23 Amazing And Open Source Ruby On Rails Applications

RailsRuby on Rails is a powerful web framework that helps creating web applications easier, faster & writing an organized code.

There are lots of websites that use it including popular ones like Twitter, Basecamp, AboutUs & many more.

Also, Ruby on Rails powers some amazing open source web applications which you may want to use directly or improve further.

Here is a well-categorized 23 open source Ruby on Rails applications:

(Note: There are few Merb apps. in the list too which we believe is ok considering Rails & Merb are getting into the same package with Rails 3.)


Project, Task & Time Management


Ruby On Rails Notes Manager

Notes is an easy to use to-do-list & notes manager application.

It is possible to create pages & make them public (if wanted) or create simple notes. With the Jabber listener support, you can eevn add new notes from your Google Talk by chatting with a bot.

Reminders can be set for each note that can be sent to you by e-mail or SMS (via a Twitter bridge).


Ruby On Rails To Do List Application

A to-do-list manager with a clean interface. Tracks lets you to categorize, prioritize, schedule & star items for a better usability (see WRD post).

Interface is Ajaxed & many tasks are done by drag'n drops. The application has multi-user support & comes with a built-in web-server for user who want to install it to their computers.


Ruby on Rails Time Tracking Application

It allows keeping track of all your tasks and the time you spend on them. With just a click, the timer can be started (see WRD post).

But not only that. There is a built-in project management system with milestones, reports & tasks.

ClockingIT tracks/logs every change to the documents & can send notifications via e-mail, RSS or iCal.

It is normally a free hosted application & source can be found here.



RubyTime, which is built with Merb, is an application to manage projects in means of project files, time spent & invoicing.

Using RubyTime:

  • users can bill projects
  • clients can log in and see all the data for only their projects
  • project managers can run reports and invoices for any project.


Ruby On Rails Project Management

Redmine is a flexible project management application that has an integrated news, files, documents management & more (see WRD post).

It supports multiple projects & makes it possible to have per-project forums/wikis.

Every step can be set to send notifications via e-mail or RSS. Also, it is possible to create issues via e-mail.

The application is cross-database & multilingual.


CMS & Blogging

Radiant CMS

Ruby On Rails CMS

A simple-yet-powerful Ruby on Rails CMS application with a slick interface (see WRD post).

It uses 3 main menus to manage the whole content:

  • pages: for creating the hierarchy & content
  • snippets: like PHP includes or modules to improve the pages
  • layouts: pre-designed themes that decide how pages will be displayed

Radiant also has a template language, named Radius, for şncluding dynamic content to any page.


Ruby On Rails Blog Application: typo

A Ruby on Rails blogging application that is developed continiously.

It comes with theming & plugins support for easier customization. Every part is planned for a better SEO, like friendly-URLs, ability to add keywords/description to every category/page & more.

Project is hosted on GitHub.


Open Source Ruby On Rails Blog

A widely used blogging engine that has ready-to-use plug-ins..

It uses Liquid templates for creating & editing themes. Mephisto also has a built-in caching system for faster loading.

XLsuite CRM | CMS

Ruby On Rails ERP - CRM Application

A full-package application that provides a CRM and ERP system.

It has amazing features like:

  • Contact list management with import/export capabilities
  • Integrated webmail, newsletter management & forum for a better communication
  • Ability to present & sell products/subscriptions (including controlling the inventory & payments)
  • Managing the content of a website with multi-domain, RSS & permission based user/ group system

The application is still under development but can be downloaded.


Image Galleries


Ruby On Rails Image Gallery

Albumdy enables you to create a multi-user image gallery system where images can be uploaded, edited & shared.

The application uses many other popular resources like: Blueprint CSS for the layout & SWFUpload for managing multiple uploads. Images in a gallery are presented with Galleria & they are stored in Amazon S3.


Ruby On Rails Photo Gallery

A simple but functional photo gallery built with Ruby on Rails.

It uses the lightweight mini_magick to resize photos, reducing the memory requirements of the full RMagick suite.

Photos can be sorted by drag'n drops, captions can be edited easily & the look/feel can be customized via CSS.




E-Commerce Ruby on Rails

Spree is a highly extensible & customizable e-commerce application. Developers can easily override existing views, provide new ones or provide additional models, migrations and controllers.

All popular payment gateways are supported as Active Merchant is used.


Ruby On Rails E-commerce

A simple & production ready Ruby on Rails e-commerce system.

It supports PayPal & Authorize.Net as the payment gateways. From the admin interface, you can easily track the inventory, view sales reports, create static content or answer the questions of your customers.



EcomPages is an e-commerce application which has most of the basic features of an e-store.

It has a good looking admin interface that makes managing products & orders easier.

The application is still being developed & is not feature-rich but can be a good base to start with & improve further.


Social Networks & Communities



This is a group chat social network application. You can start conversations and connect wih other users while discussing it.

It is possible to make a conversation read-only for presenting a content too.

Community Engine

Community Engine

A plugin for Ruby on Rails applications for having the features of a social netwoking website instantly.

Some great features include:

  • Authentication (sign up, log in), user search & user profiles
  • Blogs with tagging, categories and rich text editing
  • Photo uploading and tagging
  • Commenting, forums, friendship, activity feeds & more


Social Network Application With Ruby Rails

An open source social networking application with nice feaures (although it is under active development).

Users can have profiles with photos and comment walls, see activity feeds, friend to each other, have blogs, create discussions or send messages & more.



Openmind enables you to create a collaborative environment for collecting the thoughts of your customers/collagues on a product/service.

User can discuss online about an idea & vote for the features. Admin can mark the most-requested features as "to be included in next releases" & users get informed from this. A nice application for creating a constructive community.


Forulio: Ruby on Rails Forum

Forulio is a Ruby on Rails forum application with a similar approach to popular forum softwares like phpBB or vBulletin.

It supports sub-forums, has a monitoring page for viewing the activity and has tagging integrated.




Panda Stream

Panda is an open source solution for video uploading, encoding and streaming.

By providing an elegant REST API, the whole process works painless and you can add video functionality to your web application in a matter of hours.

The application runs with Amazon Web Services utilising EC2, S3 and SimpleDB. And, it provides an admin panel for managing videos.


Ruby On Rails Webmail

Mailr is an open source webmail application that can be used with any IMAP server.

E-mails can be created both in HTML & plain text. E-mail addresses in the contact list are Ajax-auto-completed just like Gmail & more.


Ruby On Rails Subversion Browser

This is a beautiful web-based subversion browser built with Ruby on Rails.

Multiple repositories can be managed from the same interface. Also, it is possible to add any number of users with different permissions.



RubyURL is an online tool for converting long website addresses into short ones.

Besides the standard form input, it is possible to create short URLs via the REST API which supports both JSON & XML requests. Source of the application can be found here.

  1. Reply Ionut Staicu February 12, 2009 at 5:24 AM

    Great list!
    Maybe you can do something similar with php frameworks (i want to see some scripts written on Zend framework or Cake or Code Igniter or… you got it) 😀

  2. Reply Trey February 12, 2009 at 8:30 AM

    Has anyone used Community Engine successfully? I’m thinking about using it instead of building many of the community features it offers from scratch.

    Pros? Cons?

  3. Reply Matt Coneybeare February 12, 2009 at 11:13 AM

    Has anybody seen a decent Audio app built with ruby/rails? I am looking for some audio processing plugins/gems that I can use to manage audio content.

  4. Reply Rails dev February 12, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    I think it is fairly safe to say that Mailr is dead…since more than 3 years.

  5. Reply BusLine February 13, 2009 at 12:50 AM

    Great Post for lining your affiliate marketing account. Nothing new to see here. Move along.

  6. Reply Umut M. February 13, 2009 at 3:42 AM


    No idea what you’re mentioning.

  7. Reply clicker February 13, 2009 at 4:04 AM

    I have never liked ror… But I think I will try some day.

  8. Reply Patternhead February 13, 2009 at 5:28 AM

    Great article.
    Next on your list…Django apps 🙂

  9. Reply Micky February 13, 2009 at 11:46 AM


    I think you’re unnecessarily cynical here.


  10. Reply Jonathan Soeder February 13, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    You forgot to add Lovdbyless for open source social-networking apps. Check it out.

  11. Reply Daniel February 13, 2009 at 5:43 PM

    RailsJedi currently has 100 Open Source Ruby on Rails Apps listed on http://www.opensourcerails.com/
    (68 in the Gallery and 32 in the Upcoming Section)
    Don’t know if they’re all amazing, but it’s definitely worth checking out.

  12. Reply James February 17, 2009 at 9:35 AM

    No mention of Rucksack or RailsCollab?

    Then again, i guess they aren’t “Amazing” enough. 🙁

  13. Reply Umut M. February 17, 2009 at 9:50 AM


    I’m sure they are amazing enough. I just didn’t kno about them while writing the post.

  14. Reply rafeequl February 17, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    Theres another social network app based on Rails, its Lovdbyless … Its a nice apps and also good lookin by default, the code is very clean and “less”

  15. Reply Hari February 19, 2009 at 4:37 PM

    Have you used or atleast tried to use all of these apps?

    On what basis did you call them “Amazing?”

    Just checking?

    I tried to use Notes, it is not even ready for Rails 2.0 and had a hard time using it.

  16. Reply Umut M. February 20, 2009 at 1:41 AM


    I installed most & used the online demos of the rest.

    There is no systematic methodology used for calling the apps. “amazing”. There are lot of open source Rails apps & I think these are the promising ones (that I’m aware of).

    On the other hand, comments like yours (that has real world experiences) help making the post better & many people to decide which app. to use).

  17. Reply Vunky February 20, 2009 at 6:42 AM

    Wow great list! I created a similair post, but with less apps 😉
    7 great Ruby on Rails Apps. ( http://vunkyblog.net/2008/7-great-ruby-on-rails-apps/)

    You should also mention lovdbyless. It is a social networking app that also really looks good.

  18. Reply Edmundo Valle Neto March 3, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    23 Amazing And Open Source Ruby On Rails Applications?

    ClockingIT is a free hosted solution but its NOT open source.

  19. Reply Edmundo Valle Neto March 3, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    Ok, sorry. Now I found it, its almost hidden on the footer to get the source.

  20. Reply Nicki March 9, 2009 at 9:28 PM

    Thanks WRD! This is a very good start for me. I love the site!

  21. Reply cauta March 27, 2009 at 2:26 AM

    How about Tog? This is a great, well written plugin management system. It allows for modularized implementation of apps, because it uses the Desert plugin. This will be merged into Rails 3 slices.

  22. Reply drew March 27, 2009 at 2:27 AM

    And here is the link for Tog: http://www.toghq.com/

  23. Reply Michael Mackus May 12, 2009 at 4:30 PM

    @patternhead – I second that in regards to the Django list.. I’d love to see something similar

    Nothing against rails of course 🙂

  24. Reply feng June 23, 2009 at 11:42 PM

    so cool, i am looking for opensource blog app………

  25. Reply Travis Dunn August 12, 2009 at 1:44 AM

    Just out of curiosity, how did you choose the apps for this list? Why one project and not another? In any event, thanks for compiling the list.

  26. Reply Umut M. August 12, 2009 at 2:03 AM


    There are are 100s of open source Ruby On Rails apps. I have shared 23 of them that I was able to install or demo online and which were well-documented. You may see more on upcoming posts.

  27. Reply Hasret December 6, 2009 at 8:28 AM

    Thank you so much this post…

  28. Reply Hasret December 6, 2009 at 8:29 AM

    + for


  29. Reply Damien Tanner December 17, 2009 at 8:23 AM

    Hi all,

    I’d just like to let you all know we will be releasing a new managed version of Panda in the new year. This will make setting up and scaling encoders much easier. If you’re interested in getting a beta invite please sign up on the site http://pandastream.com

    Damien, Co-founder, Panda.

  30. Reply Sethupathi Asokan January 21, 2010 at 7:48 AM

    Open soruce RoR application “eJOSH” developed by josh software, it is a custom cms and website developement/mangement tool. Now with eJOSH you can select your page layout and color theme and start adding your pages with aneasy to use Admin Panel. You can make changes to live site without waiting for you web designer orsystem administrator. The in-built Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures that the website gets more internet visibility from search engines.


  31. Reply Fer March 19, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    Redmine is very good.
    Only 10 minutes of configuration.
    Thanks for the post

  32. Reply XLsuite | Ruby CRM & CMS April 26, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    Thanks for including our app in your list, we appreciate the write up.

    Your users might like to see the commercial implementations of our hosted platform.

    http://TribeXL.com – is the community suite edition

    http://XLsell.com – is the small business edition

    Both have reseller programs attached to them and we can support developers implementing clients on our hosted platform.

  33. Reply Ramon August 30, 2010 at 4:24 AM

    As the Mailr project is not active since 2007 we we started developing a Ruby on Rails mail client called mailyt. Mailyt is going to be the best open source webmail client written in RoR. The source code can be found on http://github.com/huerlisi/mailyt

  34. Reply Espen Antonsen October 3, 2010 at 6:30 PM

    Also check out Balder, open-source photo gallery. Find it at http://balderapp.com

  35. Reply Unni April 14, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    Checkout Fedena – http://www.projectfedena.org Opensource SIS

  36. Reply Daniel Kehoe June 4, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    For anyone looking for open source applications for Rails 3.1, take a look at
    Rails 3.1 Example Apps and Tutorials from the Rails Apps project on GitHub.

  37. Reply agus @ ROR Developer January 8, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Wow this was a great post. I really love ROR application, just try few tutorial and at this time developping in this platform doesn’t meet the need required here, but I will try some of the project management app you submit…Great job!

  38. Reply Astral Projection Forum February 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    I loved Community Engine – Will roll my own soon 🙂

  39. Reply Ruby on Rails - Allerin April 30, 2012 at 7:02 AM

    All above Apps are really great, we didn’t knew that Ruby on Rails can have such amazing Open Source Codes.
    Great work sharing

  40. Reply Kumar September 5, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    I never knew Redmine is a ruby on rails platform based tool. Thanks for this useful list.

  41. Reply sean October 19, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Active engine is a really cool rails engine for issue tracking.

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