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Pry (software)

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Pry (software)

Developer(s) John Mair (banisterfiend), Conrad Irwin, …many more
Stable release 0.10.0 / June 9, 2014 (2014-06-09)
Written in Ruby
Operating system Cross-platform
Platform Ruby interpreter
Type Ruby shell
License [1]
MIT License

Pry is an interactive shell for the Ruby programming language. It is notable for its Smalltalk-inspired[1] ability to start a REPL within a running program. This lets programmers debug and modify the current state of a system.


Pry exposes most of its introspective capabilities using a filesystem metaphor.[2] For example, it has a `cd` command to start interacting with a particular object, and uses `ls` to list methods and variables.

It is possible to start Pry at any point inside a running program.[3] Due to the reflective nature of Ruby, this lets the programmer inspect the program, change its current state, or correct the source code without restarting the process.

A number of third party plugins are available for Pry,[1] these add tighter integration with other Ruby projects, enhance the abilities of Pry itself, and make Pry available over a remote connection.


The main competitor to Pry is IRB, a standalone interactive shell that is packaged with releases of the Ruby programming language. There are a reasonable number of third-party plugins that add features to make IRB behave more like Pry, packaged as irbtools.

There are other projects to bring a better-than-IRB REPL to Ruby, such as ripl, but they are yet to see widespread adoption.


  1. ^ a b The Pry Ecosystem — John Mair, 2012 link
  2. ^ Pry — Reuven M. Lerner, LinuxJournal, July 2012, pp28 link
  3. ^ Interactive Debugging With Pry — Alan MacDougall, 2012 link

External links

  • Official website
  • Wiki documentation
  • Introductory video

See also

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