Top 12 Ruby on Rails Tutorials

by Tom Mullaly on August 9, 2013

A former student asked me a few days ago how I learned Ruby on Rails. The answer was that I simply read alot of great tutorials. So in the spirit of sharing, here are the 12 tutorials that I found most useful:

  1. Rolling with Ruby on Rails – Curtis Hibbs of offers his first excellent introduction to Ruby on Rails. This is the article that got me really excited about RoR.
  2. 2. Rolling with Ruby on Rails, Part 2 – The sequel to Curtis Hibbs excellent series of articles.
  3. 3. Four Days on Rails (PDF) – a great tutorial that is broken down into simple tasks that you can do over a four day period. To be quite honest, this tutorial only takes about 2 hours, but nonetheless it is very well organized!
  4. 4. Really Getting Started in Rails – Amy Hoy has a great tutorial that not only covers RoR, but also introduces the reader to many of the basic concepts of the very cool Ruby scripting language.
  5. Tutorial in Ruby on Rails – is a basic tutorial aimed at newbies.
  6. Fast-track your Web apps with Ruby on Rails – IBM jumps into the sandbox with an excellent (as usual) tutorial to get you on your feet fast.
  7. Getting Your Feet Wet With Ruby on Rails – Talking about getting on your feet fast, this one from Webmonkey promises to get them wet too!
  8. How to make a todo list program with Rails – Another excellent introductory tutorial that actually helps you build something useful!
  9. Ajax on Rails – Curtis Hibbs offers part 3 of his look at RoR
  10. Many to Many Tutorial for Rails (PDF) – is a nice document that begins to delve into some of the more complex parts of web application programming, but in fine Ruby on Rails manner, it’s really not too complicated!
  11. Distributing Rails Applications – A Tutorial – So now you’ve built your RoR application, how to you push it to a production server? This tutorial covers the bases.
  12. Installing Ruby on Rails with Lighttpd and MySQL on Fedora Core 4 – and of course this list wouldn’t be complete without a shameless bit of self-promotion, this tutorial promises what it says. Other install tutorials can be found here, here and here!

Hey, Ruby on Rails Fans!

UPDATE, JUNE 2009: Want more up-to-date tutorials on Ruby programming? OK, we heard you. By popular demand, Digital Media Minute has a brand new, maintained list of 11 12 more-recent tutorials on both Ruby the language and Rails the framework. Don’t miss it! New Ruby Programming Tutorial section.

Happy Rails developing and if you have any other tutorials that you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments!

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Vincent Foley

I am the author of the Todo List tutorial, and I just want to warn everyone that it is quite old, it was written for Rails 0.9, and many people are having problems with it. Since I don’t feel like updating it, I strongly recommend looking at other tutorials before jumping into mine.


Jim, your article has made its way on to the frontpage of Digg.


I found your website off of as it was the most popular one there so decided to have a look. These tutorials will be useful to me.

Will be nice to check out these tutorials.


This isn’t really a tutorial but its a site built w/ Ruby on rails. It seems more involved than most other Ruby on Rails-built sites out there today.


Neat. I have been looking at the whole Ruby thing, now I have a starting point. Thanks.



Prashant Thomas

simple ruby on rails demo application with source code listed on every page

enlarge your penis



a welll cool post


Great links. I have learned RoR from these links. Thanks alot.

Komodo Coder

Awesome! This’ll get my new career in Ruby on Rails a nice jump start!

Tucker Everett

Great article though there is spelling error ‘alot’ is two words like, a lot.

It’s a very common error thought you might want to know since you are ranked high on google lots of people reading it and all.

Thanks for the compiled data here !

Robertas Aganauskas

Thanks for putting it all in one place.


Hey, this is an awesome top 12 for getting more than started with Ruby!

FYI, there is an ‘f’ missing in “to recieve $70 of your first year of hosting”.

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Thank you for this really usefull and informative article.



Really its the best site for tutorials on ruby.i have done some sample applications following the links given in top
12. i would like to mention about the generators that are present which can be useful to add logic to application ragarding login and search.


I’ve heard about Ruby on Rails but not sure what it is, so I searched. Thanks for the list of tutorials. Great resource for beginners like me.


Greg Lorriman

The Onlamp ‘Curtis Hibbs’ article is total rubbish. Even I could tell ‘tho I was a rails newbie. It casts doubt on all your subsequent choices. Now that you are, presumably, quite advanced in Rails go back to that article and the trouble should be quite visible.


I have been asked to look into RoR for a possible assignment, this is info is great, thanks Jim

Great tutorial!

Peter Cooper

It is very important for readers of this page to realize most of the tutorials linked to above are VERY old. Early 2005 in cases. Rails has changed a great deal since then and some of the advice given, while good at the time, is now significantly dated, or just plain wrong.

Free Ruby eBooks

Thanks, it is great.

father of four

Rails tutorials don’t work! Forget about them, i’ve tried at least 3. At best they give an insight on what this thing can do. I you are serious about it, buy the book instead. Read my blog for more info.


Gee, this rails tutorial overview has gained quite some popularity since I bookmarked it last year :-)


I have an amazing web 2.0 business idea for which I need someone who is very proficient with ruby on rails. It would be benificial if you are located in either California, Boston, New Jersey, or New York. If your personality fits and your programming skills are solid then I will bring you on our team. Cheers, -Eric


Very cool Tutorial. I love all of these.


Interesting Ttorial. Good work.

Suck Ass Documentation

All the ruby on rails for apache docs are old or otherwise wrong. who knows.. and no one the fucking list can provide a straight answer for setting list up correctly under linux. It isnt rocket science.. why are they so apprehensive about releasing documentation that is available to the public?

and whoever used the phrase “web 2.0″ get a clue.. web 2.0 is imaginary bullshit buzz word that means nothing..


:) good!!!


Hey Jim, just wanted to thank you for this excellent references. I am using this as my blueprint to get started with Rails; bookmarked on my toolbar and eVerything =]




Really great page ! Thanks!


Been looking into Ruby on Rails and have read quite a few articles ,looking into trying it for my website good will keep you all informed.

Aaron Trubic

Thanks for the great resource!


Very Useful.


very good list. thx

Ruby on Rails Examples

Very, Very useful.

Almost all of them are great. I Just finished reading all of them!


very useful list of articles. thx for sharing the list with us!

Los Angeles SEO

Well, thats cool.

RoR is great for SE, it helps to create cool URLs without sessions.


Thanks for this great list! With RoR you are more productive and efficient.

Max Williams

This is a step-by-step walkthrough of David Heinemeier Hansson’s original demo of Rails at the FISL conference in Brazil, 2005. As far as i’ve seen this only exists in movie form, and as i’m a ruby/rails noob myself i found it very educational to pick it apart line by line, step by step, and analyse what’s going on.

Guida Ruby on Rails

There are some Ruby on Rails tutorial in italian if anyone is interested.

Mythili Senthil Kumar

This tutorial is very helpfull. I got interested with RoR after reading the contents.


Lots of useful tutorials here. #rubyonrails on freenode irc is a great resource too!


Wow, great list! Why did it take me two years to find this?

Ruby on Rails

Great list, it should just be updated like once a year


Great list! Thank you very much!


Michael Slater: that Rails podcast is great, thank you very much.

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