Installing Rails 3 Beta with RVM and Ruby 1.8.7

Installing Ruby 1.8.7

Jeremy McAnally posted some great instructions on installing Rails 3 beta. When I tried to install Rails 3 it complained that my Ruby version needed to be at least 1.8.7. Fair enough, I only had 1.8.6, and it was about time I upgraded.

Since I still needed to keep 1.8.6 around, I decided to try out Ruby Version Manager (RVM). This is a great piece of software that allows you to have many different Ruby versions (and gem configurations) living together in harmony. So I followed the RVM install instructions like this:

mkdir -p ~/.rvm/src/ && cd ~/.rvm/src && rm -rf ./rvm/ && git clone git:// && cd rvm && ./install

And that worked great. Then I installed several versions of Ruby:

rvm install 1.8.6,1.8.7,ree,1.9.1

Typing rvm list showed that the various Ruby versions were installed:

$ rvm list
   ree-1.8.7-2010.01 [ i386 ]
   ruby-1.8.6-p399 [ i386 ]
=> ruby-1.8.7-p249 [ i386 ]
   ruby-1.9.1-p378 [ i386 ]
   system [ ]

Being Subjected to Unwarranted Harassment and Abuse

So I typed rvm ruby-1.8.7-p249 to switch over to Ruby 1.8.7. Unfortunately, when I tried to install Rails 3 (or any gem) I was met with the following warning:

/Users/wyattgreene/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.8.7-p249/lib/ruby/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems/spec_fetcher.rb:232: warning: getc is obsolete; use STDIN.getc instead

And then it would hang. Forever.

Installing Ruby 1.8.7, Take 2

After a twitversation with @workmad3 I was able to get this working. RVM installed Ruby 1.8.7-p249 and that seemed to be the source of the problem. Installing Ruby 1.8.7-p248 worked. So I would recommend this:

rvm install ruby-1.8.7-p248

After that, I was able to install Rails 3 beta on my Mac (OS X, version 10.5.8).

Not Out of the Woods Yet

Even though I was able to get Rails 3, RVM, and Ruby 1.8.7 working together, I still occasionally got the “warning: getc is obsolete” error message when installing gems. I also sometimes encountered this error when installing gems:

ERROR:  While executing gem ... (RuntimeError)
    Marshal.load reentered at marshal_load

So I would get stuck and couldn’t install gems. I found out that if I switched my Ruby version and then switched back, then it worked:

~ $ gem install color
ERROR:  While executing gem ... (RuntimeError)
    Marshal.load reentered at marshal_load
~ $ rvm ruby-1.9.1-p378
~ $ rvm ruby-1.8.7-p248
~ $ gem install color
Successfully installed color-1.4.1
1 gem installed
Installing ri documentation for color-1.4.1...
Installing RDoc documentation for color-1.4.1...
~ $

Update:If you get the Marshal.load reentered at marshal_load error when trying to install Ruby Enterprise Edition 1.8.7, these instructions should help.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

7 Responses to “Installing Rails 3 Beta with RVM and Ruby 1.8.7”

  1. Since so many people asked me how to go about bootstrapping an environment for rails3 using rvm’s gemsets I put together a gist with the instructions. This should work with rvm 0.1.11 for both zsh + bash.

    I hope it helps someone.



  2. Kiran says:


    Did you try rails3 with 1.9 versions?

  3. techiferous says:

    @kiran: I was able to install Rails 3 using RVM and ruby-1.9.1-p378. Update: When I start up the Rails server I get a lot of warnings, mostly about invalid .gemspec formats and undefined method `>’ for nil:NilClass. It works, though.

  4. workmad3 says:

    I’ve heard that the ‘invalid gemspec’ warnings with rails3 + ruby 1.9.1 are due to upgrading RubyGems to 1.3.5 using ‘gem update –system’. However, as rails3 won’t install without gems 1.3.5 and other mechanisms for updating it are annoying, I think it’s something that can be lived with for now :)

    I’ll keep in mind that switching environments seems to do some form of reset for gem as well. Should be helpful if I have trouble in the future :)

  5. Hank says:

    There is an update to Ruby gems so doing a gem update –system will install 1.3.6 and this seems to solve the issue.

  6. Steve says:


    Did you try rails3 with 1.9 versions?

  7. techiferous says:

    @Steve: No, I’ve been sticking to 1.8.7 for the time being.

Leave a Reply