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I've been trying to install rbenv on my fresh Debian 7.4 install, per the instructions here.

I follow all the steps on the guide, and they all work fine: I can use rbenv to install Rubies and gems just fine.

But if I close the terminal and start a new shell I see this:

bash: rbenv: command not found

What gives?

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You're following a tutorial made for OSX. For reasons I have never understood, OSX decided to make their non-login shells source ~/.bash_profile and ~/.profile etc instead of the usual ~/.bashrc and its ilk. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, see here.

Anyway, the tutorial tells you to run

echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile

Which will add the line to ~/.bash_profile which is ignored by non-login shells on Linux. Instead, you want to do this:

echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc

Now, open a new terminal and everything should be fine.

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  • Oh my god, you're my hero. Thanks for the excellent reference, as well. How should I have known the tutorial was specific to OSX? Just keep an eye out for .bash-profile and .bashrc mixups? – Chase May Mar 14 '14 at 0:59
  • @ChaseMay that's one hint yeah, that's what tipped me off cause I happened to know about this difference. The author does not state it implicitly, she/he probably assumes that it works on both. The article does mention macs but also Linux and Unix so don't blame yourself :) – terdon Mar 14 '14 at 1:04

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