The most popular front-end framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web for Rails asset pipeline.
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Less Rails Bootstrap Build Status

Bootstrap is Twitter's toolkit for kickstarting your site or app's CSS. It includes base styles for typography, forms, buttons, tables, grid layout, navigation, alerts, and more. To get started -- check out the Bootstrap docs.

The less-rails-bootstrap project hooks into less-rails and less.rb, making Bootstrap's source LESS files, compiled CSS, and JavaScript files available in the Rails 3.x and 4.x asset pipeline.

The benefits:

  • Assets are namespaced in twitter/bootstrap to avoid asset conflicts.
  • Top level requires to get all stylesheets or javascripts.
  • Ability to import or require individually namespaced stylesheets or javascripts.


LESS requires a JavaScript runtime to work. Which one you use depends on your Ruby implementation. Two are shown for Ruby (MRI) and JRuby. Add only the relevant one to your Gemfile. If you want to use Bootstrap's JavaScript plugins, also add the jquery-rails gem. Finally, add less-rails-bootstrap and run bundle install.

# Gemfile

gem 'therubyracer'  # If using Ruby
gem 'therubyrhino'  # If using JRuby
gem 'jquery-rails'  # If using Bootstrap's JS plugins.
gem 'less-rails-bootstrap'

Basic CSS Use

Simple way

Get the full Bootstrap stylesheet with a single line in your application.css.

 *= require twitter/bootstrap

Advanced way

In case when you just want to modify several LESS variables (i.e. change text color, etc.) and don't want to thinking about Full Control & Customization you can run Rails generator:

rails generate less_rails_bootstrap:custom_bootstrap

It generates three files:

  • app/assets/stylesheets/custom_bootstrap/custom_bootstrap.less - auto-generated file base on bootstrap.less file from original Twitter Bootstrap. Don't modify it!
  • app/assets/stylesheets/custom_bootstrap/variables.less - in this file you can override Twitter Bootstrap variables or define own
  • app/assets/stylesheets/custom_bootstrap/mixins.less - in this file you can override Twitter Bootstrap mixins or define own

Then just add single line to application.css.

 *= require custom_bootstrap/custom_bootstrap

Please see the less-rails-bootstrap-test repo for examples that customize the CSS output by using LESS. The "CSS Tests Suites" section of the README and code is what you want to focus on. Also, check out the LESS syntax.

Basic JavaScript Use

In application.js, require jQuery first. Now you can add all the Bootstrap plugins with a single line.

//= require jquery
//= require jquery_ujs
//= require twitter/bootstrap

Or include plugins individually.

//= require jquery
//= require jquery_ujs
//= require twitter/bootstrap/modal
//= require twitter/bootstrap/alert


This gem will directly track the semantic versioning of the Twitter Bootstrap project. Our major and minor versions will always match to theirs, though we may have tiny patch level releases specific to this gem.


This gem is fully tested from Rails 3.1 to 4.1. We run our tests on Travis CI in both Ruby 1.9, 2.0, 2.1, and jRuby 1.9 mode. If you detect a problem, open up a github issue or fork the repo and help out. After you fork or clone the repository, the following commands will get you up and running on the test suite.

$ bundle install
$ bundle exec appraisal install
$ bundle exec appraisal rake test

We use the appraisal gem from Thoughtbot to help us generate the individual gemfiles for each Rails version and to run the tests locally against each generated Gemfile. The appraisal rake test command actually runs our test suite against all Rails versions in our Appraisal file. If you want to run the tests for a specific Rails version, use rake -T for a list. For example, the following command will run the tests for Rails 3.2 only.

$ bundle exec appraisal rails32 rake test

Our current build status is: Build Status read more in our CONTRIBUTING file.


Twitter Bootstrap Project:

Copyright 2011 Twitter, Inc.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

Less::Rails is Copyright (c) 2011 Ken Collins, and is distributed under the MIT license.