Hackernoon logoIs Ruby Installed On A Mac? How To Check On macOS Catalina and Big Sur by@railsapps

Is Ruby Installed On A Mac? How To Check On macOS Catalina and Big Sur

Daniel Kehoe Hacker Noon profile picture

@railsappsDaniel Kehoe

Author of the book, "Learn Ruby on Rails" and founder of the RailsApps open source project.

Is Ruby installed on my Mac?

Ruby comes pre-installed on macOS Catalina and Big Sur (see below why you may not want to use the default Ruby).

To check if Ruby is installed, enter in your terminal application:

$ ruby -v

(Don't type the


If Ruby is not installed, you'll see:

zsh: command not found: ruby


command will confirm that Ruby is missing:

$ which ruby
ruby not found

You can use the

command with flag
to see if more than one Ruby executable is installed:

$ which -a ruby

If Ruby is installed, the

ruby -v
command will show a response like:

$ ruby -v
ruby 2.6.3p62

MacOS comes with a "system Ruby" pre-installed. Use the `which` command to see if you are using the system Ruby:

$ which ruby

If you see

, it is the pre-installed macOS system Ruby. It's fine to use the system Ruby for running sysadmin scripts, as long as you don't alter the system Ruby by attempting to update it or add gems. But experienced developers don't use the system Ruby for developing projects in Ruby.

You may not want to use the MacOS system Ruby because it is an older version of Ruby. Instead, you can Install Ruby with Homebrew. You could also use a version manager such as asdf, chruby, rbenv, or rvm. A version manager can also help if you're juggling multiple projects that can't be updated all at once.

For a guide that compares version managers and shows the best way to install Ruby, see Install Ruby on a Mac. If you're going to build web applications with Rails, see Install Ruby on Rails on a Mac.

Also published on Dev.to.


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