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Ruby-Interactive-ruBy -- Yet another interactive Ruby shell
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by Lin Jen-Shin (godfat)



Ruby-Interactive-ruBy -- Yet another interactive Ruby shell

Rib is based on the design of ripl and the work of ripl-rc, some of the features are also inspired by pry. The aim of Rib is to be fully featured and yet very easy to opt-out or opt-in other features. It shall be simple, lightweight and modular so that everyone could customize Rib.


  • Tested with MRI (official CRuby), Rubinius and JRuby.
  • All gem dependencies are optional, but it's highly recommended to use Rib with bond for tab completion.


gem install rib



As an interactive shell

As IRB (reads ~/.rib/config.rb writes ~/.rib/history.rb)


As Rails console

rib rails

You could also run in production and pass arguments normally as you'd do in rails console or ./script/console

rib rails production --sandbox --debugger

Note: You might need to add ruby-debug or ruby-debug19 to your Gemfile if you're passing --debugger and using bundler together.

For Rails Spring support, put this line in your ~/.spring.rb:

require 'rib/extra/spring'

As Ramaze console

rib ramaze

As Rack console

rib rack

As a console for whichever the app in the current path it should be (for now, it's either Rails, Ramaze or Rack)

rib auto

If you're trying to use rib auto for a Rails app, you could also pass arguments as if you were using rib rails. rib auto is merely passing arguments.

rib auto production --sandbox --debugger

As a fully featured interactive Ruby shell (as ripl-rc)

rib all

As a fully featured app console (yes, some commands could be used together)

rib all auto # or `rib auto all`, the order doesn't really matter

You can customize Rib's behaviour by setting a config file located at ~/.rib/config.rb or ~/.config/rib/config.rb, or $RIB_HOME/config.rb by setting $RIB_HOME environment variable. Since it's merely a Ruby script which would be loaded into memory before launching Rib shell session, You can put any customization or monkey patch there. Personally, I use all plugins provided by Rib.

My Personal ~/.config/rib/config

As you can see, putting require 'rib/all' into config file is exactly the same as running rib all without a config file. What rib all would do is merely require the file, and that file is also merely requiring all plugins, but without extra plugins, which you should enable them one by one. This is because most extra plugins are depending on other gems, or hard to work with other plugins, or having strong personal tastes, so you won't want to enable them all. Suppose you only want to use the core plugins and color plugin, you'll put this into your config file:

require 'rib/core'
require 'rib/more/color'

You can also write your plugins there. Here's another example:

require 'rib/core'
require 'pp'
Rib.config[:prompt] = '$ '

module RibPP
  Rib::Shell.send(:include, self)

  def format_result result
    result_prompt + result.pretty_inspect

So that we override the original format_result to pretty_inspect the result. You can also build your own gem and then simply require it in your config file. To see a list of overridable API, please read api.rb

Basic configuration

Rib.config Functionality
ENV['RIB_HOME'] Specify where Rib should store config and history
Rib.config[:config] The path where config should be located
Rib.config[:name] The name of this shell
Rib.config[:result_prompt] Default is "=>"
Rib.config[:prompt] Default is ">>"
Rib.config[:binding] Context, default: TOPLEVEL_BINDING
Rib.config[:exit] Commands to exit, default [nil] # control+d

Plugin specific configuration

Rib.config Functionality
Rib.config[:completion] Completion: Bond config
Rib.config[:history_file] Default is "~/.rib/config/history.rb"
Rib.config[:history_size] Default is 500
Rib.config[:color] A hash of Class => :color mapping
Rib.config[:autoindent_spaces] How to indent? Default is two spaces: ' '

List of core plugins

require 'rib/core' # You get all of the followings:
  • require 'rib/core/completion'

    Completion from bond.

  • require 'rib/core/history'

    Remember history in a history file.

  • require 'rib/core/strip_backtrace'

    Strip backtrace before Rib.

  • require 'rib/core/readline'

    Readline support.

  • require 'rib/core/multiline'

    You can interpret multiple lines.

  • require 'rib/core/squeeze_history'

    Remove duplicated input from history.

  • require 'rib/core/underscore'

    Save the last result in _ and the last exception in __.

List of more plugins

require 'rib/more' # You get all of the followings:
  • require 'rib/more/multiline_history_file'

    Not only readline could have multiline history, but also the history file.

  • require 'rib/more/bottomup_backtrace'

    Show backtrace bottom-up instead of the regular top-down.

  • require 'rib/more/color'

    Class based colorizing.

  • require 'rib/more/multiline_history'

    Make readline aware of multiline history.

  • require 'rib/more/anchor'

    See As a debugging/interacting tool.

  • require 'rib/more/edit'

    See In place editing.

List of extra plugins

There's no require 'rib/extra' for extra plugins because they might not be doing what you would expect or want, or having an external dependency, or having conflicted semantics.

  • require 'rib/extra/autoindent' This plugin is depending on:

    1. readline_buffer
    2. readline plugin
    3. multiline plugin

    Which would autoindent your input.

  • require 'rib/extra/hirb' This plugin is depending on:

    1. hirb

    Which would print the result with hirb.

  • require 'rib/extra/debugger' This plugin is depending on:

    1. debugger

    Which introduces Rib.debug, which would do similar things as Rib.anchor but only more powerful. However, this is not well tested and might not work well. Please let me know if you have any issue using it, thanks!

  • require 'rib/extra/paging' This plugin is depending on less and tput.

    Which would pass the result to less (or $PAGER if set) if the result string is longer than the screen.

  • require 'rib/extra/spring' in your ~/.spring.rb for Rails Spring support.

As a debugging/interacting tool

Rib could be used as a kind of debugging tool which you can set break point in the source program.

require 'rib/config' # This would load your Rib config
require 'rib/more/anchor'
                     # If you enabled anchor in config, then needed not
Rib.anchor binding   # This would give you an interactive shell
                     # when your program has been executed here.
Rib.anchor 123       # You can also anchor on an object.

But this might be called in a loop, you might only want to enter the shell under certain circumstance, then you'll do:

require 'rib/debug'
Rib.enable_anchor do
  # Only `Rib.anchor` called in the block would launch a shell

Rib.anchor binding # No effect (no-op) outside the block

Anchor could also be nested. The level would be shown on the prompt, starting from 1.

In place editing

Whenever you called:

require 'rib/more/edit'

Rib would open an editor according to $EDITOR (ENV['EDITOR']) for you. By default it would pick vim if no $EDITOR was set. After save and leave the editor, Rib would evaluate what you had input. This also works inside an anchor. To use it, require either rib/more/edit or rib/more or rib/all.

As a shell framework

The essence is:

require 'rib'

All others are optional. The core plugins are lying in rib/core/*.rb, and more plugins are lying in rib/more/*.rb. You can read rib/app/ramaze.rb and bin/rib-ramaze as a Rib App reference implementation, because it's very simple, simpler than rib-rails.

Other plugins and apps

  • rest-more rib rest-core Run as interactive rest-core client
  • rib-heroku rib heroku Run console on Heroku Cedar with your config


  • Andrew Liu (@eggegg)
  • ayaya (@ayamomiji)
  • Lin Jen-Shin (@godfat)
  • Mr. Big Cat (@miaout17)
  • @bootleq
  • @tka


Apache License 2.0

Copyright (c) 2011-2016, Lin Jen-Shin (godfat)

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

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