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Shorten is an extremely simple Sinatra based URL shortener. There is almost no UI and only the most basic of functionality.

You can see an example of this service running at ➼.ws.

File uploading with an Amazon S3 backend has been recently uploaded and works but is known to be very buggy. YMMV.



$ git clone git://

Install required gems

$ gem install rack sinatra sequel anybase pg

Optional: Install the Heroku gem if you want to deploy on Heroku.

$ gem install heroku


In the application directory run the following commands

$ heroku create

Configure the application per below.

$ git push heroku master


Open main.rb in your favorite editor and change this block: Shorten = :base_url => "", :service_name => "➼.ws", :button_text => "➼", :path_size => 4 )


You now have your own running URL shortener. Now use or to find yourself an available, short URL and reconfigure main.rb


This is a fork of the original Shorten application created by Andrew Pilsch. I made some updates to randomize the shortened URL in the style of and I have also modified the software to be easy to deploy to Heroku.

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