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Rails Tutorial Help

This is the Help page for the Ruby on Rails Tutorial (7th Edition) by Michael Hartl.

See also the 6th edition Help page.

General suggestions

Web development is a tricky business, and despite our collective best efforts it’s likely that you’ll run into trouble at some point. If you do, I suggest comparing your code to the reference implementation of the sample app to track down any discrepancies. You can also post your question at Stack Overflow, but I suggest you do so after trying all the debugging tips listed below.

Debugging tips

While it’s impossible to anticipate every potential problem, here are some debugging tips that might help:

  • Have you compared your code to the reference implementation of the sample app?
  • Are you using the exact gem versions (including Rails) used in the tutorial?
  • Did you try Googling the error message?
  • Did you stop the Rails web server (with Ctrl-C) and restart?
  • Did you try stopping Spring using bin/spring stop?
  • Did you copy-and-paste from the book’s code? (Experience shows that typing in code, while a better learning technique in general, is error-prone, so when in doubt be sure to copy all code exactly.)
  • Did you try Googling the error message?
  • Did you re-run bundle install?
  • Did you try running bundle update?
  • Did you examine the Heroku logs using heroku logs or heroku logs --tail?
  • Did you make sure the sqlite3 gem is listed only in the development and test environments in the Gemfile?
  • Did you look for the answer at Stack Overflow?
  • Did you try Googling the error message?

If your problem is of a general nature, such as having issues installing Rails or configuring your system, I suggest posting to Stack Overflow. This will allow other people running into your issue (and not just those following the Rails Tutorial) to benefit from the discussion. For issues deploying to Heroku, please contact Heroku technical support.

When asking your question on any mailing list or forum, be sure to include as much relevant information as possible. To maximize your chances of a helpful reply, I especially recommend the article How To Ask Questions The Smart Way by Eric Raymond.

Error reports

Suspected errors, typos, and bugs can be emailed to All such reports are gratefully received, but please double-check with the online version of the tutorial and the reference implementation before submitting.