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Opinionated rails application templates.
Latest commit e4d4490 Jun 4, 2015 @nickjj Update gems

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What is orats and what problem does it solve?

It stands for opinionated rails application templates. The templates include solving tedious tasks that you would do for most projects. It handles creating a rails application with a bunch of opinions and best practices.

What version of Rails and Ruby are you targeting?

Rails 4.2.x and Ruby 2.1.x

Gems will also be updated once they are proven to work on the target rails/ruby versions. The gems are locked using the pessimistic operator ~> to ensure your installation works over time as long as's API is working.


System dependencies

Before running orats...

You must install

You should install

  • Imagemagick
    • If you want favicons to be automatically created (optional)

You need these processes to be running

  • Postgres
  • Redis


gem install orats

Or if you already have orats then run gem update orats to upgrade to the latest version.


To get the details of each command then please run orats help from the terminal. Below is a high level overview of what the main commands do.


The new command kicks off a new orats app. It will always use the base template and optionally allows you to provide the --template foo flag where foo would be an available template provided by orats.

You can also supply your own custom template which is explained in the custom template section.

Get started by checking out what the base template provides.


You can delete an app using the nuke command. It is much better than just using rm -rf because it will clean up the postgres and redis namespace as long as you don't disable that functionality with the --skip-data flag.

Try the nuke command

You will need to have generated an app before trying this. Check out the try the base template section to learn how to generate an app.

orats nuke /tmp/someapp --pg-password foo


Return a list of available templates to choose from.

Try the templates command

orats templates

Available templates


This is the starter template that every other template will append to. I feel like when I make a new project, 95% of the time it includes these features and when I do not want a specific thing it is much quicker to remove it than add it.

Changes vs the standard rails project

All of the changes have git commits to go with them. After generating a project you can type git reflog to get a list of changes.

  • Core changes:
    • Use postgres as the primary SQL database
    • Use redis as the cache backend
    • Use unicorn or puma as the web backend
    • Use sidekiq as a background worker
  • Features:
    • Configure scheduled jobs and tasks using whenever
    • Pagination and a route concern mapped to /page using kaminari
    • Keep a sitemap up to date using sitemap_generator
    • Add a pages controller with home action that has points of interest
  • Rake tasks:
    • Generate favicons for many devices based off a single source png
  • Config:
    • Extract a bunch of configuration to environment variables
    • Rewrite the database.yml and secrets.yml files to be more dry
    • Add a staging environment
    • Development mode only:
      • Use the dotenv gem to manage environment variables
      • Use foreman to manage the app's processes
      • Use bullet, rack mini profiler and meta_request for profiling/analysis
      • Log everything to 1 file and rotate it
      • Set scss/coffee as the default generator engines
    • Production mode only:
      • Log everything to 1 file and write the rails output to syslog
      • Add popular file types to the assets precompile list
      • Compress css/js when running rake assets:precompile
    • Change validation errors to output inline on each element instead of a big list
  • Helpers:
    • title, meta_description, heading to easily set those values per view
    • humanize_boolean to convert true/false into Yes/No
    • css_for_boolean to convert true/false into a css class success/danger
  • Views:
    • Use sass and coffeescript
    • Use bootstrap 3.x and font-awesome
    • Add a minimal and modern layout file
    • Load jquery 1.10.x through a CDN
    • Conditionally load html5shiv, json3 and respondjs for IE < 9 support
    • Partials:
      • Add navigation and navigation links
      • Add flash message
      • Add footer
      • Add google analytics
      • Add disqus
  • Public:
    • Add 404, 422, 500 and 502 pages so they can be served directly from your reverse proxy
    • Add a deploy page that could be swapped in/out during server deploys
    • Add all of the favicons output by the favicon generator

Try the base template

orats new myapp --pg-password foo

Base FAQ

What is --pg-password?

Orats will automatically start your server (you can turn this off with a flag) and also run database migrations or generators depending on what you're doing.

In order to do this it must know your postgres location, username and password. By default it will use localhost for the location and postgres as the username but if you need to supply those values because yours are different you can use --pg-location foo and --pg-username bar.

Does your redis server use a password?

If your redis server is configured to use a password then you must also pass in --redis-password foo.


This is the auth template which gets merged into the base template. It contains a basic authentication setup using devise and pundit.

Changes vs the base template

All of the changes have git commits to go with them. After generating a project you can type git reflog to get a list of changes.

  • Core:
    • Handle authentication with devise
    • Handle devise e-mails with devise-async
    • Handle authorization with pundit
    • Add app/policies with a basic pundit policy included
  • Config:
    • Add devise related environment variables
    • Set the session timeout to 2 hours
    • Expire the auth token on timeout
    • Enable account locking based on failed attempts (7 tries)
    • Allow unlocking by e-mail or after 2 hours
    • Inform users of their last login attempt when failing to login
    • Add en-locale strings for authorization messages
    • Add devise queue to the sidekiq config
    • Add pundit related code to the application controller
  • Routes:
    • Protect the /sidekiq end point so only logged in admins can see it
    • Enable/Disable users from publicly registering by commenting out a few lines
  • Database:
    • Add a seed user that you should change the details of ASAP once you deploy
  • Models:
    • Add Account devise model with an extra role field
      • Add admin and guest roles
      • Add .is? method to compare roles
      • Add generate_password method
      • Add a way to cache the current_account
  • Controllers:
    • Alias current_user to current_account
    • Allow you to override devise's default sign in URL by uncommenting a few lines
  • Views:
    • Use bootstrap for all of the devise views
    • Add authentication links to the navbar
  • Tests:
    • Add Account fixtures
    • Add model tests for Account

Try the auth template

orats new myauthapp --template auth --pg-password foo


You can pass custom templates into the new command. It works exactly like passing a custom application template to rails new.

Pass in a custom template by providing the --custom flag along with either a local path or a URL.

Here is a simple example of a custom template:

# /tmp/foo.rb

file 'app/components/foo.rb', <<-S
  class Foo

Try the custom template

orats new /tmp/customexample -p foo --custom /tmp/foo.rb

Custom FAQ

Any guides on how to make custom templates?

There's the official rails guide on custom application templates.

You can also view the orats templates to use as inspiration. All of the template files are self contained.

The .oratsrc file

Both the new and nuke commands are dependent on having your postgres and redis login information because they need to connection to those databases to perform various tasks.

There are 7 flags to configure for this:

  • --pg-location (defaults to localhost)
  • --pg-port (defaults to 5432)
  • --pg-username (defaults to postgres)
  • --pg-password (defaults to an empty string)
  • --redis-location (defaults to localhost)
  • --redis-port (defaults to 6379)
  • --redis-password (defaults to an empty string)

For most people you will only need to supply the postgres password but still it's annoying to have to type those flags in every time you create a new app or nuke an app. It's really annoying if you develop inside of linux containers like myself which means the location is not localhost.

This is where the .oratsrc file comes into play. By default it will look for one in your home directory but you can pass in a location directly with the --rc flag.

This file can contain the above flags. You might have one created at ~/.oratsrc and it could look like this:

--pg-username nick
--pg-password pleasedonthackme

You can supply as many or little flags as you want.

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