Installing Ruby gems as root using sudo seemed like it was opening my system up far too much, to packages I had little control over.

Gem allows you to install packages to your own user directory using the --user-install option but it doesn’t add the directory of these ‘user’ packages to your $PATH. Meaning that its pretty much unusable.

So I wrote some bash to solve all of this. Hopefully it becomes default in 3.0 as suggested in this Github issue, but until then you can use this:

gem() {
	if [[ $1 == "install" ]]; then
		command gem install --user-install ${gemargs:7}
		command gem "$@"
if hash ruby 2>/dev/null; then
	PATH="$(ruby -rubygems -e 'puts Gem.user_dir')/bin:$PATH"

Add it to the end of your .bashrc or .bash_aliases (These are in your home directory).

This has been tested on Linux and should work on OS X too

Note: I am not a Ruby developer, I just use it for things like Jekyll from time to time