Table of contents

Publish a Ruby gem


In general, the gem name should be the same as the thing you require when using it. This means using _, and not - to separate multi-word gem names. See the name your gem guide for more detailed guidance.


Follow the guidelines on for assigning version numbers.

Versions should only be changed in a commit of their own, in a pull request of their own. This alerts team members to the new version and allows for last-minute scrutiny before the new version is released. Also, by raising a separate pull request, we avoid version number conflicts between feature branches.

File layout

We should follow the scheme used by Bundler when creating gems (see this railscast).

Some points to note:

  • The version is stored in a file by itself in lib/<gem_name>/version.rb.
  • The Gemfile references the gemspec for gem dependencies. All gem dependencies should be specified in the gemspec.
  • The Gemfile.lock is never committed (it should be in the .gitignore file).

Releasing gem versions

The default Jenkins build script will automatically detect the presence of a gemspec file and publish the gem to See the Jenkinsfile for govuk-lint for an example.

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