Ruby gem for building Telegram Bots with optional Rails integration
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Latest commit 17260cb Feb 10, 2017 @printercu printercu v0.11.0


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Tools for developing bot for Telegram. Best used with Rails, but can be be used in standalone app. Supposed to be used in webhook-mode in production, and poller-mode in development, but you can use poller in production if you want.

Package contains:

  • Ligthweight client for bot API (with fast and thread-safe httpclient under the hood).
  • Controller with message parser. Allows to write separate methods for each command.
  • Middleware and routes helpers for production env.
  • Poller with automatic source-reloader for development env.
  • Rake tasks to update webhook urls.
  • Async mode for Telegram and/or Botan API. Let the queue adapter handle network errors!

Here is sample telegram_bot_app with session, keyboards and inline queries. Run it on your local machine in 1 minute!

And here is app teamplate to generate clean app in seconds.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'telegram-bot'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install telegram-bot



Add telegram section into secrets.yml:

    # just set the token
    chat: TOKEN_1
    # or add username to support commands with mentions (/help@ChatBot)
      token: TOKEN_2
      username: ChatBot

  # Single bot can be specified like this
  bot: TOKEN
  # or
    token: TOKEN
    username: SomeBot


From now clients will be accessible with Telegram.bots[:chat] or Telegram.bots[:auction]. Single bot can be accessed with or Telegram.bots[:default].

You can create clients manually with, username). Username is optional and used only to parse commands with mentions.

There is request(path_suffix, body) method to perform any query. And there are also shortcuts for available queries in underscored style (answer_inline_query instead of answerInlineQuery). All this methods just post given params to specific URL.

bot.request(:getMe) or bot.get_me
bot.request(:getupdates, offset: 1) or bot.get_updates(offset: 1)
bot.send_message chat_id: chat_id, text: 'Test'

By default client will return parsed json responses. You can enable response typecasting to virtus models using telegram-bot-types gem:

# Add to your gemfile:
gem 'telegram-bot-types', '~> x.x.x'
# Enable typecasting:
# or for single instance:
bot.extend Telegram::Bot::Client::TypedResponse

bot.get_me.class # => Telegram::Bot::Types::User

Any API request error will raise Telegram::Bot::Error with description in its message. Special Telegram::Bot::Forbidden is raised when bot can't post messages to the chat anymore.


class Telegram::WebhookController < Telegram::Bot::UpdatesController
  # use callbacks like in any other controllers
  around_action :with_locale

  # Every update can have one of: message, inline_query, chosen_inline_result,
  # callback_query.
  # Define method with same name to respond to this updates.
  def message(message)
    # message can be also accessed via instance method
    message == self.payload # true
    # store_message(message['text'])

  # This basic methods receives commonly used params:
  #   message(payload)
  #   inline_query(query, offset)
  #   chosen_inline_result(result_id, query)
  #   callback_query(data)

  # Define public methods to respond to commands.
  # Command arguments will be parsed and passed to the method.
  # Be sure to use splat args and default values to not get errors when
  # someone passed more or less arguments in the message.
  # For some commands like /message or /123 method names should start with
  # `on_` to avoid conflicts.
  def start(data = nil, *)
    # do_smth_with(data)

    # There are `chat` & `from` shortcut methods.
    # For callback queries `chat` if taken from `message` when it's available.
    response = from ? "Hello #{from['username']}!" : 'Hi there!'
    # There is `respond_with` helper to set `chat_id` from received message:
    respond_with :message, text: response
    # `reply_with` also sets `reply_to_message_id`:
    reply_with :photo, photo:'party.jpg')


  def with_locale(&block)
    I18n.with_locale(locale_for_update, &block)

  def locale_for_update
    if from
      # locale for user
    elsif chat
      # locale for chat

Optional typecasting

You can enable typecasting of update with telegram-bot-types by including Telegram::Bot::UpdatesPoller::TypedUpdate:

class Telegram::WebhookController < Telegram::Bot::UpdatesController
  include Telegram::Bot::UpdatesController::TypedUpdate

  def message(message)
    message.class # => Telegram::Bot::Types::Message


There is support for sessions using ActiveSupport::Cache stores.

# configure store in env files:
config.telegram_updates_controller.session_store = :redis_store, {expires_in: 1.month}

class Telegram::WebhookController < Telegram::Bot::UpdatesController
  include Telegram::Bot::UpdatesController::Session
  # or just shortcut:

  # You can override global config
  self.session_store = :file_store

  def write(text = nil, *)
    session[:text] = text

  def read
    respond_with :message, text: session[:text]

  # By default it uses bot's username and user's id as a session key.
  # Chat's id is used only when `from` field is empty.
  # Override `session_key` method to change this behavior.
  def session_key
    # In this case session will persist for user only in specific chat:

Message context

It's usual to support chain of messages like BotFather: after receiving command it asks you for additional argument. There is MessageContext for this:

class Telegram::WebhookController < Telegram::Bot::UpdatesController
  include Telegram::Bot::UpdatesController::MessageContext

  def rename(*)
    # set context for the next message
    save_context :rename
    respond_with :message, text: 'What name do you like?'

  # register context handlers to handle this context
  context_handler :rename do |*words|
    update_name words[0]
    respond_with :message, text: 'Renamed!'

  # You can do it in other way:
  def rename(name = nil, *)
    if name
      update_name name
      respond_with :message, text: 'Renamed!'
      save_context :rename
      respond_with :message, text: 'What name do you like?'

  # This will call #rename like if it is called with message '/rename %text%'
  context_handler :rename

  # If you have a lot of such methods you can use
  # It'll use context value as action name for all contexts which miss handlers.

You can use CallbackQueryContext in the similar way to split #callback_query into several specific methods. It doesn't require session support, and takes context from data. If data has a prefix with colon like this my_ctx:smth... it'll call my_ctx_callback_query('smth...') when there is such action method. Otherwise it'll call callback_query('my_ctx:smth...') as usual.

Processesing updates

To process update run:

ControllerClass.dispatch(bot, update)

There is also ability to run action without update:

# Most likely you'll want to pass :from and :chat
controller =, from: telegram_user, chat: telegram_chat)
controller.process(:help, *args)


Use telegram_webhooks helper to add routes. It will create routes for bots at "telegram/#{bot.token}" path.

# Create routes for all Telegram.bots to use same controller:
telegram_webhooks TelegramController

# Or pass custom bots usin any of supported config options:
telegram_webhooks TelegramController,
                 {token: token, username: username},

# Use different controllers for each bot:
telegram_webhooks bot => TelegramChatController,
                  other_bot => TelegramAuctionController

# telegram_webhooks creates named routes.
# Route name depends on `Telegram.bots`.
# When there is single bot it will use 'telegram_webhook'.
# When there are it will use bot's key in the `Telegram.bots` as prefix
# (eg. `chat_telegram_webhook`).
# You can override this options or specify others:
telegram_webhooks TelegramController, as: :my_webhook
telegram_webhooks bot => [TelegramChatController, as: :chat_webhook],
                  other_bot => TelegramAuctionController,
                  admin_chat: TelegramAdminChatController

For Rack applications you can also use Telegram::Bot::Middleware or just call .dispatch(bot, update) on controller.

Development & Debugging

Use rake telegram:bot:poller to run poller. It'll automatically load changes without restart in development env. Optionally specify bot to run poller for with BOT envvar (BOT=chat).

This task will not work if you don't use telegram_webhooks. You can run poller manually with Telegram::Bot::UpdatesPoller.start(bot, controller_class).


There is Telegram::Bot::ClientStub class to stub client for tests. Instead of performing API requests it stores them in requests hash.

To stub all possible clients use Telegram::Bot::ClientStub.stub_all! before initializing clients. Most likely you'll want something like this:

# environments/test.rb
# Make sure to run it before defining routes or storing bot to some place in app!

# rails_helper.rb
RSpec.configure do |config|
  # ...
  config.after { }
  # ...

There are integration and controller contexts for RSpec and some built-in matchers:

# spec/requests/telegram_webhooks_spec.rb
require 'telegram/bot/rspec/integration'

RSpec.describe TelegramWebhooksController, :telegram_bot do
  # for old rspec add:
  # include_context 'telegram/bot/integration'

  describe '#start' do
    subject { -> { dispatch_command :start } }
    it { should respond_with_message 'Hi there!' }

# For controller specs use
require 'telegram/bot/updates_controller/rspec_helpers'
RSpec.describe TelegramWebhooksController, type: :telegram_bot_controller do
  # for old rspec add:
  # include_context 'telegram/bot/updates_controller'

# Matchers are available for custom specs:
include Telegram::Bot::RSpec::ClientMatchers

expect(&process_update).to send_telegram_message(bot, /msg regexp/, some: :option)
  to make_telegram_request(bot, :sendMessage, hash_including(text: 'msg text'))

See sample app for more examples.


Use rake telegram:bot:set_webhook to update webhook url for all configured bots. Certificate can be specified with CERT=path/to/cert. metrics

Initialize with bot =, botan: 'botan token') or just add botan key in secrets.yml:

      token: bot_token
      botan: botan_token

Access to Botan client with bot.botan. Use bot.botan.track(event, uid, payload) to track events.

There are some helpers for controllers in Telegram::Bot::Botan::ControllerHelpers:

class Telegram::WebhookController < Telegram::Bot::UpdatesController
  include Telegram::Bot::Botan::ControllerHelpers

  # This will track with event: action_name & data: payload
  before_action :botan_track_action

  def smth(*)
    # This will track event for current user only when botan is configured.
    botan_track :my_event, custom_data

    # or get access directly to botan client:

There is no stubbing for botan clients, so don't set botan token in tests.

Async mode

There is built in support for async requests using ActiveJob. Without Rails you can implement your own worker class to handle such requests. This allows:

  • Process updates very fast, without waiting for telegram and botan responses.
  • Handle and retry network and other errors with queue adapter.
  • ???

Instead of performing request instantly client serializes it, pushes to queue, and immediately return control back. The job is then fetched with a worker and real API request is performed. And this all is absolutely transparent for the app.

To enable this mode add async: true to bot's and botan's config. For more information and custom configuration check out docs or source.

If you want async mode, but don't want to setup queue, know that Rails 5 are shipped with Async adapter by default, and there is Sucker Punch for Rails 4.

Be aware of some limitations:

  • Client will not return API response.
  • Sending files is not available in async mode [now], because them can not be serialized.

To disable async mode for the block of code use bot.async(false) { bot.send_photo }. Yes, it's threadsafe too.


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake spec to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to

Different Rails versions

To setup development for specific major Rails version use:

RAILS=5 bundle install
# or
RAILS=5 bundle update


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at