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Better Gem Publishing with Gemcutter

If you’re working with Ruby and have been paying attention to Twitter or RSS feeds, then you’ve probably heard of Gemcutter. If not, it’s the latest flavour for publishing gems, and I’m finding the simplicity of it a delight.

Its appearance is doubly useful, as since GitHub has moved to Rackspace, automated gem building from projects has been disabled, perhaps never to return.

Getting Started

If you’ve not clicked the link to Gemcutter yet, let’s run down how easy it is to get it set up on your machine.

sudo gem install gemcutter
gem tumble

That’s it. Any future gem installs will look at Gemcutter’s growing library.

This doesn’t replace RubyForge or GitHub in your sources list, but it does set Gemcutter as the top priority - which is fine, as it has almost all of RubyForge’s gems ready for you anyway.


Firstly, get yourself an account, click that confirmation email link, then hunt down a gem you want to publish, and run the following command:

gem push my-awesome-gem-0.0.1.gem

If it’s your first time, you’ll be asked for your login details, and then the gem is online and ready for anyone to download it. No waiting, no forms, no pain.

When you’ve got a new version, just run that same command again, pointing to the new gem file:

gem push my-awesome-gem-0.1.0.gem

One command. No authentication prompts. Available for everyone straight away. Awesome.


If you’ve already got gems on RubyForge that you’d like to take ownership of on Gemcutter, it’s another one-step process:

gem migrate my-legacy-gem

You’ll be prompted for your RubyForge account name and password, and then Gemcutter does the rest.

Pretty easy, hey?

My Gems

Over this past weekend, I made Gemcutter the definitive source for all of my gems:

Incoming Confusion

There’s been some discussion about whether Gemcutter should replace the gem hosting facilities provided by Rubyforge. This may or may not happen, but it is confirmed that Gemcutter will be moving to soon.

Everything will still work fine via the address, though, so don’t let that hold you back from diving in head first.


The talented Nick Quaranto has been working hard on this for a while, and it’s great to see the Ruby community embrace Gemcutter so quickly. Here’s hoping it becomes the defacto gem source for all Ruby projects.

Nick Quaranto left a comment on 7 Oct, 2009:

Pat, just a correction or two:

All you have to do is gem migrate [name]. You don’t have to pass in a built gem, just the name will do.

Also, doing gem tumble with sudo will make root own your ~/.gemrc, I’m not sure if that’s good for everyone, but it certainly will work!

pat left a comment on 7 Oct, 2009:

Thanks for the feedback Nick, have just updated those commands as suggested.