Simple and opinionated helper for creating and managing Rubygem projects on GitHub
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Jeweler: Craft the perfect RubyGem

Jeweler provides two things:

  • Rake tasks for managing gems and versioning of a GitHub project
  • A generator for creating kickstarting a new project

Quick Links


# Install the gem:
sudo gem install jeweler

Using in an existing project

It's easy to get up and running. Update your Rakefile to instantiate a Jeweler::Tasks, and give it a block with details about your project.

  require 'jeweler' do |gemspec| = "the-perfect-gem"
    gemspec.summary = "TODO" = ""
    gemspec.homepage = ""
    gemspec.description = "TODO"
    gemspec.authors = ["Josh Nichols"]
rescue LoadError
  puts "Jeweler not available. Install it with: sudo gem install technicalpickles-jeweler -s"

The yield object here, gemspec, is a Gem::Specification object. See the Customizing your project's gem specification for more details about how you can customize your gemspec.

Using to start a new project

Jeweler provides a generator. It requires you to setup your name and email for git and your username and token for GitHub.

jeweler the-perfect-gem

This will prepare a project in the 'the-perfect-gem' directory, setup to use Jeweler.

It supports a number of options:

  • --create-repo: in addition to preparing a project, it create an repo up on GitHub and enable RubyGem generation
  • --testunit: generate test_helper.rb and test ready for test/unit
  • --minitest: generate test_helper.rb and test ready for minitest
  • --shoulda: generate test_helper.rb and test ready for shoulda (this is the default)
  • --rspec: generate spec_helper.rb and spec ready for rspec
  • --bacon: generate spec_helper.rb and spec ready for bacon
  • --rubyforge: setup releasing to rubyforge

Default options

Jeweler respects the JEWELER_OPTS environment variable. Want to always use RSpec, and you're using bash? Add this to ~/.bashrc:

export JEWELER_OPTS="--rspec"


Jeweler handles generating a gemspec file for your project:

rake gemspec

This creates a gemspec for your project. It's based on the info you give Jeweler::Tasks, the current version of your project, and some defaults that Jeweler provides.


Jeweler gives you tasks for building and installing your gem:

rake build
rake install


Jeweler tracks the version of your project. It assumes you will be using a version in the format x.y.z. x is the 'major' version, y is the 'minor' version, and z is the patch version.

Initially, your project starts out at 0.0.0. Jeweler provides Rake tasks for bumping the version:

rake version:bump:major
rake version:bump:minor
rake version:bump:patch

Releasing to GitHub

Jeweler handles releasing your gem into the wild:

rake release

It does the following for you:

  • Regenerate the gemspec to the latest version of your project
  • Push to GitHub (which results in a gem being build)
  • Tag the version and push to GitHub

Releasing to RubyForge

Jeweler can also handle releasing to RubyForge. There are a few steps you need to do before doing any RubyForge releases with Jeweler:

  • Create an account on RubyForge
  • Request a project on RubyForge. This involves waiting for a project approval, which can take any amount of time from a few hours to a week
    • You might want to create an umbrella project where you can publish your gems, instead of one project per gem
  • Install the RubyForge gem: sudo gem install rubyforge
  • Run 'rubyforge setup' and fill in your username and password for RubyForge
  • Run 'rubyforge config' to pull down information about your projects
  • Run 'rubyforge login' to make sure you are able to login

With this in place, you now update your Jeweler::Tasks to setup rubyforge_project with the RubyForge project you've just created. (Note, using jeweler --rubyforge when generating the project does this for you automatically.)

  require 'jeweler' do |s| = "the-perfect-gem"
    s.summary = "TODO" = ""
    s.homepage = ""
    s.description = "TODO"
    s.authors = ["Josh Nichols"]
    s.rubyforge_project = 'the-perfect-gem' # This line would be new
rescue LoadError
  puts "Jeweler not available. Install it with: sudo gem install jeweler"

# These are new tasks
  require 'rake/contrib/sshpublisher'
  namespace :rubyforge do
    desc "Release gem and RDoc documentation to RubyForge"
    task :release => ["rubyforge:release:gem", "rubyforge:release:docs"]
    namespace :release do
      desc "Publish RDoc to RubyForge."
      task :docs => [:rdoc] do
        config = YAML.load(

        host = "#{config['username']}"
        remote_dir = "/var/www/gforge-projects/the-perfect-gem/"
        local_dir = 'rdoc', remote_dir, local_dir).upload
rescue LoadError
  puts "Rake SshDirPublisher is unavailable or your rubyforge environment is not configured."

Now you must initially create a 'package' for your gem in your 'project':

$ rake rubyforge:setup

With all that setup out of the way, you can now release to RubyForge with impunity. This would release the current version of your gem, and upload the rdoc as your project's webpage.

$ rake rubyforge:release


  • Hack, commit, hack, commit, etc, etc
  • rake version:bump:patch release to do the actual version bump and release
  • Have a delicious scotch
  • Install gemstalker, and use it to know when gem is built. It typically builds in a few minutes, but won't be installable for another 15 minutes.