Fix for Slow Gem Updates

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Lately, rubygems seems to be slow when updating. I guess there’s a lot more gems being released than ever before. As a result, running gem update is painful:

$ sudo gem update
Updating installed gems...
Updating metadata for 345 gems from

Argh! Turns out that there’s a “buik update” setting, and the default threshold is 1000. Metadata will be downloaded a gem at a time if there are 999 to get. Fortunately, it can be changed, by passing the -B flag to gem commands, or you can put this in ~/.gemrc :

update: -B 10
install: -B 10

Now your gem updates will be much faster.

Update: zenspider notes: the latest (last 2 actually) version of rubygems has http keepalive so it should be much much much faster and the bulk update threshold setting shouldn’t be necessary.