BasicObject is the parent class of all classes in Ruby. It’s an explicit blank class.

BasicObject can be used for creating object hierarchies independent of Ruby’s object hierarchy, proxy objects like the Delegator class, or other uses where namespace pollution from Ruby’s methods and classes must be avoided.

To avoid polluting BasicObject for other users an appropriately named subclass of BasicObject should be created instead of directly modifying BasicObject:

class MyObjectSystem < BasicObject

BasicObject does not include Kernel (for methods like puts) and BasicObject is outside of the namespace of the standard library so common classes will not be found without using a full class path.

A variety of strategies can be used to provide useful portions of the standard library to subclasses of BasicObject. A subclass could include Kernel to obtain puts, exit, etc. A custom Kernel-like module could be created and included or delegation can be used via method_missing:

class MyObjectSystem < BasicObject
  DELEGATE = [:puts, :p]

  def method_missing(name, *args, &block)
    return super unless DELEGATE.include? name
    ::Kernel.send(name, *args, &block)

  def respond_to_missing?(name, include_private = false)
    DELEGATE.include?(name) or super

Access to classes and modules from the Ruby standard library can be obtained in a BasicObject subclass by referencing the desired constant from the root like ::File or ::Enumerator. Like method_missing, const_missing can be used to delegate constant lookup to Object:

class MyObjectSystem < BasicObject
  def self.const_missing(name)
Class Methods
No documentation available
Instance Methods

Boolean negate.

Returns true if two objects are not-equal, otherwise false.

Equality — At the Object level, == returns true only if obj and other are the same object. Typically, this method is overridden in descendant classes to provide class-specific meaning.

Unlike ==, the equal? method should never be overridden by subclasses as it is used to determine object identity (that is, a.equal?(b) if and only if a is the same object as b):

obj = "a"
other = obj.dup

obj == other      #=> true
obj.equal? other  #=> false
obj.equal? obj    #=> true

The eql? method returns true if obj and other refer to the same hash key. This is used by Hash to test members for equality. For any pair of objects where eql? returns true, the hash value of both objects must be equal. So any subclass that overrides eql? should also override hash appropriately.

For objects of class Object, eql? is synonymous with ==. Subclasses normally continue this tradition by aliasing eql? to their overridden == method, but there are exceptions. Numeric types, for example, perform type conversion across ==, but not across eql?, so:

1 == 1.0     #=> true
1.eql? 1.0   #=> false

Returns an integer identifier for obj.

The same number will be returned on all calls to object_id for a given object, and no two active objects will share an id.

Note: that some objects of builtin classes are reused for optimization. This is the case for immediate values and frozen string literals.

BasicObject implements __id__, Kernel implements object_id.

Immediate values are not passed by reference but are passed by value: nil, true, false, Fixnums, Symbols, and some Floats.  ==  # => false
(21 * 2).object_id    == (21 * 2).object_id    # => true
"hello".object_id     == "hello".object_id     # => false
"hi".freeze.object_id == "hi".freeze.object_id # => true

Invokes the method identified by symbol, passing it any arguments specified. You can use __send__ if the name send clashes with an existing method in obj. When the method is identified by a string, the string is converted to a symbol.

BasicObject implements __send__, Kernel implements send.

class Klass
  def hello(*args)
    "Hello " + args.join(' ')
k =
k.send :hello, "gentle", "readers"   #=> "Hello gentle readers"

Evaluates a string containing Ruby source code, or the given block, within the context of the receiver (obj). In order to set the context, the variable self is set to obj while the code is executing, giving the code access to obj’s instance variables and private methods.

When instance_eval is given a block, obj is also passed in as the block’s only argument.

When instance_eval is given a String, the optional second and third parameters supply a filename and starting line number that are used when reporting compilation errors.

class KlassWithSecret
  def initialize
    @secret = 99
  def the_secret
    "Ssssh! The secret is #{@secret}."
k =
k.instance_eval { @secret }          #=> 99
k.instance_eval { the_secret }       #=> "Ssssh! The secret is 99."
k.instance_eval {|obj| obj == self } #=> true

Executes the given block within the context of the receiver (obj). In order to set the context, the variable self is set to obj while the code is executing, giving the code access to obj’s instance variables. Arguments are passed as block parameters.

class KlassWithSecret
  def initialize
    @secret = 99
k =
k.instance_exec(5) {|x| @secret+x }   #=> 104

Invoked by Ruby when obj is sent a message it cannot handle. symbol is the symbol for the method called, and args are any arguments that were passed to it. By default, the interpreter raises an error when this method is called. However, it is possible to override the method to provide more dynamic behavior. If it is decided that a particular method should not be handled, then super should be called, so that ancestors can pick up the missing method. The example below creates a class Roman, which responds to methods with names consisting of roman numerals, returning the corresponding integer values.

class Roman
  def roman_to_int(str)
    # ...

  def method_missing(symbol, *args)
    str = symbol.id2name
      super(symbol, *args)

r =
r.iv      #=> 4
r.xxiii   #=> 23      #=> 2000     #=> NoMethodError

Invoked as a callback whenever a singleton method is added to the receiver.

module Chatty
  def Chatty.singleton_method_added(id)
    puts "Adding #{id.id2name}"
  def     end
  def two()          end
  def Chatty.three() end


Adding singleton_method_added
Adding one
Adding three