repositories and publishes them to S3, and Tara includes an Archiver class that is compatible with Jara.

Using Tara with Jara is as simple as:

task :build do
  archiver =
  releaser = Jarå'production', 'artifact-bucket', archiver: archiver)

The Archiver class accepts the same options as the Archive class does.


© 2015 Mathias Söderberg, see LICENSE.txt (BSD 3-Clause).

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