no such file to load -- readline (LoadError) when running script/console

If you get

Loading development environment (Rails 2.3.2)
/usr/local/lib/ruby/1.8/irb/completion.rb:10:in require': no such file to load -- readline (LoadError) from /usr/local/lib/ruby/1.8/irb/completion.rb:10 from /usr/local/lib/ruby/1.8/irb/init.rb:252:inrequire'
from /usr/local/lib/ruby/1.8/irb/init.rb:252:in load_modules' from /usr/local/lib/ruby/1.8/irb/init.rb:250:ineach'
from /usr/local/lib/ruby/1.8/irb/init.rb:250:in load_modules' from /usr/local/lib/ruby/1.8/irb/init.rb:21:insetup'
from /usr/local/lib/ruby/1.8/irb.rb:54:in `start'
from /usr/local/bin/irb:13

when running script/console, you might be missing some libraries after you’ve installed Ruby from source. So you might try (Ubuntu, Debian):

sudo apt-get install libncurses5-dev

sudo apt-get install libreadline5-dev

Then cd to the folder with your unpacked Ruby sources, subfolder ext/readline:

cd /usr/src/ruby-1.8.7-p72/ext/readline

ruby extconf.rb


sudo make install

There is no need to recompile Ruby. If you get any of these:

checking for tgetnum() in -lncurses... no
checking for tgetnum() in -ltermcap... no
checking for tgetnum() in -lcurses... no
checking for readline/readline.h... no
checking for editline/readline.h... no

you’re still missing libraries so re-check if the apt-get commands above completed without errors. Hope it helps.


Shih-gian Lee: Thank you, sir. Worked like a charm!

Christian: Thank you for the hint! Worked fine with my self compiled rails on Debian Lenny.

kongkoro: Worked for me thanks!!!

daniel spaniel: Thanks a tonnage. Finally found your solution which worked!

Lucas: Thank you it worked !!

Brock: It's all fun and games until someone compiles from source. Thank you for the tip!

dave: thanks for the secret knowlege! helped a lot. centOS people - it's a lil different, read this article

Ralf: Thank you very much. Worked nicely.

roger: Thanks for the tip. Barring this, you can also install the "pure ruby readline"

bainur: thank u, work like a magic :D

Hari: Thank you!!!

Denis: Thanks a lot!

magesh: That helped! thanks a lot

shir: Thanks!

Pato: Thank you!!!

Gaziz T: Thanks! That did help me!

Rafael: Thanks!! That caused me problems to install ripl. Thanks again!

Posted: 05 April 2009

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