Write permission error when installing gems


On newer v6+ platforms with support for multiple Ruby interpreters, installing a gem may fail resulting in a similar error message:

 [user@sol ~]$ gem install --no-rdoc --no-ri passenger rails
 Fetching: passenger-5.0.6.gem (100%)
 ERROR: While executing gem ... (Gem::FilePermissionError)
 You don't have write permissions for the /.socket/ruby/gems/ruby-2.1.2 directory.


The environment variable GEM_HOME is not configured until rvm use is executed Rubygems attempts to install to the system default directory, which must be reconfigured, at run-time with rvm.


Select which Ruby version to use with rvm use. This will install a rvm shim necessary to set GEM_HOME.

cd /var/www
# rvm shim is installed under /var/www
rvm use 2.2.2
# rvm will confirm this version is selected
gem install --no-rdoc --no-ri rails
# Rails installs now without incident

Leave a Reply