Where to get help

There are several sources of help for Ruby. I have categorized them as:

Tech support

As far as I know, there is no 1-800-RUBY support line. But Ruby comes with community-based support which is better than any support money can buy.

Mailing list

The Ruby mailing list is probably the best way to get help on Ruby. The people of this list are quick to respond, helpful and very friendly. To subscribe send an email to ruby-talk-ctl@ruby-lang.org with the following in the body of the message (not the subject):

subscribe Your-First-Name Your-Last-Name

Note: this is a high-traffic mailing list. You will get a lot of emails a day.


If you have an IRC client (and there are several free ones) you can get real-time support through Ruby's IRC channel. Just connect to irc.freenode.net and join #ruby-lang

Ruby User Groups

If there is a Ruby User Group near where you live, this is a great way to get Ruby help and socialize at the same time. You can find a listing of Ruby User Groups at:



In addition to this tutorial, there are other sources of documentation:


There is another introductory Ruby tutorial: Learn to Program, by Chris Pine. It takes a different approach at covering much the same material as this book. I suggest you take a look at it.


There are a few English books on Ruby. Notice, I have not read the first two books. My comments are based on what I've heard from the community.

Sams Teach Yourself Ruby in 21 Days

Author: Mark Slagell

Style: Tutorial

This is probably the most accessible of the books here. It does not assume any previous knowledge by the user. It takes a tutorial style to teaching Ruby. It starts with the most basic and covers quite a bit of ground before it's finished. It has received great reviews by the community. This is probably a great first book.

The Ruby Way

Author: Hal Fulton

Style: Cookbook

This book takes a cookbook-style approach to Ruby. You will find Ruby-based solutions for a large number of problems. This is a medium difficulty book and it has been highly recommended by the community.

I am personally very fond of the cookbook style of books. This is probably the first book that I would buy.

Programming Ruby (PickAxe)

Author: David Thomas

Style: Reference

This book is a very complete reference on Ruby. It is fondly referred to as "PickAxe" because the book cover depics a pickaxe. This is, by far, the most often mentioned book in the Ruby mailing list. It is an excellent reference.

This book is a fair bit more advanced than this tutorial. It assumes that the reader already has a programming background and understands object orientation. This book is available online at: