Do you develop and program with Ruby? These editors are a must

When it comes to programming and development work, both for websites and applications, one of the most popular languages ​​is Ruby, so we have a wide variety of tools to work with. Therefore, today we are going to see some of the best code editors that we can use to develop with Ruby.

Although to edit our projects with Ruby we can use tools like Gedit or Notepad itself, the truth is that using a more efficient program can help us to be more productive and improve our efficiency. This is important when working, so the choice of this tool is important.

Ruby, focused on simplicity and productivity

We are talking about a programming language. open source, free and free to use, copy, modify and distribute it. It stands out for being dynamic, thoughtful and mainly focused on simplicity and productivity. Writing in this code is easier compared to the rest of the programming languages, being object oriented and imperative. Its elegant syntax makes it natural to read and easy to write.

This language gained its popularity after the “Ruby on Rails” framework became predominant, as developers around the world use Rails for web development, used for high-traffic, user-driven sites and applications.

Ruby has altogether different characteristics among which are:

  • Management exceptionssuch as Java and Python for easy error handling.
  • can load d extension librariesdynamically if allowed by the operating system.
  • Dispose of threading independent of the operating system. So multi-threading is available on all platforms Ruby runs on, regardless of whether the operating system supports it or not.
  • It is a language easily portableand although it is mostly developed on Linux, it also runs on various types of UNIX, macOS, Windows, DOS, etc.

In the market we find a wide variety of IDEs and code editors compatible with Ruby, both free and paid, so it may not always be easy to choose the right one.

Essential editors

Next, we are going to talk about the best editors that we must take into account when carrying out development work with Ruby.

RubyMine, the business option

East complete code editor It has everything a Ruby developer needs for their work environment. It is developed by JetBrains, a corporation that is in charge of creating tools for developers, since it provides full support for all kinds of additional languages ​​such as CoffeeScript, JavaScript, CSS, among others, as well as advanced tools for web development. It is easy to configure and use when creating a project, providing readable and transparent code.

It has a debugger for Ruby, JavaScript, and CoffeeScript, as well as the ability to set different breakpoints to debug your code. It also has key features like formatting suggestions, code completion, syntax and error highlighting, plus unified integration with version control systems.

All this combination of options makes RubyMine the ultimate development environment with which to create our applications, both for the web and desktop. However, we must know that it is not a free or open source program, so you will have to pay for its use. it’s possible download a free trial version from the developer’s website.

Atom, highly configurable

We are talking about an editor that has highly customizable features that will serve to simplify code development. In addition to Ruby, it has support for a large number of programming languages ​​such as C++. PHP, HTML, JavaScript, among others. It is highly configurable which is why it has grown massively in popularity and has a large community behind it that keeps it updated on a regular basis.

Atom text editor

It also has extensive compatibility with add-ons with which we can improve our productivity when using the editor. It has features like autocomplete, multiple panes, and find and replace features. Its interface is completely in English, so it may be a problem for less advanced users. Also, it can be unstable at times, cause code execution failures, and is somewhat slower than other major editors.

Atom is an open source, free, and cross-platform editor, so it can be used on Windows, Linux, and macOS. We can download it from this link to their official website.

VIM, text based

It is a free and open source text editor for Ruby that stands out for being especially rich in functions. It’s text-based so it’s especially appreciated by developers who love to just use a keyboard instead of a mouse to take advantage of the ultrafast encoding. This instead makes it difficult to use at first, although it offers a high degree of productivity, especially due to its wide range of plugins.


We can use this text editor to easily turn it into a powerful Ruby development environment with the right customization and configuration. In addition, it has a great search, replace and support tool with hundreds of programming languages ​​and file formats. Too bad its learning curve may be too high for some users.

VIM is compatible with Linux, Windows and macOS, and can be downloaded for free from their official website.

Aptana Studio, one of the best options to develop with Ruby

Is about one of the most powerful web development IDE of the world. Currently rebuilt from scratch, offering greater speed, customization and features to increase our productivity. This product is used as a programming environment not only for Ruby, but also covers other languages ​​such as Python, PHP, CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.

Aptana Studio

It has a built-in debugger for Ruby and JavaScript, allowing you to set breakpoints, variable inspections, and execution controls. It also has full integration with Git, allowing you to pull and push to remote repositories, such as those hosted on GitHub. It contemplates multiple protocols such as FTP, SFTP, FTPS and Capistrano. In addition, it has a built-in command line terminal, from which you can execute operating system commands and language utilities such as rake, gem, etc.

Apta Studio has become one of the best IDEs for developing Ruby in its class, being owned by the company Appcelerator. It is available as a free and open source IDE that we can download from their official website.

Sublime Text, ideal for experts

We are talking about a powerful editor loved by thousands of developers, being considered by many as one of the best code editors of all time. It is characterized by being customizable, lightweight, rich in functions, with high performance and obtaining a greater number of functions through the use of plugins. And it has a wide variety of add-ons to give the application all the functions for Ruby programming, which makes it one of the best options today.

Sublime initial interface

Performance and customization are highlights of this editor. You have the ability to split editing, the ability to select and change text in multiple places at once, and switch projects without saving. It also allows you to jump to strings or symbols, define various syntax, and highlight code. It is worth mentioning that it has keyboard shortcuts which allows us to save time when carrying out programming and debugging tasks.

Sublime Text is a cross-platform editor, so we can use it on Windows, macOS and Linux, being able to free download from your website. In addition, it has a Premium version so that we can take advantage of all its functions.

Emacs, with tutorial for new users

Without a doubt one of the most amazing editors to work with Ruby. It is available for free and is GNU so it can be customized and configured according to our needs. It is used by many Ruby developers, so it has accessories for better use with this language, making it a great option when choosing our free IDE for Ruby.


It features different content-aware editing modes, including syntax coloring, for many file types. It offers full Unicode support so it can be used with almost all types of scripts. It is highly customizable, using either Emacs Lisp code or a graphical interface. In addition, it has complete documentation integrated, including a tutorial aimed at new users.

Emacs is a free and open code editor, compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux that we can download from developer website.

Apache NetBeans, benchmark in Rails web development

We are talking about a powerful development environment for Ruby created by RoR, it comes from Oracle and is free to use. It is also used to develop both desktop and mobile applications, such as web pages using Java, PHP, HTML 5, C or C++. Among its features, it has syntactic and semantic highlighting and intelligent code completion.

NetBeans - Interface

It also incorporates Git compatibility and it has a good level of customization, since it does not allow us to move its toolbar and buttons to help us feel more comfortable with its use. This IDE sets the benchmark for the rails web development with cutting-edge technologies, offering intelligent schematics to help us understand and manage our Rails applications.

NetBeans is supported by a large community as it is one of the fastest ways to code. It is cross-platform, so it can be used on Linux, macOS and Windows and can be download from their official website.

Which of all is more recommended?

This is a question that each user must answer according to their tastes, development style and requirements. Most of the editors used for Ruby development are free or offer a free trial version so it is always beneficial to be able to try a few before you decide on a particular one. Depending on our abilities and knowledge, we may be interested in using one or the other.

In general, many companies choose to rubymine, one of the most powerful options that exist and that also has enterprise-grade support. It is also true that it is a paid tool, so given the wide variety of free options that we can find, we may not be interested in paying what it costs. On the other hand, Aptana It is also another option that is quite popular among professional developers and is widely used, with the advantage of being a free and open source editor, so it has that “plus” that makes us opt for it.