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Official Ruby-on-Rails Integration with Sass

This gem provides official integration for Ruby on Rails projects with the Sass stylesheet language.


Since Rails 3.1, new Rails projects will be already configured to use Sass. If you are upgrading to Rails 3.1 you will need to add the following to your Gemfile:

gem 'sass-rails'


To configure Sass via Rails set use config.sass in your application and/or environment files to set configuration properties that will be passed to Sass.


  • preferred_syntax - This option determines the default Sass syntax and file extensions that will be used by Rails generators. Can be :scss (default CSS-compatible SCSS syntax) or :sass (indented Sass syntax).

The list of supported Sass options can be found on the Sass Website with the following caveats:

  • :style - This option is not supported. This is determined by the Rails environment. It's :expanded only on development, otherwise it's :compressed.
  • :never_update - This option is not supported. Instead set config.assets.enabled = false
  • :always_update - This option is not supported. Sprockets uses a controller to access stylesheets in development mode instead of a full scan for changed files.
  • :always_check - This option is not supported. Sprockets always checks in development.
  • :syntax - This is determined by the file's extensions.
  • :filename - This is determined by the file's name.
  • :line - This is provided by the template handler.


MyProject::Application.configure do
  config.sass.preferred_syntax = :sass
  config.sass.line_comments = false
  config.sass.cache = false

Important Note

Sprockets provides some directives that are placed inside of comments called require, require_tree, and require_self. DO NOT USE THEM IN YOUR SASS/SCSS FILES. They are very primitive and do not work well with Sass files. Instead, use Sass's native @import directive which sass-rails has customized to integrate with the conventions of your Rails projects.


Glob Imports

When in Rails, there is a special import syntax that allows you to glob imports relative to the folder of the stylesheet that is doing the importing.

  • @import "mixins/*" will import all the files in the mixins folder
  • @import "mixins/**/*" will import all the files in the mixins tree

Any valid ruby glob may be used. The imports are sorted alphabetically.

NOTE: It is recommended that you only use this when importing pure library files (containing mixins and variables) because it is difficult to control the cascade ordering for imports that contain styles using this approach.

Asset Helpers

When using the asset pipeline, paths to assets must be rewritten. When referencing assets use the following asset helpers (underscored in Ruby, hyphenated in Sass):


Returns a string to the asset.

  • asset-path("rails.png") returns "/assets/rails.png"


Returns a url reference to the asset.

  • asset-url("rails.png") returns url(/assets/rails.png)

As a convenience, for each of the following asset classes there are corresponding -path and -url helpers: image, font, video, audio, javascript, stylesheet.

  • image-path("rails.png") returns "/assets/rails.png"
  • image-url("rails.png") returns url(/assets/rails.png)


Returns a url reference to the Base64-encoded asset at the specified path.

  • asset-data-url("rails.png") returns url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0K...)

Running Tests

$ bundle install
$ bundle exec rake test

If you need to test against local gems, use Bundler's gem :path option in the Gemfile and also edit test/support/test_helper.rb and tell the tests where the gem is checked out.

Code Status

  • Travis CI
  • Gem Version