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Shrine logo: a red paperclip

Shrine is a toolkit for handling file attachments in Ruby applications. Some highlights:

If you're curious how it compares to other file attachment libraries, see the Advantages of Shrine. Otherwise, follow along with the Getting Started guide.


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bundle add shrine

Then add config/initializers/shrine.rb which sets up the storage and loads ORM integration:

require "shrine"
require "shrine/storage/file_system"

Shrine.storages = {
  cache:"public", prefix: "uploads/cache"), # temporary
  store:"public", prefix: "uploads"),       # permanent

Shrine.plugin :activerecord           # loads Active Record integration
Shrine.plugin :cached_attachment_data # enables retaining cached file across form redisplays
Shrine.plugin :restore_cached_data    # extracts metadata for assigned cached files

Next, add the <name>_data column to the table you want to attach files to. For an "image" attachment on a photos table this would be an image_data column:

$ rails generate migration add_image_data_to_photos image_data:text # or :jsonb

If using jsonb consider adding a gin index for fast key-value pair searchability within image_data.

Now create an uploader class (which you can put in app/uploaders) and register the attachment on your model:

class ImageUploader < Shrine
  # plugins and uploading logic
class Photo < ActiveRecord::Base
  include ImageUploader::Attachment(:image) # adds an `image` virtual attribute

In our views let's now add form fields for our attachment attribute that will allow users to upload files:

<%= form_for @photo do |f| %>
  <%= f.hidden_field :image, value: @photo.cached_image_data, id: nil %>
  <%= f.file_field :image %>
  <%= f.submit %>
<% end %>

When the form is submitted, in your controller you can assign the file from request params to the attachment attribute on the model:

class PhotosController < ApplicationController
  def create
    Photo.create(photo_params) # attaches the uploaded file
    # ...


  def photo_params

Once a file is uploaded and attached to the record, you can retrieve the file URL and display it on the page:

<%= image_tag @photo.image_url %>

See the Getting Started guide for further documentation.


Shrine was heavily inspired by Refile and Roda. From Refile it borrows the idea of "backends" (here named "storages"), attachment interface, and direct uploads. From Roda it borrows the implementation of an extensible plugin system.

Similar libraries

  • Paperclip
  • CarrierWave
  • Dragonfly
  • Refile
  • Active Storage


Please refer to the contributing page.

Code of Conduct

Everyone interacting in the Shrine project’s codebases, issue trackers, and mailing lists is expected to follow the Shrine code of conduct.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.