Complete setup guide for Ruby, Cucumber and Watir or Selenium webdriver on Windows

This blog post is outdated. Please refer to our updated setup guide instead.

Hi All,

We have seen quite some people having trouble getting a proper test automation setup using cucumber and watir-webdriver or selenium-webdriver. Here we describe the minimum number of steps to get your cucumber with watir/selenium-webdriver up and running.

Step 1 – Install Ruby

Download and install rubyinstaller-1.9.2-p180.exe.


rubyinstaller-1.8.7-p334.exe would also work

Step 2 – Extract DevKit

Download and extract DevKit-tdm-32-4.5.1-20101214-1400-sfx.exe to a folder you like.


Make sure you create a new folder, it extracts the lib and bin folders to that location, there is no root folder such as DevKit for example.

DevKit is needed because Cucumber requires the json gem. Without installing DevKit you would get the error:
ERROR: Error installing cucumber:
The 'json' native gem requires installed build tools.

Please update your PATH to include build tools or download the DevKit
from '' and follow the instructions
at ''

Step 3 – Install DevKit

Goto the root folder where you extracted DevKit and execute the commands:

ruby dk.rb init
ruby dk.rb install

Step 4 – Install the required gems


gem update --system
gem install rspec --no-ri --no-rdoc
gem install win32console --no-ri --no-rdoc
gem install watir-webdriver --no-ri --no-rdoc
gem install cucumber --no-ri --no-rdoc


  • Installing rspec because it is a commonly used gem.
  • win32console supports colored output on the dos command line when executing the tests!
  • watir-webdriver requires selenium webdriver, so that one will be installed always. If you only want selenium-webdriver, just do gem install selenium-webdriver instead.

When creating an install_gems.bat file inlcuding these commands, make sure to use the CALL command, e.g:

CALL gem update --system
CALL gem install rspec --no-ri --no-rdoc
CALL gem install win32console --no-ri --no-rdoc
CALL gem install watir-webdriver --no-ri --no-rdoc
CALL gem install cucumber --no-ri --no-rdoc

Step 5 – Start with your Cucumber and Webdriver setup

New to cucumber? Have a look at our Web Testing With Cucumber blog!