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A cross-platform programmer's editor written in Ruby.

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A Ruby text editor.

  • written in Ruby from the ground up
  • runs on JRuby (a fast, compatible Ruby implementation)
  • is cross-platform (Linux, Mac OS X, Windows)
  • highly extensible

Some Redcar features:

  • supports Textmate themes and snippets
  • split screen mode
  • syntax checking for many languages
  • built in REPLs for Ruby, Groovy, Clojure and Mirah.

Some (current) limitations:

  • Only supports UTF-8 file encodings (and therefore ASCII)

alt textalt text


You must have Java installed [1]. Redcar is easiest to install as a gem. After installing the gem there is one further install step:

$ sudo gem install redcar
$ redcar install

The install will take a minute or so to complete as it has to download about 15MB of jar files.

[1] Sun Java or OpenJDK work. Gcj is known not to work.



$ redcar



If you want to contribute to Redcar, you can install it from the source code.

If you're running Windows, as a prerequisite, you'll need to install the rubyzip gem:

$ gem install rubyzip

Download from github, checkout the submodules and install the jars.

$ git clone git://
$ cd redcar
$ git submodule init
$ git submodule update
$ ruby bin/redcar install

To run:

$ ruby bin/redcar

Updating a source build

If you are running a source version of Redcar and you have pulled changes from master, then you may have to update your repo:

$ git submodule update
$ ruby bin/redcar install


NB. Redcar features are known to work with Cucumber 0.9.2, and known NOT to work with Cucumber < 0.9

To run the tests you need JRuby installed. You also need rspec and cucumber installed as JRuby gems. See for this, or install with rvm.

To run all specs and features:

$ jruby -S bundle install
$ jruby -S rake

NB. You must leave the test window focussed while the features run. Some of the tests will fail if the test process is in the background.



$ jruby -J-XstartOnFirstThread -S spec plugins/#{plugin_name}/spec/

On Linux:

$ jruby -S spec plugins/#{plugin_name}/spec/



$ jruby -J-XstartOnFirstThread bin/cucumber plugins/#{plugin_name}/features

On Linux:

$ jruby bin/cucumber plugins/#{plugin_name}/features/


Redcar is copyright 2007-2011 Daniel Lucraft and contributors. It is licensed under the GPL2. See the included LICENSE file for details.

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