Working with Graphics in Ruby: A Beginner's Guide


Ruby is a versatile programming language that can be used for various tasks, including working with graphics and creating graphical applications. In this guide, we'll explore the basics of working with graphics in Ruby and provide you with sample code to get started on your graphical programming journey.


Before diving into graphics programming with Ruby, make sure you have the following prerequisites:

  • Ruby installed on your system
  • A code editor (e.g., Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text)
  • Basic knowledge of Ruby programming
  • Desire and creativity to work on graphical projects

Step 1: Choosing a Graphics Library

Ruby offers various graphics libraries and frameworks for different purposes. Some popular choices include:

  • Gosu: A 2D game development library that supports windowed applications and games.
  • RMagick: A Ruby interface to the ImageMagick image processing library, allowing you to manipulate and create images.
  • Shoes: A toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and simple games.

Step 2: Installing the Graphics Library

Depending on the library you choose, you'll need to install the corresponding gem. For example, to install Gosu, use RubyGems:

gem install gosu

Step 3: Creating a Simple Graphics Application

Let's create a simple graphics application using the Gosu library. The following code opens a window and draws a blue rectangle:

require 'gosu'
class MyWindow < Gosu::Window
def initialize
super(640, 480)
self.caption = 'My Ruby Graphics Application'
def draw
draw_rect(100, 100, 200, 200, Gosu::Color::BLUE)
window =

Run this code, and a window with a blue rectangle will appear. You can further explore the Gosu library to create more complex graphical applications.


Working with graphics in Ruby can be a fun and creative experience. By choosing the right graphics library and honing your skills, you can create stunning visual applications, games, and more. Ruby's simplicity and expressiveness make it an excellent choice for those who want to dive into graphical programming.

As you continue to explore the world of graphical programming in Ruby, consider learning more about the chosen graphics library, incorporating user interaction, and building impressive visual projects.

Happy coding with graphics in Ruby!