A compile command for macgem
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A set of rubygems commands for macgem that interface with the MacRuby compiler. This gem requires MacRuby 0.11 or newer.

All you need to do is:

sudo macgem install rubygems-compile

And then you're off to the races!



Can be used to compile, or re-compile, any gems that are already installed.

sudo macgem compile nokogiri                        # Compile gems based on names you provide
sudo macgem compile minitest --version 2.0.2        # Compile a specific version of a gem
sudo macgem compile --all                           # Compile all installed gems
sudo macgem compile rspec --no-ignore-dependencies  # Also compile dependencies


Can be used to remove the compiled .rbo files if a gem does not work well when compiled. If you find a gem that does not work when compiled, it would be greatly appreciated if you reported it here or to the MacRuby project itself so that someone can look into the problem.

sudo macgem uncompile nokogiri                        # Uncompile gems based on names you provide
sudo macgem uncompile minitest --version 2.0.2        # Compile a specific version of a gem
sudo macgem uncompile --all                           # Uncompile all installed gems
sudo macgem uncompile rspec --no-ignore-dependencies  # Also uncompile dependencies


If you don't like the idea of calling compile each time you install a gem, then you can use auto_compile to enable a post-install hook that will automatically compile gems when they are installed. You can call auto_compile a second time to turn off the feature.

sudo macgem auto_compile  # gems will compiled when you install them
sudo macgem auto_compile  # gems will not be compiled when you install them


  • Large gems will take a long time to compile, but these are the gems that will benefit the most from being compiled so please be patient
  • This has only been tested on a few gems, but should not break existing gems since we leave the original files around
  • At the moment, compiled gems will not provide usable backtraces
    • If you suspect a bug in the way MacRuby compiled a file, try running with pre-compiled files disabled like so: VM_DISABLE_RBO=1 macruby my_code.rb
  • .rbo files take up more disk space than their .rb equivalents

Known Issues

  • Source files using a non-standard suffix (e.g. mime-types has a .rb.data file) will not get compiled
    • This might be addressable in a later release, but is not a big deal
  • Gems that explicitly require a file with the file suffix (e.g. require 'nokogiri.rb') will never load the compiled version of the file
    • This issue may be addressed in MacRuby itself in the near future
    • Alternatively, those gems should be updated so that compiled code can be loaded


  • Parallel compilation to speed up compilation of large gems
    • This might require changes in the MacRuby compiler


Copyright (c) 2011-2012 Mark Rada. See LICENSE.txt for further details.