Installing Shoes (001)

In this first installment, we’ll show you how to get Shoes 4 installed on your computer.


Welcome to the very first Shoes Minute! I’m Jason Clark, one of the contributor on the Shoes project, and in this series I’ll be showing you, in bite-sized chunks, all the things you can do with Shoes.

So what is Shoes? Shoes is a GUI development library for Ruby that’s focused on providing a simple, pleasant DSL for writing desktop applications.

Let’s take a look at how you get Shoes installed. A new release of Shoes, version 4.0, is under development, and there are two ways to get your hands on it.

First, you can install it as a gem via the command gem install shoes --pre. The –pre tells Rubygems to let you install pre-released software, which Shoes 4 is since we’re not fully feature complete yet. Once that’s installed, you can run it with the shoes command.

If you want to follow along with the latest and greatest being committed to Shoes 4, you can get the source code by cloning from That’ll create a shoes4 directory for us, so we cd into it, and run bundle install. Note that this requires you to be running JRuby, which you can get from, or your installed Ruby version manager. From the source code, you can run from bin/shoes.

That’s all it takes to get Shoes. Next up, we’ll look at writing the simplest possible Shoes application!