Quick Summary

Rails Command Line (CLI) is a powerful tool that allows you to build and manage Rails applications efficiently. The Rails CLI automates tasks and interacts within the application, runs tests, operates the server, performs database functions, and other administrative tasks. This blog covers the 13 best Rails command line for Ruby on Rails development.

Table of Contents

What is Rails Command Line?

The Rails command line is a robust set of commands and tools that empower developers to operate, configure, and handle applications more efficiently. In simple terms, the Rails command line offers a much-needed relief for developers to eliminate manual and repetitive tasks by running a particular command or code during development.

Moreover, the Rails CLI simplifies development and provides a standardized way to manage Rails projects, which helps to enhance productivity and facilitate rapid application development.

13 Must-Known Rails Command Line for Efficient Development

The Rails command line is a helpful shortcut to develop and streamline the process. The 13 famous and most used Ruby on Rails command line are:

1. Rails New

Rails new is a well-known command line for developing new Ruby on Rails projects. It will be the first command that operates all directory structures, default configuration files, and support required to create new Rails applications. First, you must pass the Rails New command in the application name.

The core reason for implementing Rails new is that it takes many files with codes to operate in Rails projects. Hence, instead of writing and creating everything manually, you can run this Rail command line differently to develop dynamic applications.

Moreover, all boilerplate code is installed to speed up the development process. However, you must use Rails’s latest version to run this command line.

Note: If you haven’t used the command, you can install the rails gem by typing gem install rails.

You want to use the Rails –version to check the latest version of Rails. To create a new Rails project run, use the new Rails project name.

2. Rails Server

The Rails server is the line command to run a local web development server for your Rails application. When you run a Rails server in your directory, it initiates a development web server. This server allows you to test and interact with your Rails application using a web browser. The Rails-S understands incoming HTTP requests and runs on `localhost:3000`.

Moreover, you can specify it by running on different ports with -p options. The Rails server in the command line is by default; currently, the latest version utilizes PUMA. Also, it varies depending on the project and Rail’s latest version.

For this command, you can start your application by rails s; “s” is the short server form. If you face issues and want to understand more, you can type rails -h or rails -help.

3. Rails Generate

This Ruby on Rails command line helps you to create controllers, models, resources, and scaffolds. The rail generate command is a beneficial tool for immediately scaffolding various components of your Ruby on Rails application. Moreover, it automates the basic structure process for models, controllers, and views. As a result, it helps developers to save effort and time during the development phase.

In this Rails command line, you can use different methods for controllers. At the same time, models and resources are similar generators. Models build migration and test-generated files. Resource command is likewise a model, allowing you to create empty view folders, controllers, and resource routes.

To check the list of available generators in Rails, you can run the “Rails Generate” command.

If you are a beginner and unfamiliar with using controllers/models/resources, then you can type rails generate controller/model/helper/mailer in the terminal; it will guide you on creating controller/model/helper/mailer and check the available list options.

You can also pass controller action names to the generator; it will also create routes for your actions. Run Rails g controller new edit index – the (new, edit, index) is controller action names.

4. Rails Console

Another popular item on the command list is the Rails Console. The Rails console allows developers to interact with your application’s data, test code snippets, and perform numerous tasks. The console makes it easier for developers to read, update, create, and delete records from the application’s database. In addition, the Rails console operates in the development environment by default, so you don’t have to reload code automatically.

As a result, you can test your code in the Rails console without any website interaction because it does not require any code standard to function in runtime. Additionally, you can pass the -e options to the Rails console to access the table from various environments like development, staging, and production. The Rails Console server is an environment for operating with ActiveRecord models.

Run “rails console” or “rails c.

If you require it for the production environment, you can utilize Rails console -e Production. Also, If you want to test some code without changing any data, you can summon rails console –sandbox.

5. Rails dbconsole

Rails provides “Rails dbconsole” or “Rails d” to interact with databases within the application. It also drops you into whichever command interface you want to interact with. Moreover, it helps you to validate database configuration in config/database.yml.

Additionally, Rails dbconsole simplifies the process by automating the database type your application is configured to use, like PostgreSQL, MySQL, and SQLite. It also allows you to inspect and manipulate data within your database. As a result, it offers a convenient method to interact with your Ruby on Rails application’s database directly without any specific or different tables.

You can run the “Rails db” command to interact with the database.

Rails dbconsole opens a database console for you based on your application database.yml and configuration.

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6. Rails Destroy

This is the opposite of a Rails generate command, as it allows you to undo generated files. For instance, you have generated several files with the Rails generator and want to delete them without hampering them. Hence, you can run Rails d to undo files. As a result, it will help you remove unnecessary codes from your file.

In a nutshell, it helps you clean up your Ruby on Rails project structure if you don’t require a specific generated component among your files. Also, it is a mechanism for removing the code elements you generated previously using “Rails generate.” In addition, “Rails destroy” is helpful during the development phase when you experiment frequently with different controllers and models.

Note: Rails destroy won’t delete any file or code manually from your database; it will only remove the code file.

Rails destroy (or its alias d) serves the purpose of undoing the actions of the rails generate command.

7. Rails About

The rails about command in the Rails line provides comprehensive information about the current application of RubyGems, Ruby version, Ruby Rocks, and Rails version. This command line will also show you the schema version and database environment. Moreover, you can acquire information on the Rails subcomponents, the application’s folder, and the current Rails environment name.

In addition, Rails helps to obtain installed versions and understand the compatibility and relevancy of documentation. It also serves as a meta-command purpose to identify and understand the latest Rails environment. Thus, you get all the information regarding the Rails environment, including frameworks and the newest version, which helps you streamline the development and deployment process.

Note: Use bin/rails about(rails 5+ version), rake about(rails >5 version)

Or you can run Rails abslugout or about in your Ruby development process.

8. Rails Assets

The Rails command manages the application’s static assets, such as JavaScript, CSS files, and images. It helps the production deployment by preparing and optimizing asset statics for your Rails application. This command line is helpful when you need to pre-compile the asset.

You can use “rails assets: precompile” to combine and compile your asset file into optimized production versions. Moreover, you can remove older compiled files with the “rails assets: clean” command.

bin/rails assets: precompile (rails +5 versions) or rake assets: precompile (rails > 5 versions)

bin/rails assets: clean (rails +5 version) or rake assets: clean (rails >5 version) for removing existing compiled assets.

bin/rails assets: clobber (rails +5 version) or rake assets: clobber (rails >5 version) for clearing the assets.

9. Rails Runner

Rails Runner allows you to execute Ruby code within your application environment. For instance, there will be a few tasks that you don’t need to run at the time of the normal request-response cycle of your web application. In such cases, the Rails Runner command will help you complete tasks by utilizing specific code in your Ruby on Rails application.

It is merely used for importing or exporting data, scraping scripts, and sending emails. Also, it runs Ruby code directly, so it helps you with quick checks, one-time operations, and data manipulation tasks. Moreover, it assists you in managing complex coding or reusable blocks of code.

Rails runner -e test: You can run in the test environment with this code. You can replace the test with production or any other configured environment.

10. Rails Notes

This command line will help you search your code for comments beginning with OPTIMIZE, TODO, or FIXME in your application files. The Rails Notes is a command line tool that allows developers to organize code and track tasks within the codebase. However, the search is only executed in files through extensions .builder, .rb, .rxml, .rhtml, and .erb for default and custom annotations.

In addition, Rails notes assist your developers in identifying improvements, fixing bugs, and optimizing the codebase. It is helpful when you have some tasks that must be done later or revert after a few changes; you can add commands like FIXME, TODO, or OPTIMIZE. As a result, it will help you to keep track of all crucial information.

bin/rails notes: fixme, bin/rails notes: optimize or bin/rails notes: todo

You can use custom annotation like bin/rails notes: custom ANNOTATION=feature to schedule crucial tasks.

11. Rails Tmp

This command line refers to the directory Rails used to temporarily store various files and data during the operation. The Rails tmp stores process ID files, sessions, sockets, and cached actions temporarily. Moreover, it helps you clear some files if you have outgrown them or create them again in the context of deletions.

Additionally, if you want to clear the screenshot, you can run rails tmp:screenshots: clear and rails tmp: create for creating the tmp directories for cache, sockets, and various files.

It would help if you ran rails tmp: clear command line to clear all contents within the tmp directory, resulting in removing temporary files.

12. Rails Routes

This Ruby on Rails command line helps you define and display routes in your application. It helps track down routing problems in your application and shows request types like GET, POST, PUT or PATCH, DELETE, URL, and controller, which you configure to route. Hence, Rails routes give a helpful overview of URLs running in your application or familiarity with your application.

Moreover, defined routes give you a clear picture of URL requests and maps to controller actions. The rails route helps you verify your routes are configured correctly and point to the intended controller actions.

Execute rails routes in your terminal within your Rails project directory.

You can use– rails routes(rails +5 versions), rake routes(rails >5 versions)

If you want to get the routes of a particular controller called ‘UsersController,’ you can simply use rake routes | grep Users.

13. Other Advanced Rails Command

The few advanced commands you should not ignore for development enhancement are the last on the best Ruby on Rails command lines list. While creating a new Rails application, you must specify the type of database and source code management system your application wants by running the –database=postgresql command.

You can check out the rails command line in Git by running the command: –git option.

Rake secret will give you a pseudo-random key for your session secret.

Rake time:zones, it will allow you to know the lists of all the time zones Rails knows about


The Rails command line offers a robust suite of tools that streamline the development process for your Rails application. From creating new projects and models to managing assets while interacting with the application to operate the database, the Ruby on Rails command line streamlines the entire process with its functionalities. You can contact a Ruby on Rails development company to determine the Rails command line and enhance the future efficiency of your Rails application.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Following are the methods through which you can run rails code within your code:
Server: Run the rails’ server in your project directory. It starts a local development server (usually on port 3000) where you can access your app in a browser (http://localhost:3000).
Console: Run the rails console in your project directory. It opens a Ruby environment to interact with your application’s code and database.

With the Rails CLI, you can generate components like models, controllers, views, migrations, and tests. You can also manage gem dependencies, run tests, interact with the application’s environment, perform database operations, and deploy applications.

Yes, you can customize the command of the Rails CLI by developing custom generators, tasks, and Rake commands. It allows you to tailor the CLI to fit the specific requirements of your application or development workflow.

Rails provides commands for deploying applications to numerous hosting platforms like Heroku or other web servers. You can use commands like Git push heroku master to deploy or set up deployment scripts using Rails tools.

You can find more resources and documentation for the Rails CLI on the official website of Ruby on Rails and in online guides, tutorial resources, and community forums specifically for Rails development.

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