Kids Ruby is a program that aims to help children and beginners learn the basics of the Ruby programming language with a freindly interface and inbuilt guides and tutorials.


Ruby is a programming language created by Yukihiro Matsumoto in 1994 with the intention of designing a language that was powerful but also easy and enjoyable to use. Ruby uses commands that are closer to the spoken language than the cryptic commands of some programming languages. This makes Ruby a good language for beginners and children to understand.

KidsRuby is a program to help children and beginners learn the Ruby programming language with a friendly interface and easily accessible guides and tutorials. It is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and the Raspberry Pi.

The window is split into two sections, the left side is for writing the code the right side displays the inbuilt guides and information making it easy to write the code as you follow the tutorials. The right side also has an output section which is where text output from your programs is written to.

Ruby uses Turtle graphics which is a way to draw pictures by commanding a pen, the turtle, in the same way you would guide a blindfolded person with a pen.

For example

Turtle.draw do

forward 20

right 25

forward 30


This puts the pen down to draw then moves it forward 20 points, rotate to the right 25 degrees and then go forward another 30 points and stop drawing.

You can then make controlled drawings out of lines or use other commands to make complex line patters like the Spirograph drawing toy.


This pattern is created by using a loop to repeat drawing a line 450 times but changes the angle of the line by 70 degrees before each one is drawn.


You can make simple games and application using Ruby as well. Here is a simple game to guess what the hidden number is.




 Installing KidsRuby on the Raspberry Pi

KidsRuby is available for Raspbian and Debian. Visit the KidsRuby website at and go to the download section. Click on the 'Download Raspbery Pi' button. Then save the file kidsruby-1.3.2-armv6l.deb file to the home folder, in Raspbian this will be called Pi otherwise it will the user name you log in with.

You will now need to use LXterminal to install the file. Which will either be an icon on the desktop or in the Accessories section of the desktop menu.

enter the command sudo dpkg -i kidsruby-1.3.2-armv6l.deb


The installer will take a short while


Once the installer has finished KidsRuby can be loaded from the programming section of the desktop menu.



Tutorial and guides are are available within KidsRuby.


If you have a program you have written with KidsRuby you can send it to to be included with this article for others to download and use.

Use the Contact Us link below to send your name, a description or your program and your save file.


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