Extended maintenance of Ruby versions 1.8.7 and 1.9.2 ended on July 31, 2014. Read more

In Files

  • rubygems.rb
  • rubygems/custom_require.rb


Class/Module Index [+]



Private Instance Methods

gem(gem_name, *version_requirements) click to toggle source

Use #gem to activate a specific version of gem_name.

version_requirements is a list of version requirements that the specified gem must match, most commonly "= example.version.number". See Gem::Requirement for how to specify a version requirement.

If you will be activating the latest version of a gem, there is no need to call #gem, #require will do the right thing for you.

#gem returns true if the gem was activated, otherwise false. If the gem could not be found, didn't match the version requirements, or a different version was already activated, an exception will be raised.

#gem should be called before any require statements (otherwise RubyGems may load a conflicting library version).

In older RubyGems versions, the environment variable GEM_SKIP could be used to skip activation of specified gems, for example to test out changes that haven’t been installed yet. Now RubyGems defers to -I and the RUBYLIB environment variable to skip activation of a gem.


GEM_SKIP=libA:libB ruby -I../libA -I../libB ./mycode.rb
               # File rubygems.rb, line 1061
def gem(gem_name, *version_requirements) # :doc:
  skip_list = (ENV['GEM_SKIP'] || "").split(/:/)
  raise Gem::LoadError, "skipping #{gem_name}" if skip_list.include? gem_name
  Gem.activate(gem_name, *version_requirements)
require(path) click to toggle source

When RubyGems is required, #require is replaced with our own which is capable of loading gems on demand.

When you call require 'x', this is what happens:

  • If the file can be loaded from the existing Ruby loadpath, it is.

  • Otherwise, installed gems are searched for a file that matches. If it’s found in gem ‘y’, that gem is activated (added to the loadpath).

The normal require functionality of returning false if that file has already been loaded is preserved.

               # File rubygems/custom_require.rb, line 28
def require(path) # :doc:
  gem_original_require path
rescue LoadError => load_error
  if load_error.message.end_with?(path)
    if Gem.try_activate(path)
      return gem_original_require(path)

  raise load_error
Also aliased as: gem_original_require