Setup New Rails Project

3 minute read

Today we will setup new rails project with rspec for testing.

Setup new rails project

1) Navigate to your desired directory and run the following command in terminal

$ rails new app-name -T # The -T option tells rails not to include Test::Unit

# Other available options are
# --database=mysql Tells rails to use MySQL by default
# --skip-turbolinks
# --skip-bundle  This skips the bundle install after all files have been generated
# $ rails --help Other Essential options could be viewed

my personally preferred command is:

$ rails new app-name -T --database=mysql --skip-turbolinks

I don’t like turbolinks and I use rspec instead of Test::Unit and I mostly use mysql database rather than default sqlite

2) Navigate to newly created app.

$ cd /path/to/app-name

3) Initialize the project with git

$ git init

4) Create and Open .gitignore file and add following:

# Rubymine project
# Test and misc files
# Ignore bundler config.
# Ignore the default SQLite database and schema.
# Ignore all logfiles and tempfiles.
# Ignore rmvrc
# If using bower-rails ignore default bower_components path bower.json files

5) Open Gemfile and modify it as necessary. Here are sample some modifications done:

  • Use mysql instead of sqlite for database.
  • Added figaro gem for managing environment variables.
  • Added pry-rails gem for debugging.
  • Added capistrano gems for deployment.
  • Group gems for development.
source ''
# Bundle edge Rails instead: gem 'rails', github: 'rails/rails'
gem 'rails', '4.1.1'
# Use mysql as the database for Active Record
gem 'mysql2'
# Use SCSS for stylesheets
gem 'sass-rails', '~> 4.0.3'
# Use Uglifier as compressor for JavaScript assets
gem 'uglifier', '>= 1.3.0'
# Use CoffeeScript for assets and views
gem 'coffee-rails', '~> 4.0.0'
# Use jquery as the JavaScript library
gem 'jquery-rails'
# Turbolinks makes following links in your web application faster. Read more:
gem 'turbolinks'
# Build JSON APIs with ease. Read more:
gem 'jbuilder', '~> 2.0'
# bundle exec rake doc:rails generates the API under doc/api.
gem 'sdoc', '~> 0.4.0', group: :doc

# Figaro for setting environment variables for secrets that aren't included with the source code
gem 'figaro'

group :development do
  # Spring speeds up development by keeping your application running in the background. Read more:
  gem 'spring'
  # For deployment
  gem 'capistrano-rails', '~> 1.1.2'
  gem 'capistrano-rvm', '~> 0.1.1'
  gem 'capistrano-bundler', '~> 1.1.3'
# Use pry debugger
gem 'pry-rails', group: [:development, :test]

6) Run ‘bundle install’ to update gems.

7) Setting up database.yml for different environments. Note that this file is in gitignore.

default: &default
  adapter: mysql2
  encoding: utf8
  pool: 5
  username: root
  host: localhost
  socket: /tmp/mysql.sock #Your mysql socket location might be different.

  <<: *default
  database: db_dev

  <<: *default
  database: db_test

  <<: *default
  database: db_prod

8) Run ‘rake db:create’ to create the database

9) Generate figaro files

$ rails generate figaro:install
$ figaro install (for figaro 1.0.0 version)

This will generate config/application.yml and add it to gitignore. The variables defined in application.yml is accessible via environment variables.

10) If you open up config/secrets.yml, you’ll find

  secret_key_base: <%= ENV["SECRET_KEY_BASE"] %>

This expects SECRET_KEY_BASE to be in environment variable. This is where figaro comes into play. Open config/application.yml and add the following code. (Note: the 128 character key base is generated using command ‘rake secret’. Don’t use the secret below).The SECRET_KEY_BASE is not defined here because it is directly available in secrets.yml and not being read through environment variable.

  TEST_VAR: 'development'

  TEST_VAR: 'test'

  SECRET_KEY_BASE: 8b2971b58d99c483d43962e92f78d18133a552f71d2271ea28c638afaf0d75672442c40f3829d2f46b26be6898ec44110d1ccefbba94afcebe1c93c41d198f79
  TEST_VAR: 'prod'

#Heroku users can set the variable in heroku using 'rake figaro:heroku[APP_NAME]'

Similarly, the example variable TEST_VAR can be accessed anywhere using ENV[‘TEST_VAR’] in the rails app.

11) Create a file named ‘.ruby-version’ in the project root. Open the file and type in the version of the ruby you are using.


Rspec Setup and Configuration

1) Dependencies in Gemfile

# Required gems
gem 'rspec-rails'
gem 'shoulda-matchers', require: false
gem 'factory_girl_rails'
gem 'faker'
gem 'capybara'

2) Install gems

# Required gems
$ bundle install
$ rails g rspec:install

3) RSpec configuration

# Additions (Need to include in rails_helper file)
require 'shoulda/matchers'
require 'capybara/rspec'
require 'factory_girl_rails'
RSpec.configure do |config|
  config.include FactoryGirl::Syntax::Methods




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