Rack-based interactive console (à la Rails console) for your web application's front-end
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#rack-webconsole Build Status

Rack-webconsole is a Rack-based interactive console (à la Rails console) in your web application's frontend. That means you can interact with your application's backend from within the browser itself!

To get a clearer idea, you can check out this video showing a live example :)

YouTube video

Rack-webconsole is a Rack middleware designed to be unobtrusive. With Rails 3, for example, you only have to include the gem in your Gemfile and it already works. Without any configuration.

Tested with MRI versions 1.8.7, 1.9.2, ruby-head, and JRuby 1.6.3.

SECURITY NOTE: From version v0.0.5 rack-webconsole uses a token system to protect against cross-site request forgery.



In your Gemfile:

gem 'rack-webconsole'

Rack-webconsole needs JQuery. If you are using Rails 3, JQuery is loaded by default. In case you don't want to use JQuery in your application, rack-webconsole can inject it for you only when it needs it. To do that you should put this line somewhere in your application (a Rails initializer, or some configuration file):

Rack::Webconsole.inject_jquery = true

You can also change the javascript key_code used to start webconsole:

 # ` = 96 (default), ^ = 94, ç = 231 ... etc.
Rack::Webconsole.key_code = "231"

##Usage with Rails 3

If you are using Rails 3, you have no further steps to do. It works! To give it a try, fire up the Rails server and go to any page, press the ` key and the console will show :)

##Usage with Sinatra/Padrino

With Sinatra and Padrino you have to tell your application to use the middleware:

require 'sinatra'
require 'rack/webconsole'

class MySinatraApp < Sinatra::Application
  use Rack::Webconsole
  # . . .

class SamplePadrino < Padrino::Application
  use Rack::Webconsole
  # . . .

NOTE: If you are using Bundler and initializing it from config.ru, you don't have to require 'rack/webconsole' manually, otherwise you have to.

And it works! Fire up the server, go to any page and press the ` key.

##Usage with Rails 2

You need to add the following code to an intializer (i.e. config/initializers/webconsole.rb):

require 'rack/webconsole'
ActionController::Dispatcher.middleware.insert_after 1, Rack::Webconsole


In the console you can issue whatever Ruby commands you want, except multiline commands. Local variables are kept, so you can get a more IRB-esque feeling.

  • reload! resets all local variables
  • request returns the current page request object

##Under the hood

Run the test suite by typing:


You can also build the documentation with the following command:

rake docs

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add tests for it. This is important so we don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself we can ignore when we pull)
  • Send us a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.


Copyright (c) 2011 Codegram. See LICENSE for details.