Bundler problem with git: source

Starting with a fresh Rails application I stumbled upon a confusing problem. I started to integrate the gem cms-fortress as an extension for the quite cool ComfortableMexicanSofa CMS. The integration in the Gemfile looked like this (the source is now our fork on github):

gem 'cms-fortress', :git => 'git@github.com:sumcumo/cms-fortress.git', :branch => 'master'

Straight forward, but Rails was not able to use the gem. The error message when starting Rails was:

~/p/s/kenny git:cms-fortress ❯❯❯ rails s
git@github.com:sumcumo/cms-fortress.git (at master) is not yet checked out. Run `bundle install` first.
git@github.com:sumcumo/cms-fortress.git (at master) is not yet checked out. Run `bundle install` first.
no ruby in PATH/CONFIG
=> Booting Puma

Bundler config files

After trying out various possible solutions with no luck, I thought it must have to do with a setting in a config file. Basically there are two config files. One is ~/.bundle/config and the other one is in RAILS_ROOT/.bundle/config. Actually nothing obviously wrong in there. Removing them did not help.

Bundler cache

There are various places where bundler is caching gems. One is ~/.gems/cache/bundler/, another is $GEM_HOME/cache/bundler/ where $GEM_HOME is the directory when using rvm and gemsets and finally there is RAILS_ROOT/vendor/cache/. I am not sure when and if I cleared the cache directories. But it did not help anyway.


Bundler is writing all used gems and it’s dependencies into the Gemfile.lock file. There are circumstances, where you may want to delete that file if you have some strange behaviour like not being able to install gems or during a deployment process with capistrano. No problems arise when you delete the file because when running bundle install it will be recreated. Deleteing the file and recreating it did not help either.

More confusion

After several attempts to fix the problem, checking out the bundler documentation, deleting the gemset with rvm gemset delete GEMSET_NAME and finally removing the Ruby version completely and reinstalling it, I was stuck. My attempts to find a solution at Google was also not fruitful … beside one SO entry:

Bundle doesn’t want to install a gem (not yet checked out)

Andreas Lyngstad pointed to the Bundler issue page and it’s troubleshooting section. It does recommend to fire these commands:

# remove user-specific gems and git repos
rm -rf ~/.bundle/ ~/.gem/bundler/ ~/.gems/cache/bundler/

# remove system-wide git repos and git checkouts
rm -rf $GEM_HOME/bundler/ $GEM_HOME/cache/bundler/

# remove project-specific settings
rm -rf .bundle/

# remove project-specific cached gems and repos
rm -rf vendor/cache/

# remove the saved resolve of the Gemfile
rm -rf Gemfile.lock

# uninstall the rubygems-bundler and open_gem gems
rvm gemset use global # if using rvm
gem uninstall rubygems-bundler open_gem

# try to install one more time
bundle install

I did follow the recommendation and deleted and recreated the gemset again in addition. This is done with:

rvm gemset delete GEMSET_NAME
rvm use ruby-2.1.1@GEMSET_NAME --create

Then I ran bundle install and afterwards rails s … but:

Warning: You're using Rubygems 2.0.14 with Spring. Upgrade to at least Rubygems 2.1.0 and run `gem pristine --all` for better startup performance.
Could not find json-1.8.1 in any of the sources
Run `bundle install` to install missing gems.

This is completely nonsens because I am using rubgygems 2.2.2 what is confirmed by the following check:

gem -v

Strangely, when stepping out of the directory and reentering again and trying to start the application … ta ta … everything worked. Uh …


My conslusion is, that there have been basically two problems. First, bundler is installed globally and is used with the global configuration. And in addition, there is the rubygems-bundler gem what imho caused problems. Because when examining the README of the gem you will find

Generally, this gem is not needed on RubyGems >= 2.2.0.

That means removing the gem did help. Furthermore there must have been some sttings or cached stuff what was forcing these problems. Removing everything did help at the end … I think and hope.

But why in the world did the above output say:

Warning: You’re using Rubygems 2.0.14 …

I suspect that there is a mismatch when creating a fresh gemset with the used rubygems version. And this was resolved, when reinitialising the gemset with

rvm use ruby-2.1.1@GEMSET_NAME

To be honest, I have no clue why that problem occured.

I Hope it helps at least

Unfortunately this post is not explaining why the problems occured. I have some ideas but am not entirely sure. At least, I could find a way to solve the problem for me and hope that it will solve also issues for some other folks also. It’s unfortunate, that it feels a bit like a black box with no way to shine into it …

Thanks also to my fellow colleague Moritz for helping investigating this.

Published: June 11 2014