A Lightweight Sass Tool Set:
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Latest commit 29f99e1 Jan 19, 2017 @tysongach tysongach Update copyright to 2017


Bourbon logo

A Lightweight Sass Tool Set

Bourbon is a library of Sass mixins and functions that are designed to make you a more efficient style sheet author.

It is…

  • Dependency-free: Bourbon is pure Sass.
  • Human-readable: We aim for clarity over brevity.
  • Lightweight: Zero output post-install and has no visual opinion.

The current version is 4.2.7. The master branch on GitHub is version 5.0.0.beta.7.

Helpful Links

Table of Contents



  1. Install the Bourbon gem using the RubyGems package manager:

    gem install bourbon

    Alternatively, you can install Bourbon with Bower.

  2. Install the Bourbon library into the current directory:

    bourbon install

    Pro Tip: You can target installation into a specific directory using the path flag:

    bourbon install --path my/custom/path/
  3. Import Bourbon at the beginning of your stylesheet:

    @import "bourbon/bourbon";

    It’s not recommended that you modify Bourbon’s files directly as it will make updating to future versions difficult, by overwriting your custom changes or causing merge conflicts.

Installation for Ruby on Rails 4.2+

  1. Add Bourbon to your Gemfile:

    gem "bourbon"
  2. Then run:

    bundle install
  3. Restart your server and rename application.css to application.scss:

    mv app/assets/stylesheets/application.css app/assets/stylesheets/application.scss
  4. Delete all Sprockets directives in application.scss (require, require_tree and require_self) and use Sass’s native @import instead (why?).

  5. Import Bourbon at the beginning of application.scss. Any project styles that utilize Bourbon’s features must be imported after Bourbon.

    @import "bourbon";
    @import "home";
    @import "users";

Installing with npm and using a Node-based asset pipeline

  1. Add Bourbon as a dependency:

    npm install --save bourbon
  2. If you’re using eyeglass, skip to Step 3. Otherwise, you’ll need to add Bourbon to your node-sass includePaths option. require("bourbon").includePaths is an array of directories that you should pass to node-sass. How you do this depends on how node-sass is integrated into your project.

  3. Import Bourbon into your Sass files:

    @import "bourbon";

Installing older versions of Bourbon

  1. Uninstall any Bourbon gem versions you already have:

    gem uninstall bourbon
  2. Reinstall the Bourbon gem, using the -v flag to specify the version you need:

    gem install bourbon -v 3.2.4
  3. Follow the instructions above to install Bourbon into your project.

Command Line Interface

bourbon [options]


Option Description
-h, --help Show help
-v, --version Show the version number
--path Specify a custom path
--force Force install (overwrite)


Command Description
bourbon install Install Bourbon into the current directory
bourbon update Overwrite and update Bourbon in the current directory
bourbon help Show help

Browser Support

Bourbon supports Internet Explorer 11+ and the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.

The Bourbon Family

Bourbon is part of a larger, modular family of Sass utilities:

  • Bourbon: A lightweight Sass tool set
  • Neat: A lightweight semantic grid framework for Sass and Bourbon
  • Bitters: Scaffold styles, variables and structure for Bourbon projects
  • Refills: Prepackaged patterns and components built with Bourbon, Neat and Bitters

Be sure to also check out Proteus, a collection of useful starter kits to help you prototype faster. Each kit comes with Bourbon, Neat and Bitters out-of-the-box.


See the contributing document. Thank you, contributors!


Bourbon is copyright © 2011-2017 thoughtbot, inc. It is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the license.


Bourbon is maintained by Tyson Gach and the thoughtbot design team. It is funded by thoughtbot, inc. and the names and logos for thoughtbot are trademarks of thoughtbot, inc.

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