sudo gem update --system under ubuntu/debian

If you have tried that command, you already know that doesn’t work!
Here is the correct procedure to update gem under ubuntu/debian without using apt-get/aptitude

  
$ sudo gem install rubygems-update  
$ cd /var/lib/gems/1.8/bin  
$ sudo ./update_rubygems  
$ gem -v  
$ 1.3.5  

Happy rubying :)

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