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WIRB Interactive Ruby version

The WIRB gem syntax highlights Ruby objects. Works best as your default REPL inspector (see usage section below), but does not require IRB.

Supported Rubies: 3.1, 2.7, 2.6

Older Rubies, should work: 2.5, 2.4, 2.3, 2.2, 2.1, 2.0, rubinius

Ancient Rubies (1.9, 1.8): Please use WIRB 1.0


  • Syntax highlighting for inspected Ruby objects
  • No monkey patches anywhere
  • Support for generic objects, especially enumerators, and nested generic objects
  • Supports common standard library objects, like Set
  • Color schemas customizable via YAML


Install the gem with:

$ gem install wirb

Or add it to your Gemfile:

gem 'wirb'


To start IRB with WIRB activated for one session, do:

$ irb -r wirb --inspect wirb

To activate WIRB permanently, you can add this to the ~/.irbrc file:

require 'wirb'

Another way would be to use Irbtools, which activate WIRB automatically.


WIRB comes with a pretty printing utility (similar to awesome_print):

require 'wirb/wp'
wp some_object

Bundled Schemas

These are the bundled color schemas. You can load one with Wirb.load_schema(:name)

  • :classic (default)
  • :colorless (only uses :bright, :underline and :inverse effect)
  • :ultra (by @venantius, matches the colorscheme from Ultra over in Clojure-land)

Usage with Rails

If you run into problems using WIRB with Rails, try the solution in this issue.

Also See

  • Gem that allows you to configure views for specific objects: hirb
  • WIRB is part of: Irbtools
  • More about terminal colors: Paint


Copyright (c) 2011-2022 Jan Lelis see COPYING for details.

First tokenizer version was based on the wirble gem: Copyright (C) 2006-2009 Paul Duncan

All contributors