home :: https://github.com/larsch/ocra/
issues :: http://github.com/larsch/ocra/issues
forum :: http://groups.google.com/group/ruby-ocra
OCRA (One-Click Ruby Application) builds Windows executables from Ruby source code. The executable is a self-extracting, self-running executable that contains the Ruby interpreter, your source code and any additionally needed ruby libraries or DLL.
- LZMA Compression (optional, default on)
- Both windowed/console mode supported
- Includes gems based on usage, or from a Bundler Gemfile
Problems & Bug Reporiting
- Windows support only
If you experience problems with OCRA or have found a bug, please use the issue tracker on GitHub (http://github.com/larsch/ocra/issues). You can also join the Google Group discussion forum to ask questions and get help (http://groups.google.com/group/ruby-ocra).
gem install ocra
Alternatively you can download the gem at either http://rubygems.org/gems/ocra or https://github.com/larsch/ocra/releases/.
Stand-alone Version: Get ocrasa.rb from https://github.com/larsch/ocra/releases/. Requires nothing but a working Ruby installation on Windows.
Building an executable:
script.rb, the Ruby interpreter and all
dependencies (gems and DLLs) into an executable named
ocra [options] script.rb [<other files> ...] [-- <script arguments> ...]
--help Display this information. --quiet Suppress output while building executable. --verbose Show extra output while building executable. --version Display version number and exit.
--dll dllname Include additional DLLs from the Ruby bindir. --add-all-core Add all core ruby libraries to the executable. --gemfile <file> Add all gems and dependencies listed in a Bundler Gemfile. --no-enc Exclude encoding support files
Gem content detection modes:
--gem-minimal[=gem1,..] Include only loaded scripts --gem-guess=[gem1,...] Include loaded scripts & best guess (DEFAULT) --gem-all[=gem1,..] Include all scripts & files --gem-full[=gem1,..] Include EVERYTHING --gem-spec[=gem1,..] Include files in gemspec (Does not work with Rubygems 1.7+) --[no-]gem-scripts[=..] Other script files than those loaded --[no-]gem-files[=..] Other files (e.g. data files) --[no-]gem-extras[=..] Extra files (README, etc.)
- minimal: loaded scripts
- guess: loaded scripts and other files
- all: loaded scripts, other scripts, other files (except extras)
- full: Everything found in the gem directory
- scripts: .rb/.rbw files
- extras: C/C++ sources, object files, test, spec, README
- files: all other files
--no-dep-run Don't run script.rb to check for dependencies. --no-autoload Don't load/include script.rb's autoloads. --no-autodll Disable detection of runtime DLL dependencies.
--output <file> Name the exe to generate. Defaults to ./<scriptname>.exe. --no-lzma Disable LZMA compression of the executable. --innosetup <file> Use given Inno Setup script (.iss) to create an installer.
--windows Force Windows application (rubyw.exe) --console Force console application (ruby.exe) --chdir-first When exe starts, change working directory to app dir. --icon <ico> Replace icon with a custom one. --debug Executable will be verbose. --debug-extract Executable will unpack to local dir and not delete after.
OCRA will load your script (using
Kernel#load) and build the executable when it exits.
Your program should 'require' all necessary files when invoked without arguments, so OCRA can detect all dependencies.
DLLs are detected automatically but only those located in your Ruby installation are included.
.rb files will become console applications. .rbw files will become windowed application (without a console window popping up). Alternatively, use the
Running your application:
- The 'current working directory' is not changed by OCRA when running your application. You must change to the installation or temporary directory yourself. See also below.
- When the application is running, the OCRA_EXECUTABLE environment variable points to the .exe (with full path).
- The temporary location of the script can be obtained by inspected the $0 variable.
- OCRA does not set up the include path. Use
$:.unshift File.dirname($0)at the start of your script if you need to 'require' additional source files from the same directory as your main script.
- Avoid modifying load paths at run time. Specify load paths using -I or RUBYLIB if you must, but don't expect OCRA to preserve them for runtime. OCRA may pack sources into other directories than you expect.
- If you use .rbw files or the
--windowsoption, then check that your application works with rubyw.exe before trying with OCRA.
- Avoid absolute paths in your code and when invoking OCRA.
- Working Ruby installation.
- MinGW Installation (when working with the source code only)
Get ocrasa.rb from http://rubyforge.org/frs/?group_id=8185. Requires nothing but a working Ruby installation on Windows.
OCRA first runs the target script in order to detect any files that
are loaded and used at runtime (Using
OCRA embeds everything needed to run a Ruby script into a single executable file. The file contains the .exe stub which is compiled from C-code, and a custom opcode format containing instructions to create directories, save files, set environment variables and run programs. The OCRA script generates this executable and the instructions to be run when it is launched.
When executed, the OCRA stub extracts the Ruby interpreter and your scripts into a temporary directory. The directory will contains the same directory layout as your Ruby installlation. The source files for your application will be put in the 'src' subdirectory.
Any code that is loaded through
Kernel#require when your
script is executed will be included in the OCRA
executable. Conditionally loaded code will not be loaded and included
in the executable unless the code is actually run when OCRA invokes
your script. Otherwise, OCRA won't know about it and will not include
the source files.
RubyGems are handled specially. Whenever a file from a Gem is detected, OCRA will attempt to include all the required files from that specific Gem, expect some unlikely needed files such as readme's and other documentation. This behaviour can be controlled by using the --gem-* options. Behaviour can be changed for all gems or specific gems using --gem-*=gemname.
Libraries found in non-standard path (for example, if you invoke OCRA
with "ruby -I some/path") will be placed into the site dir
(lib/ruby/site_ruby). Avoid changing
$: from your script to include paths outside your source
tree, since OCRA may place the files elsewhere when extracted into the
In case your script (or any of its dependencies) sets up autoloaded
Kernel#autoload, OCRA will automatically try to
load them to ensure that they are all included in the
executable. Modules that doesn't exist will be ignored (a warning will
Dynamic link libraries (.dll files, for example WxWidgets, or other source files) will be detected and included by OCRA.
Including libraries non-automatically
If an application or framework is complicated enough that it tends to confuse Ocra's automatic dependency resolution, then you can use other means to specify what needs to be packaged with your app.
To disable automatic dependency resolution, use the
option; with it, Ocra will skip executing your program during the
build process. This on the other hand requires using
(see more below); otherwise Ocra will not include all the necessary
files for the gems.
You will also probably need to use the
--add-all-core option to
include the Ruby core libraries.
If your app uses gems, then you can specify them in a Bundler (http://gembundler.com) Gemfile, then use the --gemfile option to supply it to Ocra. Ocra will automatically include all gems specified, and all their dependencies.
(Note: This assumes that the gems are installed in your system, not locally packaged inside the app directory by "bundle package")
These options are particularly useful for packaging Rails applications. For example, to package a Rails 3 app in the directory "someapp" and create an exe named "someapp.exe", without actually running the app during the build, you could use the following command:
ocra someapp/script/rails someapp --output someapp.exe --add-all-core \ --gemfile someapp/Gemfile --no-dep-run --gem-full --chdir-first -- server
Note the space between
server! It's important;
an argument to be passed to rails when the script is ran.
Rails 2 apps can be packaged similarly, though you will have to integrate them with Bundler (http://gembundler.com/rails23.html) first.
By default, Ocra includes all scripts that are loaded by your script when it is run before packaging. Ocra detects which gems are using and includes any additional non-script files from those gems, except trivial files such as C/C++ source code, object files, READMEs, unit tests, specs, etc.
This behaviour can be changed by using the --gem-* options. There are four possible modes:
- minimal: Include only loaded scripts
- guess: Include loaded scripts and important files (DEFAULT)
- all: Include all scripts and important files
- full: Include all files
If you find that files are missing from the resulting executable, try first with --gem-all=gemname for the gem that is missing, and if that does not work, try --gem-full=gemname. The paranoid can use --gem-full to include all files for all required gems.
Creating an installer for your application
To make your application start up quicker, or to allow it to keep files in its application directory between runs, or if you just want to make your program seem more like a "regular" Windows application, you can have Ocra generate an installer for your app with the free Inno Setup software.
You will first have to download and install Inno Setup 5 or
later, and also add its directory to your PATH (so that Ocra
can find the ISCC compiler program). Once you've done that,
you can use the
--innosetup option to Ocra to supply an
Inno Setup script. Do not add any [Files] or [Dirs] sections
to the script; Ocra will figure those out itself.
To continue the Rails example above, let's package the Rails 3
app into an installer. Save the following as
[Setup] AppName=SomeApp AppVersion=0.1 DefaultDirName=pf\SomeApp DefaultGroupName=SomeApp OutputBaseFilename=SomeAppInstaller
[Icons] Name: "group\SomeApp"; Filename: "app\someapp.exe" Name: "group\Uninstall SomeApp"; Filename: "uninstallexe"
Then, run Ocra with this command:
ocra someapp/script/rails someapp --output someapp.exe --add-all-core \ --gemfile someapp/Gemfile --no-dep-run --gem-full --chdir-first --no-lzma \ --innosetup someapp.iss -- server
If all goes well, a file named "SomeAppInstaller.exe" will be placed into the Output directory.
OCRA executables clear the RUBYLIB environment variable before your script is launched. This is done to ensure that your script does not use load paths from the end user's Ruby installation.
OCRA executables set the RUBYOPT environment variable to the value it had when you invoked OCRA. For example, if you had "RUBYOPT=rubygems" on your build PC, OCRA ensures that it is also set on PC's running the executables.
OCRA executables set OCRA_EXECUTABLE to the full path of the executable, for example
ENV["OCRA_EXECUTABLE"] # => C:\Program Files\MyApp\MyApp.exe
The OCRA executable does not change the working directory when it is
launched, unless you use the
You should not assume that the current working directory when invoking
an executable built with .exe is the location of the source script. It
can be the directory where the executable is placed (when invoked
through the Windows Explorer), the users' current working directory
(when invoking from the Command Prompt), or even
C:\\WINDOWS\\SYSTEM32 when the executable is invoked through
a file association.
--chdir-first option, the working directory will
always be the common parent directory of your source files. This
should be fine for most applications. However, if your application
is designed to run from the command line and take filenames as
arguments, then you cannot use this option.
If you wish to maintain the user's working directory, but need to
require additional Ruby scripts from the source directory, you can
add the following line to your script:
Load path mangling
Adding paths to
$: at runtime is not
recommended. Adding relative load paths depends on the working
directory being the same as where the script is located (See
above). If you have additional library files in directories below the
directory containing your source script you can use this idiom:
$LOAD_PATH.unshift File.join(File.dirname($0), 'path/to/script')
You can detect whether OCRA is currently building your script by looking for the 'Ocra' constant. If it is defined, OCRA is currenly building the executable from your script. For example, you can use this to avoid opening a GUI window when compiling executables:
app = MyApp.new app.main_loop unless defined?(Ocra)
Additional files and resources
You can add additional files to the OCRA executable (for example images) by appending them to the command line. They should be placed in the source directory with your main script (or a subdirectory).
ocra mainscript.rb someimage.jpeg docs/document.txt
This will create the following layout in the temporary directory when your program is executed:
src/mainscript.rb src/someimage.jpeg src/docs/document.txt
Both files, directoriess and glob patterns can be specified on the command line. Files will be added as-is. If a directory is specified, OCRA will include all files found below that directory. Glob patterns (See Dir.glob) can be used to specify a specific set of files, for example:
ocra script.rb assets/**/*.png
Command Line Arguments
To pass command line argument to your script (both while building and
when run from the resulting executable), specify them after a
-- marker. For example:
ocra script.rb -- --some-=value
This will pass
--some-options=value to the script when
build and when running the executable. Any extra argument specified by
the user when invoking the executable will be appended after the
By default, OCRA builds console application from .rb-files and windowed applications (without console window) from .rbw-files.
Ruby on Windows provides two executables: ruby.exe is a console mode
application and rubyw.exe is a windowed application which does not
bring up a console window when launched using the Windows Explorer.
By default, or if the
--console option is used, OCRA will
use the console runtime (ruby.exe). OCRA will automatically select the
windowed runtime when your script has the ".rbw" extension, or if you
--windows command line option.
If your application works in console mode but not in windowed mode, first check if your script works without OCRA using rubyw.exe. A script that prints to standard output (using puts, print etc.) will eventually cause an exception when run with rubyw.exe (when the IO buffers run full).
You can also try wrapping your script in an exception handler that logs any errors to a file:
begin # your script here rescue Exception => e File.open("except.log") do |f| f.puts e.inspect f.puts e.backtrace end end
Thanks for Igor Pavlov for the LZMA compressor and decompressor. The source code used was place into Public Domain by Igor Pavlov.
Erik Veenstra for rubyscript2exe which provided inspiration.
Dice for the default .exe icon (vit-ruby.ico, http://ruby.morphball.net/vit-ruby-ico_en.html)
(The MIT License)
Copyright (c) 2009-2020 Lars Christensen
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the 'Software'), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS', WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.