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Extensions that use the RubyGems plugin API.

As of RubyGems 1.3.2, RubyGems will load plugins installed in gems or $LOAD_PATH. Plugins must be named ‘rubygems_plugin’ (.rb, .so, etc) and placed at the root of your gem’s #require_path. Plugins are discovered via Gem::find_files then loaded. Take care when implementing a plugin as your plugin file may be loaded multiple times if multiple versions of your gem are installed.

The following list of RubyGems plugins is probably not exhaustive. If you know of plugins that we missed, feel free to update this page.


Extends rubygems to support executables plugins.

In gem lib dir create rubygems_executable_plugin.rb:

Gem.execute do |original_file|
  warn("Executing: #{original_file}")


Adds four commands:

  • gem edit opens a gem in your editor
  • gem open opens a gem by name in your editor
  • gem clone clones a gem from GitHub
  • gem browse opens a gem’s homepage in your browser


Adds command gem empty to remove all gems from current GEM_HOME.


Adds a gem ctags command to invoke the Exuberant Ctags indexer on already-installed gems, and then automatically invokes it on gems as they are installed.


Adds a gem info command with fuzzy matching on name and version. Designed for scripting use.


Adds gem init to create a barebones gem.


Adds gem compare command that can help you to track upstream changes in the released .gem files by comparing gemspec values, gemspec and Gemfile dependencies and files.


The gem man command lets you view a gem’s man page.


Tries to install system dependencies needed to install your gems with binary extensions using standard gem install command. This currently works only for Fedora, but hopefully will be extended.


Adds a gem orphan command that finds and lists gems on which no other gems are depending.


Adds gem patch command, which enables you to apply patches directly on .gem files. Supports both RubyGems 1.8 and RubyGems 2.0.


Adds six commands:

  • gem open - opens a gem in your default editor
  • gem cd - changes your working directory to the gem’s source root
  • gem readme - locates and displays a gem’s readme file
  • gem history - locates and display’s a gem’s changelog
  • gem doc - Browse a gem’s documentation in your default browser
  • gem visit - Open a gem’s homepage in your default browser


Create gem wrappers for easy use of gems in cron and other system locations. By default wrappers are installed when a gem is installed.

Adds this commands:

  • gem wrappers regenerate - force rebuilding wrappers for all gem executables
  • gem wrappers - show current configuration


Adds a gem graph command to output a gem dependency graph in graphviz’s dot format.


Adds gem maven to install any Maven-published Java library as though it were a gem.


Adds two commands:

  • gem open opens a gem in your default editor
  • gem read opens a gem’s rdoc in your default browser


Applies a whitelist to gem push to prevent accidentally pushing private gems to the public RubyGems repository.


Automatically runs rbenv rehash after installing or uninstalling gems.


Adds gem desc to describe a gem by name.


Adds commands and flags to allow OpenPGP signing of gems.

  • gem sign foo.gem to sign a gem.
  • gem verify foo.gem --trust to verify a gem.
  • gem build foo.gemspec --sign to sign at build time.
  • gem install foo --verify --trust to verify on install.


Manages command-line gem tools and dependencies with a gem sandbox command. This lets you install things like flay and rdoc outside of the global rubygems repository.


Adds gem snapshot to create exports of all your current gems into a single file that you can import later.


rubygems-tasks provides agnostic and unobtrusive Rake tasks for building, installing and releasing Ruby Gems.


rubygems_plugin_generator is a plugin that generates plugins. Just run gem plugin <name> and you are good to go.