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rbenv-sudo is a plugin for rbenv that allows you to run rbenv-provided Rubies and Gems from within a sudo session.


It does so by prepending rbenv's bin/ and shims/ directories to a hardcoded representation of root's $PATH. It differs from rvmsudo in that it doesn't pass your present $PATH or any other environment variables over to the sudo session, in the hope of damage limitation.

It will function with the common sudo configuration of:

Defaults env_reset, secure_path

rbenv-sudo should still be used with some caution. Bear in mind that any Rubies, Gems or other binary shims, could maliciously take precedence over system binaries of the same name.


  1. Setup rbenv
  2. Make sure you have a plugins directory:

    mkdir ~/.rbenv/plugins
  3. Clone rbenv-sudo into the plugins directory:

    git clone git:// ~/.rbenv/plugins/rbenv-sudo


Prefix your use of sudo with the rbenv command:

$ rbenv sudo chef-solo --version
Chef: 0.10.8
$ rbenv sudo ruby --version
ruby 1.9.3p0 (2011-10-30 revision 33570) [x86_64-linux]
$ rbenv sudo ruby -e "puts Process.uid"


This code is provided under the MIT license.