Obscure RubyGems Error

June 23, 2008 code 1 min read

A week or so ago my gem command magically stopped working. Honestly, it was magic! There is no other logical explanation. The fetcher’s socket marshaled all over, spewing this error:

$ gem --version
$ sudo gem update --system
Updating RubyGems
ERROR:  While executing gem ... (Gem::RemoteFetcher::FetchError)
    Hostname not known: (SocketError)
	getting size of

Googling different parts of that error didn’t yield anything useful. Lo, I post my solution in case some other poor soul has the same problem. Upgrade to 1.2.0.

Since gem upgrade --system is broken, download the rubygems-update manually.

$ sudo gem install ~/path/to/rubygems-update-1.2.0.gem
$ sudo update_rubygems

Ah, all better. Oh, by the way, rubygems 1.2 rocks!

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avatar of Brandon Keepers I am Brandon Keepers, and I work at GitHub on making Open Source more approachable, effective, and ubiquitous. I tend to think like an engineer, work like an artist, dream like an astronaut, love like a human, and sleep like a baby.