6 Most Prominent Ruby IDE for Linux

There were many IDEs out there that supports Ruby on Linux. However, not all of them are good. Here’s the list of recommended Ruby IDE you can use on Linux. The list based on my first-hand experience. It sorts by the alphabetical order. That means, the first Ruby IDE on Linux mentioned on the list doesn’t mean it’s better than the others below it.

Some of the IDEs below are on the cloud and accessible through modern web browser like Chrome or Firefox. That means, those Ruby IDE not only can run on Linux, but also can run on the other platforms with web browser support. Yes, even iPad or Android tablet with supported web browser can run those cloud based IDE. So, it’s possible to write and debug your code directly on your iPad or your favorite tablets.

AWS C9

Formerly known as Cloud9 IDE, before it’s brought by Amazon. It’s now renamed as AWS C9, and it’s integrated with other Amazon services like EC2. The ones I love about this Cloud IDE are:

  • It really replicates the Cloud9 IDE so the learning curve is not that steep for me and anyone who’s used to work with Cloud9 IDE.
  • It runs as EC2 instance on Amazon which means it’s accessible from Amazon AWS Console.
  • It gives a “sudo” access. There’s another Cloud IDE that doesn’t support “sudo” natively on their terminal. Read on if you want to find it.

Now, the ones I don’t like about AWS C9 as Ruby IDE on Linux:

  • The cost is calculated similarly to other Amazon AWS services like EC2. It can be pretty expensive.
  • The terminal often disconnects and reconnects if it’s been idling for some minutes.

Here’s the link to AWS C9 if you want to give it a try: https://aws.amazon.com/cloud9/

Github Codespaces

This basically a Visual Studio Code put on the cloud by Github (Microsoft?). I haven’t explored this Cloud IDE deeply but it’s really similar to Gitpod, except for some facts:

  • Unlike Gitpod, it doesn’t need any YML file to run.
  • It’s more natively integrated with Github
  • It also gives “sudo” and I can do “sudo apt update” and “sudo apt install” to any package I want to install. The package will stay installed even the IDE had been timed out and reloaded.

But, there are also some cons to consider before you tried this cloud IDE:

  • The pricing schema seems pretty similar to Amazon AWS C9 so it can be pretty expensive for some cases.
  • It’s unknown how long it will be available to individual account for free.
  • It must be enabled by the organization who’s owning the Github repository.
  • The longest timeout I can set, based on my first hand experience is 40 minutes
  • It’s only available for Github. If you’re using Gitlab or Bitbucket, then you can’t use Codespaces in any way.

Gitpod

This is pretty similar to Github Codespaces but there’s a slightly different concept with Gitpod:

  • It based on Dockerfile with gitpod.yml to prepare the packages to install on IDE before starting.
  • Assuming all packages required for the project are installed, the running Gitpod IDE will be ready for the developer to focus working on the code ,without having to worry about installing any packages.
  • You can install package on the runtime of IDE, but it will be gone once the IDE hits timeout and stopped.
  • The longest timeout I can set (so the IDE won’t stop when it’s not used) is 3 hours on the highest plan.
  • It has simpler plan to calculate pricing than Github Codespaces too. So, it’s more predictable to use Gitpod IDE.
  • Unlike Github Codespace, Gitpod IDE can be used on other repositories like Bitbucket and Gitlab.
  • On 2020, like the Github Codespaces, Gitpod is also moving to VS Code (Visual Studio Code), after the remote support of VS code is provided, just like Github.dev and now Github Codespaces.
  • You can use my coupon code for Gitpod IDE to get a discount for your first 3 months. Haha.

Repl.it

For this, I’ve written everything I knew on this post. The most interesting of Repl.it IDE are:

  • It’s available for free to try. There’s a free plan with 500MB storage. For small projects, you may be able to stay with free plan.
  • Even if you have to pay, there’s $7/month plan. This is much cheaper for many cases if you compare it to Gitpod or Github Codespaces above.

RubyMine

This one is Ruby IDE for Linux from JetBrains. Unlike the other IDEs above, this one is desktop and not a cloud IDE. The pricing is pricey as well but the features paid it off.

If you’re interested to give it a try, there’s 30 day trial when you download the IDE. Compared to the other IDEs, I’ve to admit it’s the most completed features of Ruby IDE on Linux. It’s really built for Ruby/Ruby on Rails development.

Visual Studio Code

If you’ve written code since early of 2000 (just like me), you’ve heard about Visual Studio from Microsoft. At that time, VS is a complete IDE from Microsoft that supports programming languages that runs on .NET (dot net) framework, such as: VB.NET, C#, etc.

However, this Visual Studio Code is completely different than that old Visual Studio (the latest I used was VS 2008). This one doesn’t require the Windows operating system. Nor it needs .NET framework anymore. It’s now available as Ruby IDE on Linux as well. As its tagline says: Free. Built on open source. Runs everywhere.

Nowadays Visual Studio Code is:

  • Free.
  • Open source.
  • Can run everywhere

The only thing that bothers me is it’s still a native application rather than web based cloud Ruby IDE like the others: Gitpod, Repl.it, Github Codespaces, AWS C9.

What’s the best Ruby IDE on Linux?

This is not about which one is the best. It’s about which one is the most suitable for your Ruby or Ruby on Rails project. For example, if your Ruby or Rails project is already hosted on AWS EC2, the best Ruby IDE choice may be that AWS C9.

But, if another project is just hosted on Github, and you don’t know where you’ll deploy it, Gitpod or Github codespaces may be your best bet. Again, this really depends on the condition of the project you’re working on.

Not only that, there are many other factors to consider such as: budget, deadline of the project, and other factors like repository used on the project. When you used Bitbucket or Gitlab, it’s impossible to use Github Codespace. Gitpod is your best best for such case.

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