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Jason L Perry (


Copyright © 2007 Jason L Perry






This plugin adds helpers for the reCAPTCHA API. In your views you can use the recaptcha_tags method to embed the needed javascript, and you can validate in your controllers with verify_recaptcha.

You'll want to add your public and private API keys in the environment variables RECAPTCHA_PUBLIC_KEY and RECAPTCHA_PRIVATE_KEY, respectively. You could also specify them in config/environment.rb if you are so inclined (see below). Exceptions will be raised if you call these methods and the keys can't be found.

Rails Installation

reCAPTCHA for Rails can be installed as a gem:

config.gem "ambethia-recaptcha", :lib => "recaptcha/rails", :source => ""

Or, as a standard rails plugin:

script/plugin install git://

Setting up your API Keys

There are two ways to setup your reCAPTCHA API keys once you obtain a pair. You can pass in your keys as options at runtime, for example:

recaptcha_tags :public_key => '6Lc6BAAAAAAAAChqRbQZcn_yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy'

and later,

verify_recaptcha :private_key => '6Lc6BAAAAAAAAKN3DRm6VA_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'

Or, preferably, you can keep your keys out of your code base by exporting the environment variables mentioned earlier. You might do this in the .profile/rc, or equivalent for the user running your application:

export RECAPTCHA_PUBLIC_KEY  = '6Lc6BAAAAAAAAChqRbQZcn_yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy'
export RECAPTCHA_PRIVATE_KEY = '6Lc6BAAAAAAAAKN3DRm6VA_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'

If that's not your thing, and dropping things into config/environment.rb is, you can just do:

ENV['RECAPTCHA_PUBLIC_KEY']  = '6Lc6BAAAAAAAAChqRbQZcn_yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy'


Some of the options available:


Uses secure http for captcha widget (default false)


Include <noscript> content (default true)


Takes a hash containing the theme and tabindex options per the API. (default nil)


Render the dynamic AJAX captcha per the API. (default false)


Your public API key, takes precedence over the ENV variable (default nil)


Override the error code returned from the reCAPTCHA API (default nil)

You can also override the html attributes for the sizes of the generated textarea and iframe elements, if CSS isn't your thing. Inspect the source of recaptcha_tags to see these options.


This method returns true or false after processing the parameters from the reCAPTCHA widget. Why isn't this a model validation? Because that violates MVC. Use can use it like this, or how ever you like. Passing in the ActiveRecord object is optional, if you do–and the captcha fails to verify–an error will be added to the object for you to use.

Some of the options available:


Model to set errors


Custom error message


Your private API key, takes precedence over the ENV variable (default nil).


The number of seconds to wait for reCAPTCHA servers before give up. (default 3)

respond_to do |format|
  if verify_recaptcha(:model => @post, :message => 'Oh! It's error with reCAPTCHA!') &&
    # ...
    # ...


  • Remove Rails/ActionController dependencies

  • Framework agnostic

  • Add some helpers to use in before_filter and what not

  • Better documentation

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