Publishing your gem
Ways to share your gem code with other users.
Now that you’ve created your gem, you’re probably ready to share it. While it is perfectly reasonable to create private gems solely to organize the code in large private projects, it’s more common to build gems so that they can be used by multiple projects. This guide discusses the various ways that you can share your gem with the world.
Sharing Source Code
The simplest way (from the author’s perspective) to share a gem for other developers’ use is to distribute it in source code form. If you place the full source code for your gem on a public git repository (often, though not always, this means sharing it via GitHub), then other users can install it with Bundler’s git functionality.
For example, you can install the latest code for the wicked_pdf gem in a project by including this line in your Gemfile:
gem "wicked_pdf", :git => "git://github.com/mileszs/wicked_pdf.git"
Installing a gem directly from a git repository is a feature of Bundler, not a feature of RubyGems. Gems installed this way will not show up when you run
Serving Your Own Gems
If you want to control who can install a gem, or directly track the activity surrounding a gem, then you’ll want to set up a private gem server. You can set up your own gem server or use a commercial service such as Gemfury.
See the Resources guide for an up-to-date listing of options for private gem servers.
Publishing to RubyGems.org
The simplest way to distribute a gem for public consumption is to use RubyGems.org. Gems that are published to RubyGems.org can be installed via the
gem install command or through the use of tools such as Isolate or Bundler.
To begin, you’ll need to create an account on RubyGems.org. Visit the sign up page and supply an email address that you control, a handle (username) and a password.
After creating the account, use the handle and password you supplied to retrieve your API key from the RubyGems.org server. For example, if your handle is ‘squidbot’:
$ curl -u squidbot https://rubygems.org/api/v1/api_key.yaml > ~/.gem/credentials Enter host password for user 'squidbot':
This will retrieve your API key and save it to your
~/.gem/credentials file. Installing this key file is what allows the gem push command to work, associating any pushed gems with your RubyGems.org account. To publish version 0.1.0 of a new gem named ‘squid-utils’:
$ gem push squid-utils-0.1.0.gem Pushing gem to RubyGems.org... Successfully registered gem: squid-utils (0.1.0)
Congratulations! Your new gem is now ready for any ruby user in the world to install!
Installing a gem allows that gem’s code to run in the context of your application. Clearly this has security implications: installing a malicious gem on a server could ultimately result in that server being completely penetrated by the gem’s author. Because of this, the security of gem code is a topic of active discussion within the Ruby community.
RubyGems has had the ability to cryptographically sign gems since version 0.8.11. This signing works by using the
gem cert command to create a key pair, and then packaging signing data inside the gem itself. The
gem install command optionally lets you set a security policy, and you can verify the signing key for a gem before you install it.
However, this method of securing gems is not widely used. It requires a number of manual steps on the part of the developer, and there is no well-established chain of trust for gem signing keys. Discussion of new signing models using X509 or OpenPGP is going on in the rubygems-trust wiki and in IRC. The goal is to improve (or replace) the signing system so that it is easy for authors and transparent for users.