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<Why You Should Use RVM ⁄ >

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Once you're addicted to Ruby development, you're going to want to experiment with different versions of Ruby. At first blush, you might think that it's somewhat difficult. RVM makes this an absolute breeze. In this tutorial, I'm going to get you up and running with RVM.

0 - What is RVM?

RVM stands for Ruby Version Manager. Here's the idea. As a Ruby developer, you might run into situations where you'd need to use multiple versions of Ruby. For example, you started with Ruby 1.8.6, but now you want to experiment with 1.9.2. Or, you normally work with the 1.9 branch, but you want to contribute to an open source project that's still on the 1.8 branch.

Without RVM, it's pretty difficult to have more than one version of Ruby on your computer. Or, what if you want to try one of the alternate Ruby interpreters, like Rubinius or JRuby? How can you take one out for a spin without giving up your faithful MRI install? This is where RVM steps in. It's basically a framework that handles multiple installations of Ruby for you, and makes it easy for you to switch between them.

Two caveats apply today:

1. You should be pretty familiar with the command line.
2. You should be on a Unix system. This means you're probably running either Mac OS X, or some version of Linux. As much as I wish RVM was available on Windows, it isn't. If you're on Windows, you might try Pik; I understand it's similar, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet.

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