How to install RVM on Windows using cygwin

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Ruby enVironment Management (RVM) is a tool to install multiple versions of Ruby which may be necessary when you want to develop or test applications that run on different versions of Ruby. RVM can be installed on Unix like operating systems like Linux or Mac OS. RVM doesn’t support Windows operating system yet. But you can overcome this by using cygwin which brings Unix shell tools to Windows.


You can download and install cygwin from its official site http://cygwin.com/. You will need to select the following packages to ensure proper installation of RVM and different versions of Ruby:

  • curl for downloading RVM installer script
  • git for downloading RVM files
  • mingw64-i686-gcc-g++ for compiling Ruby sources
  • make for compiling Ruby sources
  • automake for compiling Ruby sources
  • readline for readline support in irb
  • readline-sources for readline support in irb
  • libreadline7 for readline support in irb
  • libreadline7-sources for readline support in irb
  • zlib-devel required for installing gems (choose the one under Devel category)

For my personal preferences I usually install the following packages:

  • vim
  • mintty a shell very similar to those on Unix systems

After installation is complete, open cygwin shell and follow installation tips found on RVM official site or read the great article Why you should use RVM?

If curl failed to download the script and run it, you can know that this is because SSL certificates are not installed. You can overcome this by using -k option, so the command to install is changed to:

bash < <(curl -ks https://rvm.beginrescueend.com/install/rvm)

It worth telling that there are another project called pik which does the same job as RVM, but what I disliked about it is that you need Ruby to run it and it is installed as a gem!!


10 comments on “How to install RVM on Windows using cygwin

  1. Friggin awesome instructions -saved me a heap of time. And I love mintty. Unfortunately have to work in windows in my day job, so this is as close to a real environment as I get :)

  2. These instructions bailed me out when installing with the Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial which leaves Windows users on their own. Everything worked flawlessly to install RVM.

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