July 23, 2015 by Daniel P. Clark

Ruby on the Raspberry Pi (free distro image)

I’ve customized my own Raspberry Pi distro (Raspbian) with Ruby 2.2.2 on it.  It’s available for download for you to use.  Here are the details.

4 GB image with 370Mb of free space at a download size of 1.9Gb

DOWNLOAD Custom Ruby 2.2.2 on Raspbian Distro (ruby_rpi.img.bz2)

User: pi
Pass: raspberrypi


md5sum ruby_rpi.img.bz2 
53637c11e3115381ac5867391f527f75  ruby_rpi.img.bz2

This Raspbian image has all the distro updates as of 7/22/2015.

Removed: Scratch and Chrome (space hoggers).


  • links, lynx – CLI web browsers
  • omxplayer – Hardware optimized HD video player
  • wicd, wicd-curses – a CLI interface for using and enabling networking
  • vim – with some preconfigured options/plugins
  • pico, nano
  • Ruby 2.2.2 – with a few gems (nokogiri, mechanize, sqlite3, activerecord, minitest, etc) NOTE: dbm, gdbm and tk did not compile for this Ruby release  so they aren’t available. (sdbm did)
  • git
  • wajig – (package manager used to find oversized packages to remove with `wajig large`)
  • ncdu – tool to see how much space each directory uses
  • tor
  • other utilities I can’t remember at the moment

The command line font size is enlarged which is ideal for small screens.  Also a little bit of margin has been added.  I use the distro in the command line mode.  xwindows works if you type startx, but I don’t see the Raspberry Pi’s performance as a good environment for it.  Think of this as designed for a command line experience.  ssh does work.

Tested (and works) with hardware: 802.11b/g/n Long-Range Wireless USB Adapter.

Linux installation instructions:

Extract the compressed file with bzip2

bunzip2 ruby_rpi.img.bz2

You can copy the image directly to your SD card with dd.  Plug in your SD card and in the terminal type:

df -h

It will list all devices mounted and their capacity.  Find the one that is the right size for you SD card and remember its /dev handle such as: /dev/sdg

Then enter the file you downloaded as input file with if and the path as the output file with of

sudo dd if=ruby_rpi.img of=/dev/sdg

Have patience while this appears to do nothing.  It is overwriting your SD card.

After that it’s done!  Plug it into the Raspberry Pi and turn it on.  You should be good to go.  If you have any display issues see the /boot/config.txt file.


If you love Ruby and use a Raspberry Pi this will save you a lot of build time for getting a Ruby environment up and running.  Have any suggestions to improve this release?  Let me know!

Please feel free to comment, share, subscribe to my RSS Feed, and follow me on twitter @6ftdan!

God Bless!
-Daniel P. Clark

Image by Jill Lee via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License

#custom#distro#linux#Raspberry Pi#RPI#ruby

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