Install Sass with Compass manually on Windows

There is a way to install SASS with Compass directly from your computer – it is sometimes referred to as the ‘manual way’. It is a good option, especially if you are having problems whit the regular SASS/Compass installation process. Here is how to do it:

Download the files you’ll need

Step 1 You need a total of four gem files: sass, chunky_png, fssm and compass

Go to the Ruby Gems website and locate the Search for gems field. Type in sass and open the first entry on the results page; click on the Download link to save the file on your computer.

Do the same for the rest of the files. Search for chunky_png, fssm and compass and download them.

(optional) If you cannot download the latest versions of the gem files try to:

1. Switch to another internet connection

2. Search for a friend who can download the gem files and send them to you

3. Drop us a comment and we will send you a .rar file with the most recent versions as soon as possible.

4. Browse the older versions of the gems that you can find on their pages. You’ll probably be able to download some of them.

Installing SASS and Compass Manually

Step 2 Once you’ve managed to get the four gem files, put them in your main Ruby directory. It should be located on your main partition – a folder named RubyXXX. For example C:\Ruby200 for Ruby version 2.0.0

Step 3 Now open the Command Prompt window.

Go to Start menu -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt


Step 4 Navigate to your Ruby installation folder. To do that, type in
cd path-to-your-ruby-folder, for example:

cd c:\ruby200

Step 5 Start with installing SASS. Type in

gem install sass

Step 6 Wait a bit. Then do the same thing for compass. In the Command Prompt window type in:

gem install compass

chunky_png and fssm will be installed automatically with compass.

Step 7 To check if SASS and Compass are working, type in

sass –v

compass –v

You should see messages stating the sass and compass versions. Better delete or move the gem files from your Ruby folder now.

Related article: How to update your SASS with Compass installation – automatically or manually.

Guest blogger: Stanimira

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  • EriK

    THANK YOU. Been looking for this.

    • praj

      Getting this message. Please suggest any work around.
      ERROR: Could not find a valid gem ‘compass’ (>= 0), here is why:

      Unable to download data from – no such name (htt


  • Thoms

    Fantastic tutorial.
    Many thanks.

  • Thoms

    Although I installed Sass (3.3.4), when I try to install compass it fails with this error:

    Error: While executing gem …
    Unable to resolve dependencies: compass requires sass 3.2.19

    Any help?


    • St. Atanasova

      Hi Thoms, thanks for reading.

      Compass is supposed to automatically fetch the sass 3.2.19 gem. Make sure your Sass installation is fine by running “sass -v”. You should see one single line saying “Sass 3.3.4 (Maptastic Maple)”.

      In case you can see your Sass version, but compass still gets stuck, here is my suggestion:
      1. Uninstall Sass. Run “gem uninstall sass” in your command prompt, answer with Y to all the questions.
      2. Install Sass 3.2.19 by running “gem install sass -v 3.2.19” in your command prompt.
      3. Install Compass – “gem install compass”
      4. Update Sass to version 3.3.4 – “gem update sass”

      Let me know if that worked
      – Stanimira

      • uwcong

        Your method is ok ! Thank you so much !

      • Iqbal


        While installing compass ( gem install compass ) i’m getting below error

        ERROR” While executing gem …
        unable to resolve dependency: ‘compass ‘ requires ‘rb-fsevent =0.9.3>’

  • Azaad

    You are AWESOME

  • amogh shilpi

    Hi I cannot install sass and compass.Please send me zip file to

  • MayMay

    Hi, I cannot install sass, it fails with this error
    “ERROR: while executing gem … (Encoding::UndefinedConversionError)
    U+2019 to CP850 in conversion from UTF-16LE to UTF-8 to CP850

    Please Help!!!!

  • praj

    Thanks mam

  • narayan joshi

    Thanks, I was having issues installing it remotely.