I'm trying to switch from gulp-ruby-sass to node-sass which is based on libsass a C implementation faster than the classic Ruby version.

So far I've install the node packages:

Node package

cd /path/to/project
npm install --save-dev node-sass gulp-sass


I replaced the requirement as follow:

//sass = require('gulp-ruby-sass'),
sass = require('gulp-sass'),


Then I went to lo for a libsass package, but none is available currently.

So I wonder if anyone as a bash script to build it as current instructions are unclear ?

2 Answers 2


I documented my research as a bash script as a gist based on the official doc

Compiling and Installing libsass and sassc

Install dependencies

apt-get install automake libtool 

Fetch sources

git clone https://github.com/sass/libsass.git
git clone https://github.com/sass/sassc.git libsass/sassc

Create configure script

cd libsass
autoreconf --force --install
cd ..

Create custom makefiles for shared library

For more info read: Difference between static and shared libraries? before installing libsass.

cd libsass
autoreconf --force --install
./configure \
  --disable-tests \
  --enable-shared \
cd ..

Build the library

make -C libsass -j5

Install the library

sudo make -C libsass -j5 install


Only node-sass

time node-sass /path/to/main.scss 

Succeed with

Rendering Complete, saving .css file...
Wrote CSS to /mnt/data/projects/EVRPA/evrpa/web/main.css
node-sass ../web/styles/main.scss  0.42s user 0.03s system 95% cpu 0.471 total

Gulp with ruby-sass

[17:48:21] Using gulpfile /mnt/data/projects/EVRPA/evrpa/web/gulpfile.js
[17:48:21] Starting 'css'...
[17:48:21] gulp-ruby-sass: directory
[17:48:23] gulp-ruby-sass: overwrite main.css
[17:48:24] Finished 'css' after 2.9 s
gulp css  4.60s user 0.35s system 46% cpu 10.605 total

Gulp with node-sass

time gulp css
[17:47:59] Using gulpfile /mnt/data/projects/EVRPA/evrpa/web/gulpfile.js
[17:47:59] Starting 'css'...
[17:48:00] Finished 'css' after 1.1 s
gulp css  2.99s user 0.20s system 100% cpu 3.164 total


My tests are no benchmark and have little value but node-sass seems to be 3-5x faster than ruby-sass.

  • this doesn't work for Ubuntu 18.04 Aug 5, 2018 at 16:13
  • @ganeshdeshmukh the answer is pretty old and Ubuntu had a lot of release since. So, that's expected Sep 13, 2018 at 20:22

The above is not working anymore with the Ubuntu 18.04

I ended up with the following:

git clone https://github.com/sass/libsass.git ~/libsass
echo "export SASS_LIBSASS_PATH=~/libsass" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc
git clone https://github.com/sass/sassc.git ~/sassc
cd ~/sassc
echo "export PATH=$PATH:~/sassc/bin/" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc
sassc -v

Based on https://github.com/sass/sassc/blob/master/docs/building/unix-instructions.md

  • Can you elaborate on "current version"? Are you talking about libsass, sassc, Linux Mint, etc.? Please provide the version you used if possible. Jun 29, 2016 at 9:36
  • this answer doesn't work in Ubuntu 18.04. Aug 5, 2018 at 16:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.