31 Fascinating Ruby on Rails Tutorials & Guides


Ruby on Rails is an excellent framework to learn not only because it's a great web application framework, but also because it has a large and helpful community. In fact, chances are you can learn how to use Rails in a multitude of ways, just by searching the web.

We've taken it upon ourselves to compile some excellent tutorials that Rails beginner's and zealots alike can use while working in the popular web app framework and continue exploring the endless possibilities of Rails.


1. How to Install Rails

A getting started guide on how to set up Rails in multiple environments, from the official Ruby on Rails site.

2. Ruby on Rails for Web Development in Mac OS X

Apple has an official guide on how to get started with Rails on a Mac.

3. Installing Ruby on Rails with Lighttpd and MySQL on Fedora Core 4

Extensive documentation on how to get this great cocktail of software working for Rails.

4. Four Days on Rails

Four Days on Rails is an impressive 40-page eBook that provides a handy toolbox for Rails development.

5. Why Rails?

Rails Envy gives an argument in favor of the Rails framework.

6. Rolling with Ruby on Rails Revisited, Part 2

A "storytelling" example on the effectiveness of Rails in web applications.

7. Fast-track your Web apps with Ruby on Rails

Fast-track your Web apps with Ruby on Rails is a somewhat dated but excellent overview of how the web framework works.

8. Ruby Study Notes

If you're not familiar with the Ruby language, check out Ruby Study Notes, a web-based tutorial on the basics of Ruby.

9. Ruby in 20 Minutes

The official Ruby site has a quickstart that will get you well underway into Ruby programming.

10. Ruby on Rails Cheat Sheet

A quick reference for Rail's directory structure, pre-defined variables, syntax and more.


11. Ruby Loops

Dev Articles has a quick look at Ruby Loops, Methods and Blocks.

12. Rails To-Do List

A tutorial on how to create a simple to-do list with Rails. (Note: it's slightly dated so be aware of when the advice goes against current best practices - still a useful exercise though.)

13. Send Emails with Rails

This quick guide shows how to use Rails' mailer functionality to send emails within a web application.

14. Rails for Designers

A great starting point for learning how things like Rails and the MVC framework can be a great thing for a designer.

15. Easy Image Attachments in Rails

How to use Paperclip to swiftly attach images to an Event in Rails.

16. How to Use Gmail as Your Mail Server For Rails

An innovative strategy for using ActionMailer to farm out email sending with (almost) everybody's favorite email host, Gmail.

17. Building a Social Network Site in Rails

A collection of plugins, tips and advice to help build your own social networking site in Rails. The article doesn't go over all the code needed to make a social networking site, but rather touches on the most important aspects and functionality.

18. Ruby on Rails Security Guide

An excellent primer on the types of security attacks your Rails app might encounter, and how to combat them.

19. Rails and Ajax Table Pagination, Sorting and Searching

Sorting table data is incredibly useful for most data-heavy applications. has put together a comprehensive guide on how to make a sortible AJAX table in Rails, complete with a demo application.

20. Restful Authentication with Rails 2

The Restful Authentication plugin is a hugely popular plugin for doing all things user-releated. Avnet labs has a great tutorial on how to implement Restful Authentication with your Rails app, with many helpful screenshots and example code.

21. Converting Videos with Rails

A 2-part series on converting video in a Rails app with the FFMPEG.


22. Distributing Ruby Applications

Everything you'll need to know about packing and distributing Rails applications with Tar2RubyScript and RubyScript2EXE.

23. Rails Ajax

A dated but fundamentally useful overview on how to use Ajax technologies with the Rails framework.

24. Rails and jQuery

An episode from the excellent Railscasts site going over how to use jQuery in a Rails application.

25. Dropping and Sorting with Ajax and Scriptaculous

A quick tutorial on creating a drag-n-drop interface in Rails and the popular Javascript framework Scriptaculous.

26. Auto-complete Association

A screencast on how to create a text field auto-complete experience, much like Google's newly-revamped search functionality.

27. Getting Started with Instant Rails on Windows (screencast)

O'Reilly media has a nice 17 minute video primer on RoR for Windows users.

28. Complex forms

A slightly more advanced tutorial that focuses on making complex forms without unwieldy controllers. The tutorial has two other parts that build on the first. (Part 2, part 3)

29. Creating Plugins in Rails

The basics on creating a plugin with the Rails API. The tutorial is very extensive and thorough.

30. Paypal Basics

Railscasts has another excellent episode on how to integrate Paypal into your application for handling money transactions.

31. Active Merchant Basics

If you're wanting to roll your own money processing system and use something other than Paypal, then you might want to try Active Merchant, a payment processing library for Rails Screencasts has an Active Merchant Basics, complete with source code.

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