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Typical RVM Project Workflow

RVM supports multiple types of files to allow configuring a project for automated ruby switching. In any case make sure to add those files to your version control systems as it is part of the project configuration.

Supported files

Listed in order of precedence:


Project file .rvmrc

This is the first supported format and it has precedence over any other files. .rvmrc has one major flaw - it requires trusting to prevent execution of unauthorized code, which makes it hard to use and complicates deployment to production. In cases where scripting is not required, use of other project files is encouraged.

Generating a simple .rvmrc:

echo 'rvm --create use ree@tedxperth' > .rvmrc

A more complex version:

rvm --create use ree@tedxperth --rvmrc

The file can be edited to provide extra customizations.

To trust the file:

rvm rvmrc trust /path/to/project

Project file .ruby-version

This file is also supported by chruby and rbenv. .ruby-version is just a ruby name so it does not require trusting and is simpler to use than .rvmrc.

Generating .ruby-version:

echo 1.9.3 > .ruby-version   # OR:
rvm --ruby-version use 1.9.3

When in RVM, .ruby-version also supports gemsets in the form of ruby@gemset but this is not compatible with other Ruby Versions Managers. Another file might be used to specify the gemset without breaking compatibility - .ruby-gemset.

Generating .ruby-gemset:

echo my_app > .ruby-gemset   # OR:
rvm --ruby-version use 1.9.3@my_app

The second form will create both .ruby-version and .ruby-gemset.

Some projects require extra configuration in environment; this is supported by using the .ruby-env file:

echo "JRUBY_OPTS=--1.9" >> .ruby-env

This variable will be set when entering the project directory and reverted to its previous value when exiting the project directory.

Note that the following files are also supported: .rbenv-version and .rbenv-vars, .rbfu-version. They have lower precedence than .ruby-version.

Project file .versions.conf

For more advanced projects .versions.conf is supported, where more than the ruby version can be specified.

Generating .versions.conf:

rvm --create --versions-conf use 1.9.3@my_app

Example .versions.conf:


Project file Gemfile

Gemfile's ruby directive is supported and will be read by RVM.

Example Gemfile:

ruby "1.9.3"
gem  "haml"

In case it is not possible to use the ruby directive or when a more fine-grained version is required, the following comments will take precedence over the directive:


Another example, using MRI Ruby at a specific patch level:


Comments are preferred as older versions of bundler did not support the directive.

RVM configuration

Those variables can be set in ~/.rvmrc and /etc/rvmrc:

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