Private Ruby gems

Learn how to distribute your private Ruby gems.

Installation instructions

Your customers must register the following private gem source before they can install the gem:

gem sources --add

Once the repository source has been added, they can install your product like any other Ruby gem using the gem install command:

gem install your-product-identifier

Example with license

If you require customers to have a valid license key in order to install or update the gem, they will need to enter their email and license key.


Special characters in the email address must be URL encoded. So instead of the @ symbol they must enter %40. Click here to encode a string.

gem sources --add

Example with license and activation

If your licensing policy requires a fingerprint your customers will need to append their fingerprint to their license key.

  • Contact email: [email protected]
  • License key: 8c21df8f-6273-4932-b4ba-8bcc723ef500
  • Activation fingerprint:

This will require your licensee to enter the following information when prompted for their credentials:

gem sources --add[email protected]

To clarify, the license key and fingerprint should be separated by a colon (:).