Ruby Version Management Tool Comparison: rbenv vs RVM

Ruby Version Management Tool Comparison rbenv vs RVM
Ruby Version Management Tool Comparison rbenv vs RVM

Nowadays, enterprises upgrade their software applications regularly to meet emerging industry trends and improve user experience. Hence, developers have to monitor the changes made to the source code of enterprise software applications and explore ways to recalls older versions of the software efficiently.

In addition to monitoring and reviewing the changes made to an application over a period of time, the version control tools also help software developers to revert specific files or the entire project to a previous state. Also, these tools facilitate smooth coordination between large or distributed teams.

While writing a software application in Ruby, the programmers have option to choose from several version control tools. But As a command line tool, RVM makes it easier for Ruby programmers to install, manage, and work with multiple development environments. On the other hand, rbenv is designed as a lightweight version management tool. It enables developers to create a development environment simply by choosing a specific Ruby version.

Rbenv vs RVM: Understanding Major Differences Between The Tools

Rbenv vs RVM: Installation

A Ruby programmer can install RVM through an all-in-one installation process. The installation process requires the developer to load the RVM functions simply by adding a specific code snippet to his profile. On the hand, rbenv requires the developer to follow a series of steps. The developer has to install/update homebrew, install rbenv, and install ruby-build to access rbenv functions.

Rbenv vs RVM: Environment Variable Loading

Both RVM and rbenv allows developers to install and switch multiple Ruby development environments. But RVM loads the current Ruby environment variables by overriding cd shells. Hence, the behaviour of the environment may change due to loading of rubies and gemsets.

But rbenv loads the current Ruby environment by inserting the shims directory into the PATH. The directory includes shims for various Ruby commands. While executing a command, the operating system searches for the shim that correspond the command name.

Rbenv vs RVM: Ruby Installation Mechanism

RVM is designed with built-in Ruby installation mechanism. Hence, the users can install Ruby versions without putting extra time and effort. Unlike RVM, rbenv does not include built-in Ruby installation mechanism. But it allows developers to install Ruby versions in two distinct ways. While using rbenv a developer can install Ruby version either manually or through a plug-in called ruby-build.

Rbenv vs RVM: Project Dependency Management

RVM allows Ruby programmers to manage project dependencies in a number of ways. A developer can manage project dependencies in a conventional way by using gemsets. Otherwise, he can manage the project dependencies more efficiently using a robust tool like Bundler. Bundler makes it easier for the programmer to track and install the exact versions of gems by providing a consistent environment. On the other hand, rbenv enables developers to manage project dependencies using a plug-in called rbenv-gemsets.

Rbenv vs RVM: Performance

RVM provides more features than other Ruby version management tools. Also, it comes with built-in Ruby installation mechanism. The additional features make RVM heavier than rbenv. At the same time, rbenv is developed as a tool for installing and changing Ruby versions.

It performs additional tasks through third-party technologies. The developer can further use rbenv without handling complex configurations and setups. Rbenv is hugely popular among Ruby programmers as a lightweight version management tool for Ruby.

Rbenv vs RVM: Usage

As a feature-rich version management tool, RVM meets the requirements of large and complex projects. But a developer may not require the robust features provide by RVM while working on simple and small Ruby projects. As a lightweight version management tool, rbenv lacks the built-in features required to manage large projects.

But Ruby programmers can always use rbenv to manage Ruby versions quickly and facilitate debugging. Hence, Ruby developers need to keep in mind the size and requirements of each project to choose the right version management tool.

On the whole, both RVM and rbenv are robust and widely used version control tools for Ruby programming language. But the two Ruby version control tools differ from each other in categories of design, features, and performance. Hence, the smart Ruby programmers always keep in mind the precise needs of each project while comparing Rbenv vs RVM.

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