> The linux systems I admin @ work have an old version of ruby (1.8.2).
> I've decided to attempt an upgrade. (SuSE 9.1 fwiw.)
> 
> First attempt was with Ruby 1.9.0-1.


You should be careful from 1.8 to 1.9
As far as I understood it, 1.9 is a "different language" than 1.8

> Everything seemed to work fine

Famous last words SCNR ;-)

> Next in line was 1.8.6-p114. Also went smoothly through build. Tried to
> run a few scripts... nope. Error on 'socket'? huh?
> 
> irb(main):001:0> require 'socket'
> LoadError: no such file to load -- socket


Works here.
My ruby is source built from p114:
  ruby 1.8.6 (2008-03-03 patchlevel 114) [i686-linux]

Maybe you have messed up your ruby install. Or the default SuSE
ruby is missing some bits. Personally I compile things into
self-contained dirs.

> Both builds were done with "./configure; make; sudo make install". Nothing special.

Guess that will default to /usr/local
Where does your irb reside at? And do you have /usr/lib/ruby*
something, some stray ruby files somewhere?

All I know is that it *should* work (it works here)
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