Install Ruby 2.1.4 with RVM on Ubuntu

Table of Contents


The Ruby Version Manager (RVM) is a command line tool that simplifies installing and managing multiple Ruby environments on a single host. This allows easy access to new versions of Ruby or past versions of Ruby for code compatibility testing.


  • Ubuntu
  • Single server instance with external connectivity

Install RVM

The curl command is necessary for the RVM installation if not already available.

apt-get -y install curl

The RVM installation script will attempt to automatically download and install additional development packages required to compile Ruby. These can be manually installed ahead of time if necessary.

apt-get -y install patch gawk g++ gcc make libc6-dev libreadline6-dev zlib1g-dev libssl-dev libyaml-dev libsqlite3-dev sqlite3 autoconf libgdbm-dev libncurses5-dev automake libtool bison pkg-config libffi-dev

The RVM installation can now be started.

curl -L get.rvm.io | bash -s stable

If an error stating "GPG signature verification failed" appears, the on-screen instructions should describe retrieving and installing the RVM signature key. For example:

gpg2 --keyserver hkp://keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys D39DC0E3

The RVM installation process will need to be restarted after the signature key is installed.

curl -L get.rvm.io | bash -s stable

Install Ruby

RVM can be started by loading the RVM environment for the current session.

source /etc/profile.d/rvm.sh

Ruby can now be installed by specifying the version. In this case, Ruby 2.1.4 will be installed.

rvm install 2.1.4

While the latest version of Ruby is recommended, additional versions can be installed along side each other.

rvm install 1.9.3

To view which versions of Ruby are currently installed through RVM.

rvm list

Set Ruby Version

The desired Ruby version can be set for the current session and new sessions.

 rvm use 2.1.4 --default

The Ruby version should now show 2.1.4.

 ruby --version

If another version of Ruby was installed using RVM, then that version can be made accessible for the current session.

ruby use 1.9.3

If Ruby was previously installed from the Linux distribution repository, access to that version can be easily be restored.

rvm system --default