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Which Ruby IDE Should You Use?

You’re going to spend a lot of your time as a developer inside the editor, so it important to use an editor that you’re comfortable & productive with.

In this article:

I want to help you choose which Ruby IDE / Editor is right for you!

You don’t need to stress over this decision, just pick one, give it a try for a few weeks & see how it feels. You can always change your editor later.

Here are a few things to look for:

  • What Ruby-related plugins are available to make things easier for you
  • Whether the editor is open-source or not
  • Built-in features that improve your productivity (like code snippets, auto-complete, clean design that doesn’t get in your way)

All of these editors support Windows, Linux & Mac.

Let’s get started!

Atom Editor

Atom is an open-source code editor from Github. It supports many programming languages including Ruby.

Ruby Atom Editor

Pros:

  • Git integration
  • Good support for code snippets (time saver)
  • Allows you to run code directly in the editor (with plugins)

Cons:

  • Can be slow when opening really big files

VSCode Editor

VSCode is an open-source code editor from Microsoft & it’s based on the same GUI technology as Atom.

VSCode Ruby IDE

Pros:

  • Terminal integration
  • Debugger integration & other IDE-like features (needs language support via plugins)
  • Under active development

Cons:

  • Ruby language plugin doesn’t get many updates, but it works 🙂

RubyMine IDE

RubyMine is a closed-source code editor from JetBrains. It’s the most complete IDE in terms of features, but it’s also not free.

RubyMine IDE

Pros:

  • Refactoring support
  • Integration with testing frameworks, bundler, rake, terminal, etc.
  • Intelligent auto-completion

Cons:

  • Closed source
  • Can feel “heavy” in terms of performance & UI design

VIM Editor

VIM (VI iMproved) is an open-source editor that has been around for ages, the most striking characteristic is that it’s terminal based, unlike the other editors which are GUI-based. It has countless plugins that you can install to add new features.

VIM Editor Ruby

Pros:

  • Many keyboard shortcuts & plugins
  • You can do everything you need without leaving the terminal & without your mouse
  • Powerful editing features (delete inside quotes, regex replace, block selection, etc.)

Cons:

Other Editors

While these four editors are what I think the most popular in the Ruby community, there are still others that are worth a mention.

Here’s the list:

  • Sublime Text
  • Emacs
  • Cloud9 (online editor)

Feel free to give these a try.

Personally, I use Atom for most of my Ruby development & writing, for quick edits (like configuration files) I use VIM.

Summary

You have learned about a few Ruby editors that can make your work easier, which one are you going to pick?

Let me know in the comments 🙂

Thanks for reading!