(<unknown>): could not find expected ':' while scanning a simple key at line 3 column 1 (Psych::SyntaxError)

I am trying to run a bundle install on a rails project pulled from git. When I run the bundle install I get the following error:

    /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.1/lib/ruby/2.2.0/psych.rb:370:in     `parse': (<unknown>): could not find expected ':' while scanning a simple key at     line 3 column 1 (Psych::SyntaxError)
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.1/lib/ruby/2.2.0/psych.rb:370:in `parse_stream'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.1/lib/ruby/2.2.0/psych.rb:318:in `parse'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.1/lib/ruby/2.2.0/psych.rb:245:in `load'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.1/lib/ruby/site_ruby/2.2.0/rubygems/config_file.rb:333:in `load_file'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.1/lib/ruby/site_ruby/2.2.0/rubygems/config_file.rb:198:in `initialize'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.1/lib/ruby/site_ruby/2.2.0/rubygems/gem_runner.rb:74:in `new'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.1/lib/ruby/site_ruby/2.2.0/rubygems/gem_runner.rb:74:in `do_configuration'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.1/lib/ruby/site_ruby/2.2.0/rubygems/gem_runner.rb:39:in `run'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.1/bin/gem:21:in `<main>'

This is my Gemfile:

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  • source 'https://rubygems.org'
    # Bundle edge Rails instead: gem 'rails', github: 'rails/rails'
    gem 'rails', '4.2.3'
    # Use sqlite3 as the database for Active Record
    gem 'sqlite3'
    #for Authentification
    gem 'devise'
    #for image management
    gem 'paperclip', :git => 'git://github.com/thoughtbot/paperclip.git'
    gem 'aws-sdk-v1'
    gem 'aws-s3'
    group :development do
        gem 'better_errors'
    group :development, :test do
        gem 'dotenv-rails'
    # Use SCSS for stylesheets
    gem 'sass-rails', '~> 5.0'
    # Use Uglifier as compressor for JavaScript assets
    gem 'uglifier', '>= 1.3.0'
    # Use CoffeeScript for .coffee assets and views
    gem 'coffee-rails', '~> 4.1.0'
    # See https://github.com/rails/execjs#readme for more supported runtimes
    # gem 'therubyracer', platforms: :ruby
    # Use jquery as the JavaScript library
    gem 'jquery-rails'
    # Turbolinks makes following links in your web application faster. Read more:     https://github.com/rails/turbolinks
    gem 'turbolinks'
    # Build JSON APIs with ease. Read more: https://github.com/rails/jbuilder
    gem 'jbuilder', '~> 2.0'
    # bundle exec rake doc:rails generates the API under doc/api.
    gem 'sdoc', '~> 0.4.0', group: :doc
    # Use ActiveModel has_secure_password
    # gem 'bcrypt', '~> 3.1.7'
    # Use Unicorn as the app server
    # gem 'unicorn'
    # Use Capistrano for deployment
    # gem 'capistrano-rails', group: :development
    group :development, :test do
      # Call 'byebug' anywhere in the code to stop execution and get a debugger     console
      gem 'byebug'
      # Access an IRB console on exception pages or by using <%= console %> in views
      gem 'web-console', '~> 2.0'
      # Spring speeds up development by keeping your application running in the      background. Read more: https://github.com/rails/spring
      gem 'spring'

    After some digging I thought it might be an issue with rvm as I tried pulling an old project off git and was still unable to run the bundle install. I also tried copying a project locally and running the install and starting a new project all without success.

    After reinstalling rvm I ran rvm use ruby --install --defaultand got the following error (similar to above)

    /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.3/lib/ruby/2.2.0/psych.rb:370:in `parse': (<unknown>): could not find expected ':' while scanning a simple key at line 3 column 1 (Psych::SyntaxError)
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.3/lib/ruby/2.2.0/psych.rb:370:in `parse_stream'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.3/lib/ruby/2.2.0/psych.rb:318:in `parse'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.3/lib/ruby/2.2.0/psych.rb:245:in `load'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.3/lib/ruby/2.2.0/rubygems/config_file.rb:333:in `load_file'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.3/lib/ruby/2.2.0/rubygems/config_file.rb:198:in `initialize'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.3/lib/ruby/2.2.0/rubygems/gem_runner.rb:74:in `new'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.3/lib/ruby/2.2.0/rubygems/gem_runner.rb:74:in `do_configuration'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.3/lib/ruby/2.2.0/rubygems/gem_runner.rb:39:in `run'
    from /Users/jordandeutsch/.rvm/rubies/ruby-2.2.3/bin/gem:25:in `<main>'

    Essentially I cannot begin a new rails project on the computer. Any insight would be appreciated.

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  • 2 Solutions collect form web for “(<unknown>): could not find expected ':' while scanning a simple key at line 3 column 1 (Psych::SyntaxError)”

    This error usually comes out if you have syntax errors in the .yml files.
    Have a look if you can find any mistake in there.

    You can also try and remove the .gemrc file from the home directory. It could be that the error is in there.

    I had this issue recently had this issue. My issue:


    default: &default
      <<: *default
      <<: *default

    Worked fine.

    default: &default
      FOO_KEY: 'asdf'
      <<: *default
      <<: *default

    Did not work. What I tried:

    • Rewrite application.yml
    • Remove GEMFILE.lock and reinstall all gems
    • change the values and names of keys
    • check all configs for typos

    None of these helped fix the issue. So as any good engineer I burned it to the ground. I cloned my project into a new directory and rewrote the application.yml and that worked. Both repos are on the same branch and on the same changeset.

    Git Baby is a git and github fan, let's start git clone.