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Chef ruby_rbenv Cookbook

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Manages rbenv and its installed Rubies.



This cookbook requires Chef 13.0+.


  • Debian derivatives
  • Fedora
  • macOS (not currently tested)
  • RHEL derivatives (RHEL, CentOS, Amazon Linux, Oracle, Scientific Linux)
  • openSUSE and openSUSE leap


Please read

Example installations are provided in test/fixtures/cookbooks/test/recipes/.

A rbenv_system_install or rbenv_user_install is required to be set so that rbenv knows which version you want to use, and is installed on the system.

System wide installations of rbenv are supported by this cookbook, but discouraged by the rbenv maintainer, see these two issues in the rbenv repository.


Used to install a gem into the selected rbenv environment.

rbenv_gem 'gem_name' do
  options # Optional: Options to pass to the gem command e.g. '--no-rdoc --no-ri'
  source # Optional: source URL/location for gem.
  timeout # Optional: Gem install timeout
  version # Optional: Gem version to install
  response_file # Optional: response file to reconfigure a gem
  rbenv_version # Required: Which rbenv version to install the gem to.


Sets the global ruby version. The name of the resource is the version to set.

rbenv_global '2.5.1' do
  user # Optional: if passed sets the users global version. Leave unset, to set the system global version

If a user is passed in to this resource it sets the global version for the user, under the users root_path (usually ~/.rbenv/version), otherwise it sets the system global version.


Installs a rbenv plugin.

rbenv_plugin 'ruby-build' do
  git_url # Git URL of the plugin
  git_ref # Git reference of the plugin
  user # Optional: if passed installs to the users rbenv. Do not set, to set installs to the system rbenv.

If user is passed in, the plugin is installed to the users install of rbenv.


rbenv_rehash 'rehash' do
  user 'vagrant' # Optional: if passed rehashes the user Ruby otherwise rehashes the system rbenv

If user is passed in, the user Ruby is rehashed rather than the system Ruby.


Installs a given Ruby version to the system or user location.

rbenv_ruby '2.5.1' do
  user # Optional, but recommended: If passed, the user to install rbenv to
  rbenv_action # Optional: the action to perform, install, remove etc

Shorter example rbenv_ruby '2.5.1'


Runs a rbenv aware script.

rbenv_script 'foo' do
  rbenv_version #rbenv version to run the script against
  environment # Optional: A Hash of environment variables in the form of ({"ENV_VARIABLE" => "VALUE"}).
  user # Optional: User to run as
  group # Optional: Group to run as
  returns # Optional: Expected return code
  code # Script code to run

Note that environment overwrites the entire variable. For example. setting the $PATH variable can be done like this:

rbenv_script 'bundle package' do
  cwd node["bundle_dir"]
  environment ({"PATH" => "/usr/local/rbenv/shims:/usr/local/rbenv/bin:#{ENV["PATH"]}"})
  code "bundle package --all"

Where #{ENV["PATH"]} appends the existing PATH to the end of the newly set PATH.


Installs rbenv to the system location, by default /usr/local/rbenv

rbenv_system_install 'foo' do
  git_url # URL of the plugin repo you want to checkout
  git_ref # Optional: Git reference to checkout
  update_rbenv # Optional: Keeps the git repo up to date


Installs rbenv to the user path, making rbenv available to that user only.

rbenv_user_install 'vagrant' do
  git_url # Optional: Git URL to checkout rbenv from.
  git_ref # Optional: Git reference to checkout e.g. 'master'
  user # Which user to install rbenv to (also specified in the resources name above)

System-Wide macOS Installation Note

This cookbook takes advantage of managing profile fragments in an /etc/profile.d directory, common on most Unix-flavored platforms. Unfortunately, macOS does not support this idiom out of the box, so you may need to modify your user profile.


Pull requests are very welcome! Make sure your patches are well tested.

License and Author

Copyright 2011, Fletcher Nichol

Copyright 2017, Dan Webb

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.