It stands for opinionated rails application templates. The templates include solving tedious tasks that you would do for most projects. It handles creating a rails application with a bunch of opinions and best practices.

Programming language: Ruby
License: MIT License
Latest version: v5.2.3

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What is orats?

It stands for opinionated rails application templates.

The goal is to provide you an excellent base application that you can use on your next Rails project.

You're meant to generate a project using orats and then build your custom application on top of it.

It also happens to use Docker so that your app can be ran on any major platform -- even without needing Ruby installed.

If you want to learn about Docker specifically then I recommend checking out Dive Into Docker: The Complete Docker Course for Developers.

What versions are you targeting?

Ruby 2.5+

Rails 5.2+

Docker 1.11+ / Docker Compose API v2+



gem install orats

Or if you already have orats then run gem update orats to upgrade to the latest version.

If you don't have Ruby installed, then you can generate an app easily with bash.


To get the details of each command then please run orats help from the terminal. Here's a high level overview:


The new command generates a new orats app, which is just a Rails app in the end.

Currently there is only 1 template, which is the "base" template but others may be added in the future.

Try the new command

orats new myproject


Return a list of available templates to choose from.

Try the templates command

orats templates

Available templates


This is the starter template that every other template will be based upon. I feel like when I make a new project, 95% of the time it includes these features and when I do not want a specific thing it is much quicker to remove it than add it.

Main changes vs a fresh Rails project

  • Core changes:
    • Use postgres as the primary SQL database
    • Use redis as the cache backend
    • Use sidekiq as a background worker through Active Job
    • Use a standalone Action Cable server
    • jQuery is installed with jquery-rails
    • Capybara is commented out in the Gemfile
    • Bootsnap and Credentials are disabled
  • Features:
    • Add a pages controller with home action
  • Config:
    • Extract a bunch of configuration settings to environment variables
    • Rewrite the database.yml and secrets.yml files
    • Add a staging environment
    • Development mode only:
      • Use rack mini profiler for profiling / analysis
    • Production mode only:
      • Add popular file types to the assets pre-compile list
    • Log to STDOUT so that Docker can consume and deal with log entries
    • Change validation errors to output in-line on each element instead of a big list
  • Helpers:
    • title, meta_description, heading to easily set those values per view
    • humanize_boolean to convert true / false into Yes / No
    • css_for_boolean to convert true / false into a css class success / danger
  • Views:
    • Use scss and javascript
    • Use bootstrap 3.x and font-awesome 4.x
    • Add a minimal and modern layout file
    • Conditionally load html5shiv, json3 and respondjs for IE < 9 support
    • Partials:
      • Add navigation
      • Add flash message
      • Add footer
      • Add Google Analytics


How can I learn about the Docker specific aspects of the project?

Check out the blog post Dockerize a Rails 5, Postgres, Redis, Sidekiq and Action Cable Application.

Another option is to take my Dive Into Docker course.

What do I do after I generate the application?

Start by reading the above blog post, because the Docker blog post explains how you can run the project. It also goes over a few Docker related caveats that may hang you up if you're not already familiar with Docker.

After that, just dive into the project's source code and write your awesome app!

What's the bare minimum to get things running?

If you don't feel like reading the blog post, this is the bare minimum to get everything up and running -- assuming you have Docker and Docker Compose installed.

# 1) Read the .env file carefully and change any user specific settings, such
#    as e-mail credentials and platform specific settings (check the comments).
# 2) Build and run the project with Docker Compose
docker-compose up --build
# 3) Reset and Migrate the database (run this in a 2nd Docker-enabled terminal)
# OSX / Windows users can skip adding the --user "$(id -u):$(id -g)" flag
docker-compose exec --user "$(id -u):$(id -g)" website rails db:reset
docker-compose exec --user "$(id -u):$(id -g)" website rails db:migrate
# 4a) Running Docker natively? Visit http://localhost:3000
# 4b) Running Docker with the Toolbox? Visit
#     (you may need to replace with your Docker machine IP)

Do I need to install orats to use the base app?

Not really. The base application is already generated and you can view it directly in this repo.

The main benefit of the orats gem is that it will do a recursive find / replace on a few strings to personalize the project for your project's name. It will also make it easy to pick different templates when they are available.

You could easily do this yourself if you don't have Ruby installed on your work station. The 3 strings you'll want to replace are:

  • OratsBase (used as class names and in the generated home page)
  • orats_base (used for a number of Rails specific prefixes and more)
  • VERSION (used to set the current orats version in the generated home page)

You could whip up a simple bash script to do this, such as:

# Clone this repo to a directory of your choosing.
git clone https://github.com/nickjj/orats /tmp/orats

# Copy the base project to a directory of your choosing.
cp -r /tmp/orats/lib/orats/templates/base /tmp/foo_bar

# Swap a few custom values into the base project.
find /tmp/foo_bar -type f -exec sed -i -e 's/OratsBase/FooBar/g' {} \;
find /tmp/foo_bar -type f -exec sed -i -e 's/orats_base/foo_bar/g' {} \;
find /tmp/foo_bar -type f -exec sed -i -e 's/VERSION/5.2.0/g' {} \;

# Rename the example .env file since `.env` is git ignored.
mv /tmp/foo_bar/.env.example /tmp/foo_bar/.env

# Clean up the cloned directory.
rm -rf /tmp/orats