Here's how to get a pretty easy working 1.9/1.8.6 mingw (from my post to ruby installers list)
for the files at
quick install instructions (1.8.6, 1.9):
install a ruby one click installer to c:\Ruby
c:\Ruby now has
Now unzip the devkit.7z and move its contents into the same folder
(devkit is a bundled up mingw GCC+msys).
c:\Ruby now has
(note: the message "This folder already contains a folder named bin"
is expected--choose "yes" to confirm folder replace).
next add c:\Ruby\bin to the beginning of your path and enjoy the power
of a faster ruby with a compiler.
==More Detailed instructions==
Same as above--however, if you want to use a folder other than c:\Ruby
then please change devkit/msys/1.0.11/etc/fstab to properly point to
the right directories for mingw and /usr/local
How to add ruby\bin to your path:
either do this on the command line thus:
or change the PATH variable within my computer -> properties ->
advanced -> environment variables (add it to the front of path within
== How to determine success ==
If successful you should get an output like (for 1.8):
ruby 1.8.6 (2009-03-31 patchlevel 368) [i386-mingw32]
Reading specs from C:/Ruby/devkit/gcc/3.4.5/bin/../lib/gcc/mingw32/3.4.5/specs
and installing binary gems should work properly:
C:\>gem install json
Building native extensions. This could take a while...
Successfully installed json
If a gem fails to compile (ex: because of lack of headers), you can at
times get away with doing a
gem install gemname --platform=mswin32
this installs the msvc binaries for it. They are *typically* compatible. It's safer, however, to download the headers and compile it locally, and submit your process upstream so they can release a quality mingw binary :)