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Building and Installing ruby-debug from git
The below are Unix-centric instructions. If you have Microsoft
Windows, see the section on building Microsoft Windows.
0. Prerequisites: To build the package you'll need at a minimum:
- Ruby (of course). Currently only version 1.8.6 and above but not
version 1.9.x work.
- Ruby development headers. This typically includes a file called "ruby.h"
- A C compiler like GNU C (gcc)
- Rake
- git
1. Basic package checkout and installation
Clone the git repository:
git clone git://
In order to make the Ruby gems, ruby-debug and ruby-debug-base, get
yourself into the directory after the code has been checked out and run:
cd ruby-debug
rake package
If all goes well you should have some gem files put in the directory
pkg. Use the gem command to install that.
sudo gem install ruby-debug-*.gem # See gem help for other possibilities
If all goes well the rdebug script has been installed ruby-debug is
now ready to run. But if everything goes well you might want to run
the built-in regression tests to make sure everything is okay.
See step 3 below.
If the gem install didn't work,'t there may be a problem with your C
compiler or the Ruby headers are not installed.
2. Trying out without installing.
You don't have to build a gem file to try out ruby debug. In fact when
developing new features for ruby-debug, developers often you want to
try it out *before* installing. If you have a problem in the latter
part of step 1 you may want to try this approach since we go into a
little more detail as to what happens under the covers when you do the
gem install.
rake compile
This creates a Makefile and builds the ruby-debug shared library. (On
Unix the name is
Once this is done you can run the debugger as you would rdebug using the
script rdbg.rb. For example:
./rdbg.rb ~/my-ruby-program.rb
3. Running the Regression tests
We've put together some basic tests to make sure ruby-debug is doing
what we think it should do. To run these:
rake test
If you didn't build the ruby-debug shared library and skipped step 2,
don't worry "rake test" will do step 2 for you. You should see a line that
ends something like:
Finished in 2.767579 seconds.
12 tests, 35 assertions, 0 failures, 0 errors
The number of seconds, tests, and assertions may be different from the
above. However you *should* see exactly "0 failures, 0 errors".
4. Microsoft Windows
A problem here seems to be that the "One-click" install is compiled
using Microsoft Visual Studio C 6 which is not sold anymore and is
rather old.
I suggest building via mingw/msys cross compiler. has instructions on how to do.
Note those instructions are a little GNU/Linux centric. On Ubuntu or
Debian there is a mingw32 Debian package. Installing that will give
you the cross compiler that is a prerequisite. Alternatively if you
are running MS Windows I notice that cygwin also has a mingw
package. Or possibly you could use MinGW directly. For other OS's you
might have to build a cross-compiler, i.e. gcc which emits win32 code
and can create a win32 DLL.
After you have a cross compiler, you need to download the Ruby source
and basically build a ruby interpreter. I use script
in this directory. You may want to customize it for your needs.
Once you have a cross-compiled rubyw.exe interpreter, the directory
you want be is in ruby-debug/ext/win32, not ruby-debug/ext.
So let's say you've installed the cross-compiled install rubyw.exe in
/usr/local/ruby-mingw32/rubyw.exe. Here then are the commands to build
cd .../ruby-debug/ext/win32
ruby -I /usr/local/ruby-mingw32/lib/ruby/1.8/i386-mingw32 ../extconf.rb
make # Not rake
cd ../.. # back in ruby-debug
rake win32_gem
5. Customizing C extension compile options
If you want to change C flags used for compilation, if you create a file
in the ext directory called config_options.rb, that is loaded by extconf.rb.
For example I typically have this in my config_options.rb file:
$CFLAGS='-fPIC -fno-strict-aliasing -g3 -ggdb -O2 -fPIC'