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Spree is a complete open source commerce solution for Ruby on Rails. It was originally developed by Sean Schofield and is now maintained by a dedicated core team. You can find out more about by visiting the Spree e-commerce project page.

Spree actually consists of several different gems, each of which are maintained in a single repository and documented in a single set of online documentation. By requiring the Spree gem you automatically require all of the necessary dependency gems. Those gems are as follows:

  • spree_api
  • spree_auth
  • spree_core
  • spree_dash
  • spree_promo
  • spree_sample

All of the gems are designed to work together to provide a fully functional e-commerce platform. It is also possible, however, to use only the pieces you are interested in. So for example, you could use just the barebones spree_core gem and perhaps combine it with your own custom authorization scheme instead of using spree_auth.

Using the Gem

Start by adding the gem to your existing Rails 3.x application's Gemfile

gem 'spree'

Update your bundle

$ bundle install

Then use the install generator to do the basic setup

$ rails g spree:site

Now you just need to run the new migrations, and setup some basic data

$ bundle exec rake db:migrate
$ bundle exec rake db:seed

If you also want some sample products, orders, etc. to play with you can run the appropriate rake task.

$ bundle exec rake spree_sample:load


Rails 3.1 introduced a concept known as the asset pipeline. Unfortunately it results in poor performance when running your site in development mode (production mode is unaffected.) You may want to run the following command when testing locally in development mode

$ bundle exec rake assets:precompile:nondigest

Using the precompile rake task in development will prevent any changes to asset files from being automatically included in when you reload the page. You must re-run the precompile task for changes to become available.

Browse Store


Browse Admin Interface


Working with the edge source (latest and greatest features)

The source code is essentially a collection of gems. Spree is meant to be run within the context of Rails application. You can easily create a sandbox application inside of your cloned source directory for testing purposes.

  1. Clone the git repo

     git clone git:// spree
     cd spree
  2. Install the gem dependencies

     bundle install
  3. Create a sandbox rails application for testing purposes (and automatically perform all necessary database setup)

     bundle exec rake sandbox
  4. Start the server

     cd sandbox
     rails server


You may noticed that your Spree store runs slowly in development mode. This is a side-effect of how Rails works in development mode which is to continuous reload your Ruby objects on each request. The introduction of the asset pipeline in Rails 3.1 made default performance in development mode significantly worse. There are, however, a few tricks to speeding up performance.

You can recompile your assets as follows:

    $ bundle exec rake assets:precompile RAILS_ENV=development

If you want to remove precompiled assets (recommended before you commit to git and push your changes) use the following rake task:

    $ bundle exec rake assets:clean

Running Tests

If you want to run all the tests across all the gems then

$ cd spree
$ bundle exec rake          #=> 'this will run both spec and cucumber tests for all the gems'

Each gem contains its own series of tests, and for each directory, you need to do a quick one-time creation of a test application and then you can use it to run the tests. For example, to run the tests for the core project.

$ cd core
$ bundle exec rake test_app

Now you can run just the specs, just the features or everything together

$ bundle exec rake spec
$ bundle exec rake cucumber
$ bundle exec rake          #=> 'this will run both spec and cucumber tests for the gem'

If you want to run specs for only a single spec file

$ bundle exec rspec spec/models/state_spec.rb

If you want to run a particular line of spec

$ bundle exec rspec spec/models/state_spec.rb:7

If you want to run a single cucumber feature

$ bundle exec cucumber features/admin/orders.feature --require features

If you want to run a particular scenario then include the line number

$ bundle exec cucumber features/admin/orders.feature:3 --require features


Spree is an open source project. We encourage contributions. Please see the contributors guidelines before contributing.