Installing gems

I followed the instructions found at:

for setting up our accounts so we can install our own gems.

To the letter, cut & pasting, and all. I then attempted to install a charting gem called “gruff” (but really, I get these results no matter what gem I attempt to install):

Following is a cut and paste. Any thoughts on what could be wrong?

[taffy]$ gem install gruff
Attempting local installation of 'gruff’
Local gem file not found: gruff*.gem
Attempting remote installation of ‘gruff’
/usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems.rb:194:in report_activate_error': Could not find RubyGem sources (> 0.0.0) (Gem::LoadError) from /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems.rb:136:inactivate’
from /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems.rb:37:in require_gem_with_options' from /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems.rb:31:inrequire_gem’
from /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems/remote_installer.rb:403:in sources' from /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems/remote_installer.rb:413:insource_index_hash’
from /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems/remote_installer.rb:377:in install' from /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems/gem_commands.rb:179:inexecute’
from /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems/gem_commands.rb:137:in each' from /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems/gem_commands.rb:137:inexecute’
from /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems/command.rb:49:in invoke' from /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems/cmd_manager.rb:92:inprocess_args’
from /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems/cmd_manager.rb:65:in run' from /usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems/gem_runner.rb:9:inrun’
from /usr/bin/gem:17

related elements of my bash_profile (~/.gems folder exists):

export GEM_HOME="$HOME/.gems"
export GEM_PATH="$GEM_HOME:/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8"
export PATH="$HOME/.gems/bin:$PATH"

Any help would be IMMENSELY appreciated.


I’m having the same problem after following the instructions at:

Oddly, “gem search” works but not “gem install”:

$ gem search --remote fastercsv
Updating Gem source index for:
fastercsv (1.1.0…)
FasterCSV is CSV, but faster, smaller, and cleaner.

And when I try:
$ gem install fastercsv
Attempting local installation of ‘fastercsv’
Local gem file not found: fastercsv*.gem
Attempting remote installation of ‘fastercsv’
/usr/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8/rubygems.rb:194:in `report_activate_error’: Could not find RubyGem sources (> 0.0.0) (Gem::LoadError)

I’m stuck after exhaustively seraching Google, the wiki, and the forums. I can’t install my rails app without first installing the needed gems.

Any help yet?

Actually, yeah- I just recently figured it out. They don’t list it on the dreamhost wiki, but I got mine working by following the advice on another site, which essentially the same, but involves adding a file to your home dir named


with the contents:

gemhome: /home/yourname/.gems

  • /home/yourname/.gems
  • /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8

be sure to have a newline at the end.


Thanks so much! I’ve added your suggestion to the RubyGems wiki page at

– Daniel