Jacob Swanner Development Blog

Ruby 1.9.3 with performance patches

In my last post, I showed how to install Ruby 1.9.3-p194 on OS X without Xcode or [OSX GCC Installer][osc_gcc_installer]. But, I didn’t cover how to install funny-falcon’s performance patches. I have another post which can show the speed benefits of using these patches.

The following steps assume you’ve followed steps 1-6 of my last post; and, can be applied in addition to, or in replacement of, steps 7-8. In these steps, we will install a new version of Ruby which will be named 1.9.3-p194-perf, which you can keep as a separate installation of Ruby from 1.9.3-p194, or it can be the only installation of Ruby on your development environment.

Installation steps

  1. Install autoconf:

     $ brew install autoconf
  2. Install Ruby 1.9.3-p194 with performance patches:

     $ curl "https://raw.github.com/gist/3126141/rbenv.sh" | sh
  3. Optionally, set Ruby 1.9.3-p194-perf as global version to use:

     $ rbenv global 1.9.3-p194-perf

Adjust Ruby environment variables

With those patches in place, we can now improve Ruby’s performance a bit more. Whenever Ruby’s garbage collector (GC) is running, nothing else can run; and, by default, Ruby’s settings are a bit conservative, potentially causing Ruby’s GC to run multiple times within a single Rails request. So, if we can allow Ruby to use more memory, while having the GC run less frequently, allowing more time for our code to run and less GC time, we can improve our applications’ performance.

  1. Install rbenv-vars:

     $ cd ~/.rbenv/plugins
     $ git clone https://github.com/sstephenson/rbenv-vars.git
  2. Add the following to ~/.rbenv/vars, or .rbenv-vars in a project directory: