Installing Ruby and Watir on Windows 7

Installing Ruby and Watir on Windows 7
Photo by Tadas Sar / Unsplash

I recently started playing around with Web Application Testing in Ruby or Watir for short. As is recommended, I downloaded the Homebrewer’s Guide to Watir by Zeljko Filipin and started trying to install the latest versions of the RubyInstaller for Windows (currently 2.0.0) when I ran into a few problems. (I like the idea of using Leanpub to create and modify install documents for open source applications.)

I installed Ruby and Watir on a Windows 7 64 bit machine using the 32 bit versions and everything seems to work fine so far. Here’s how I installed everything using the RubyInstaller and instructions from the above guide (note: some of these instructions will be a duplicate of the guide):

Ruby Installation

  1. Open a command prompt (Run and type cmd) and type ruby -v to see if you have Ruby installed (if you don’t it will say the command isn’t recognized) and the version number.
  2. I have Windows 7 64 bit but I used the 32 bit installers from RubyInstaller Downloads including:
    1. Ruby 2.0.0-p247
    2. DevKit-mingw64-32-4.7.2
  3. Run the Ruby installer and on the optional tasks page select the below items before completing:
    1. Add Ruby executables to your PATH
    2. Associate .rb and .rbw files with this Ruby installation
  4. Open a new command prompt and type ruby -v to see if Ruby installed and the version number.
  5. (Optional) Once installed you can update the RubyGems distributed with the installer by typing gem update --system and watching for the “RubyGems system software updated” to know when its complete.
  6. Move on to the DevKit installation.

DevKit Installation

  1. Run the DevKit installer but change the extraction folder to C:devkit
  2. Open a command prompt (Run and type cmd) and change the folder to C:devkit (use the command cd c:devkit).
  3. Run the command ruby dk.rb init. If this step is successful you’ll see a response like “[INFO] found RubyInstaller v2.0.0 at C:/Ruby200”.
  4. Run the command ruby dk.rb install. If this step is successful you’ll see a response like [INFO] Installing C:/Ruby200/lib/ruby/site_ruby/2.0.0/
    and [INFO] Installing C:/Ruby200/lib/ruby/site_ruby/devkit.rb
  5. Move on to Watir installation.

Watir Installation

This is where I ran into problems with the 2.0.0 version of Watir. Something about the mini_magick version erroring out. To prevent this problem we do:

  1. Run the command (still from the C:devkit command window) gem install mini_magick -v 3.5.0 which works around the version problem. You should get a response like “2 gems installed”
  2. Then run the command gem install watir --no-ri --no-rdoc to install the rest of Watir. You should get a response like “Successfully installed watir-4.0.2-x86-mingw32 and 23 gems installed”.

Check the installation

In the same command window type (after each line of code submit the commands)
  1. irb
  2. require "watir"
  3. browser =
  4. browser.goto ""

If all is setup correctly you should get your default browser to open a new window and then browse to Google. Good luck.

Note: These steps weren’t meant to replace the Homebrewer’s Guide to Watir by Zeljko Filipin instructions but to improve them for the 2.0.0 release. For everything else please refer to the guide.

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Jamie Larson