Requiring external gems

For a plugin that I am writing, I would like to use some external gem files that are not present in the default discourse gemfile.

What is the standard way of doing this without being able to modify the discourse gemfile?

Also a similar question reqarding user-defined rake tasks.

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Keep in mind you have to declare the gems AND dependencies.


Thanks, didn’t realize that all dependencies needed to be included as well.

How can I also do this for rake tasks?

Have you tried “LOAD_PLUGINS=1 rake your:rake:task”?


I am trying to use this ruby gem called oxford_dictionary

gem 'oxford_dictionary', '2.0.1', { require: false }

This is what I get in the console

/bin/bash -c "env RBENV_VERSION=2.6.2 /usr/local/Cellar/rbenv/1.1.2/libexec/rbenv exec ruby /Users/faiz/discenv/discourse/bin/rails server -b -p 3000 -e development"
I, [2019-08-08T14:01:24.177008 #5867]  INFO -- : Refreshing Gem list
Traceback (most recent call last):
	30: from /Users/faiz/discenv/discourse/bin/unicorn:49:in `<main>'
	29: from /Users/faiz/discenv/discourse/bin/unicorn:49:in `load'
	28: from /Users/faiz/.rbenv/versions/2.6.2/lib/ruby/gems/2.6.0/gems/unicorn-5.5.1/bin/unicorn:128:in `<top (required)>'
	27: from /Users/faiz/.rbenv/versions/2.6.2/lib/ruby/gems/2.6.0/gems/unicorn-5.5.1/lib/unicorn/http_server.rb:141:in `start'
	26: from /Users/faiz/.rbenv/versions/2.6.2/lib/ruby/gems/2.6.0/gems/unicorn-5.5.1/lib/unicorn/http_server.rb:794:in `build_app!'
	25: from /Users/faiz/.rbenv/versions/2.6.2/lib/ruby/gems/2.6.0/gems/unicorn-5.5.1/lib/unicorn.rb:54:in `block in builder'
	24: from /Users/faiz/.rbenv/versions/2.6.2/lib/ruby/gems/2.6.0/gems/unicorn-5.5.1/lib/unicorn.rb:54:in `eval'
	23: from `<main>'
	22: from `new'
	21: from /Users/faiz/.rbenv/versions/2.6.2/lib/ruby/gems/2.6.0/gems/rack-2.0.7/lib/rack/builder.rb:55:in `initialize'
	20: from /Users/faiz/.rbenv/versions/2.6.2/lib/ruby/gems/2.6.0/gems/rack-2.0.7/lib/rack/builder.rb:55:in `instance_eval'
	19: from `block in <main>'
	18: from `require'
	17: from /Users/faiz/discenv/discourse/config/environment.rb:4:in `<top (required)>'
	16: from /Users/faiz/discenv/discourse/config/environment.rb:4:in `require'
	15: from /Users/faiz/discenv/discourse/config/application.rb:57:in `<top (required)>'
	14: from /Users/faiz/discenv/discourse/config/application.rb:58:in `<module:Discourse>'
	13: from /Users/faiz/discenv/discourse/config/application.rb:261:in `<class:Application>'
	12: from lib/discourse.rb:168:in `activate_plugins!'
	11: from lib/discourse.rb:168:in `each'
	10: from lib/discourse.rb:171:in `block in activate_plugins!'
	 9: from /Users/faiz/discenv/discourse/lib/plugin/instance.rb:486:in `activate!'
	 8: from /Users/faiz/discenv/discourse/lib/plugin/instance.rb:486:in `instance_eval'
	 7: from /Users/faiz/discenv/discourse/plugins/discourse-dictionary/plugin.rb:7:in `activate!'
	 6: from /Users/faiz/discenv/discourse/lib/plugin/instance.rb:560:in `gem'
	 5: from /Users/faiz/discenv/discourse/lib/plugin_gem.rb:20:in `load'
	 4: from /Users/faiz/.rbenv/versions/2.6.2/lib/ruby/2.6.0/rubygems/specification.rb:1420:in `activate'
	 3: from /Users/faiz/.rbenv/versions/2.6.2/lib/ruby/2.6.0/rubygems/specification.rb:1438:in `activate_dependencies'
	 2: from /Users/faiz/.rbenv/versions/2.6.2/lib/ruby/2.6.0/rubygems/specification.rb:1438:in `each'
	 1: from /Users/faiz/.rbenv/versions/2.6.2/lib/ruby/2.6.0/rubygems/specification.rb:1449:in `block in activate_dependencies'
/Users/faiz/.rbenv/versions/2.6.2/lib/ruby/2.6.0/rubygems/dependency.rb:311:in `to_specs': Could not find 'plissken' (~> 0.1.0) among 285 total gem(s) (Gem::MissingSpecError)
Checked in 'GEM_PATH=/Users/faiz/.rbenv/versions/2.6.2/lib/ruby/gems/2.6.0:/Users/faiz/.gem/ruby/2.6.0', execute `gem env` for more information

Process finished with exit code 1

I think its probably because of discourse not being able to install a dependency required by the gem itself. How do I fix this?

Ok I fixed it. Its dependency called plissken had to be mentioned separately.
Why is that though?

Your target gem has a dependency that’s not included in the main Gemfile so you need to include it in plugin.rb

This can be a lengthy iterative process sometimes!


I would say a lengthy recursive process :rofl:


Also, I cannot use require: false there. I have to make it true and explicitly require it to make it work.

Wish that recursion could be handled by the computer one day :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Based off my own exp, an update:

  • Yes the version number is required
  • To get these dependancies, install ruby 2.6.5 (the current discourse ruby version in use) on your local machine, and create a Gemfile with the gems you want.
  • Execute “bundle install” in the terminal to create Gemfile.lock
  • This lists out all the gems, gem dependancies and version numbers.
  • Do as Rafael notes in plugin.rb

I am not sure what ‘required’ does but I set it to true

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