- Published: May 25, 2017
Chances are that if you have been using Ruby for a while, your system will be full of gems and more specifically, outdated gems.
Every time you perform an update with $ gem update the default behaviour is to install a new gem version maintaining the older one.
The update command does not remove the previous version.
Removing old unused gems
To remove older gems we use the
The cleanup command removes old versions of gems from GEM_HOME that are not required to meet a dependency. If a gem is installed elsewhere in GEM_PATH the cleanup command won't delete it.
If no gems are named all gems in GEM_HOME are cleaned.
We can choose to specify a gem to remove its older versions or remove every old gem:
$ gem cleanup Cleaning up installed gems... Attempting to uninstall test-unit-3.1.7 Unable to uninstall test-unit-3.1.7: Gem::InstallError: test-unit is not installed in GEM_HOME, try: gem uninstall -i /usr/share/rubygems-integration/all test-unit Attempting to uninstall public_suffix-2.0.4 Successfully uninstalled public_suffix-2.0.4 Attempting to uninstall power_assert-0.2.7 Unable to uninstall power_assert-0.2.7: Gem::InstallError: power_assert is not installed in GEM_HOME, try: gem uninstall -i /usr/share/rubygems-integration/all power_assert Attempting to uninstall nokogiri-220.127.116.11 Successfully uninstalled nokogiri-18.104.22.168 Attempting to uninstall minitest-5.9.0 Unable to uninstall minitest-5.9.0: Gem::InstallError: minitest is not installed in GEM_HOME, try: gem uninstall -i /usr/share/rubygems-integration/all minitest Attempting to uninstall rb-inotify-0.9.7 Successfully uninstalled rb-inotify-0.9.7 Attempting to uninstall kramdown-1.12.0 Successfully uninstalled kramdown-1.12.0 Attempting to uninstall jekyll-seo-tag-2.0.0 Successfully uninstalled jekyll-seo-tag-2.0.0 Attempting to uninstall jekyll-3.3.0 Successfully uninstalled jekyll-3.3.0 Attempting to uninstall jekyll-sass-converter-1.4.0 Successfully uninstalled jekyll-sass-converter-1.4.0 Attempting to uninstall sass-3.4.22 Successfully uninstalled sass-3.4.22 Attempting to uninstall kramdown-1.13.1 Successfully uninstalled kramdown-1.13.1 Attempting to uninstall html-proofer-3.3.1 Successfully uninstalled html-proofer-3.3.1 Attempting to uninstall parallel-1.9.0 Successfully uninstalled parallel-1.9.0 Attempting to uninstall nokogiri-1.7.0 Successfully uninstalled nokogiri-1.7.0
The above command uninstall most of the gems but it can’t deal with some of them showing messages like:
Attempting to uninstall minitest-5.9.0 Unable to uninstall minitest-5.9.0: Gem::InstallError: minitest is not installed in GEM_HOME, try: gem uninstall -i /usr/share/rubygems-integration/all minitest
To uninstall them we run the command again, executing the suggested
gem uninstall ...:
sudo gem cleanup | grep -Z "gem uninstall"| while read -r line ; do echo "Uninstalling $line"; tee sudo "$line"; done