Note: This page is quite old and is likely out of date. My opinions may have also changed dramatically since this was written. It is here as a reference until I get around to updating it.


If using Gnome terminal, you have to set the ‘Run command as login shell’ check box on the Title and Command tab inside of gnome-terminal’s Settings page to run the bashrc file upon opening the terminal. If you don’t do this you’ll receive “RVM is not a function” error message.

Install all the packages needed to compile ruby…

yum install gcc-c++ patch readline readline-devel zlib zlib-devel \
  libyaml-devel libffi-devel openssl-devel make bzip2 autoconf automake \
  libtool bison libxml2 libxml2-devel sqlite sqlite-devel libxslt \
  libxslt-devel -y

Install RVM…

curl | bash -s stable
rvm install ruby-1.9.3
rvm use 1.9.3 --default

Create a global gemset:

rvm gemset create global
rvm gemset use global

And install a few gems useful globally:

gem install bundler pry

To make sure these get installed automatically for any other ruby versions that get installed you can use some nifty information pulled from RVM’s Documentation.

echo -e "bundler\npry" > ~/.rvm/gemsets/global.gems

Ruby Optimization

By default RVM compiles ruby with no optimization flags. The flags will increase the time it takes to compile a specific instance of Ruby, however, it will also save running time with every execution of the code. For me this is a very useful trade off as I run various Ruby commands hundreds of times a day when I’m working on various programs. You can add the compilization flags by creating an “.rvmrc” file in the root of your home directory and include the following:

rvm_configure_env=(CFLAGS="-march=native -O2 -pipe")

These are “safe” optimization flags and will make optimizations automatically based on the processor of the system that compiled it. This has the downside of making the binaries non-portable (as in you can only move the compiled binaries to systems with the same or newer processors).

As an additional level of optimizations rather than using the stock Ruby binary you can use the “turbo” branch with the falcon patch which has decreased rails load time by half or more. You install this version like so:

rvm install 1.9.3-turbo --patch falcon

If you encounter any errors about CFlags or compilation errors your RVM is probably out of date and needs to be updated. On one machine I received the following error:

Error running 'CFLAGS=-march=native -O2 ./configure
--prefix=/home/user/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.3-p194-turbo --enable-shared
--disable-install-doc --with-libyaml --with-opt-dir=/home/user/.rvm/usr ',
please read /home/user/.rvm/log/ruby-1.9.3-p194-turbo/configure.logThere has
been an error while running configure. Halting the installation.

Which was quickly solved by running the following command and trying again:

rvm get stable

I did also encounter an error when that ran for me, but it fixed the issue and I suspect the error was unrelated.