+9  Q: 

Rails books?

Hey ya guys you know good books for ruby on rails .I know 'Grails'.Keeping that in mind please suggest some good books for Rails !

+15  A: 

Agile Web Development With Rails is the de-facto book. Also you'll need to know the Ruby language, the "Pickaxe book" is pretty decent for that.

Make sure you spring for the 3rd edition of AWDwR (currently in beta) - even the 2nd ed is pretty out of date now
Ben Scofield
The Well Grounded Rubyist is a much better book then pickaxe IMO
Matt Briggs

The pragmatic programmer's guide to rails is pretty good, but for an entertaining (if wacky) take, look at Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby

Tim Howland
+1  A: 

You can't go wrong with a Dave Thomas book.I have it and recommend it.

Andrew Cowenhoven
+2  A: 

I purchased Simply Rails 2 - it seems a good book, but so far I did not have time to properly study it.

Dario Solera
I'll give SR2 a nod as well. Took me from scratch to Rails wannabe very quickly :)
Rob S.
+4  A: 

In addition to the Agile Web Development With Rails Suggestion, I also recommend The Rails Way when you want to delve in a little bit deeper and move beyond a beginner level.

Jason stewart
Note: The Rails Way is great as a reference. Don't expect to find a tutorial there, however.
+2  A: 

Advanced Rails is great when you want to move beyond the Agile Web Dev book. Lots of great tutorials on topics like creating your own plugins, getting under the hood of Active Record, and scaling (both DB efficiency tips and caching). You can either read through the whole thing or use it as a quick reference manual.

Josh Schwartzman
+6  A: 

Advanced Rails Recipes and The Rails Way are very good once you have understood the basics. However both will be hard to grasp until you have a handle on the MVC pattern and how it is implemented in Rails. For that use the canonical AWDwR book referenced above (although bear in mind the current dead-tree edition is a bit behind the curve with respect to cutting-edge Rails whose latest version at time of writing is 2.1)...

+7  A: 

You'll definitely want to learn Ruby before learning Rails. I would get Ruby For Rails by David Black. Read through that first. That book will give you a solid Ruby background, which will help you understand Rails better.

Then read Agile Web Development for Rails (2nd ed). And a good database book and you will be good to go.

Joe Van Dyk
David Black has written a semi-sequel to Ruby For Rails that concentrates on Ruby "The Well-Grounded Rubyist', I'm finding it a great book for learning Ruby -
David Burrows
+2  A: 

The Rails Way is a pretty awesome book too!

Ryan Bigg
+1  A: 

I like Rails for Java Developers, which has a pace that is nice for people who already know Java and have some experience with application frameworks. It really is focused on people who know Java, though, so if you come from a different background, pick another book.

Jan de Vos

Everyday Scripting with Ruby

While it's not strictly a Rails book, there's good value in learning and understanding Ruby before you try to tackle Rails. Rails will make a lot more sense than just jumping right in... it did for me.


Like a lot of people, I originally started with The Agile Web Development with Rails book which is good if you want to jump in a create a working sample app quickly, but I found it lacking in details. If you are willing to put in the time, I would recommend learning Ruby with Apress' Beginning Ruby From Novice to Professional and then moving on to a thorough Rails book like The Rails Way by Obie Fernandez.

go minimal
+11  A: 

You might also consider the free Railscasts put together by Ryan Bates. They cover a wide range of topics, including the mysterious changes in Rails 2.0 that broke so many older tutorials.

The Agile book is really two books in one. The first half is a detailed walk through of a simple sample application (the "depot" application) that, it seems, all Rails developers have done. The second half of Agile is a reference work about different parts of the framework. You can use whichever half of the book better fits your learning style. (I found myself flipping back and forth.) I second the comment above that you should get the Third Edition in PDF form (as a "beta book") directly from the publisher's website. The changes to Rails have been so great that basic tutorials from before Rails 2.0 are often unusable.

Agile did a great job of teaching the ideas behind the framework as a framework. That said, I didn't think it taught Ruby in particular depth. If you're coming from Java world, that might be your bigger jump. (I would avoid Learning Ruby, which I found to be too basic in its examples. The Ruby Scripting book was much better, but much of it focused on aspects of Ruby that often have little to do with Rails.)


Agile Web Developemnt with Rails is always the reference

I also recommend the Rails Way which is a really complete reference for early versions of rails 2.x

I'll add Designs Patterns in Ruby, because it's also usefull if you want to do advance things with Ruby.

+1  A: 

Since I came from PHP, Rails for PHP Developers (both the book and the website) was super-helpful.

Xiong Chiamiov
+1  A: 

I would suggest buying a book about Ruby first.

Ruby for Rails and Design Patterns in Ruby are good choices.

Kieran Hayes

I'm going to also say that Ruby For Rails is a great book to learn on. It's actually the book I used to learn programming in general. Sadly, the book is very dated on the rails end so the Rails parts should not be read. The good news is that the ruby parts of the book are still extremely relevant and make up about 2/3 of the book. The book focus' an entire section to just Ruby so it's not hard to skip the obsolete parts.

I'm sure the Well Grounded Rubyist is also a great book, but I have not read it so I can't say for sure. Just going by my impression of Black as a writer.

The Rails Way is just a reference, so depending on your skill level it may or may not be useful.

Also realize that rails does have a lot of magic, but the methods are pretty well documented on the api page. The api will be your best friend if you start using rails a lot.

I don't recommend RailsSpace unless they've updated it to rails 2+. The book covers the original restful interface which is no longer valid, so the book is essentially useless.

Design Patterns in Ruby is also excellent.

Robert DiNicolas

There is a very nice list by Antonio Cagiano, that wrote a Ruby book for .NET programmers. He also mantains a list of Ruby books.

All in all, I recommend you the path I'm doing: learn Ruby and Rails together. You don't need to be a Ruby master to work with Rails and your knowledge should be improving with time… And yeah, get your hands dirty. A practical project techs much more than any book!

Lailson Bandeira
+1  A: 

I second Advanced Rails Recipes and Agile Web Development with Rails. I bought them in ebook format from, cheaper than hardcover and you get updates. My favorite ruby book was Why's (poignant) Guide to Ruby. For screen-casts I use Railscasts and peepcode, documentation I go to railsbrain and rubybrain

+3  A: 

Not the first book to buy, but definitely one I'd recommend having around is Dan Chak's Enterprise Rails. There's a lot of great general advice on the pitfalls and structural considerations for serious Rails applications. Some of his opinions aren't necessarily the most common Rails practices (like insisting on database-side constraints in addition to ActiveRecord ORM mappings), but IMO that makes it all the more interesting and worth engaging, esp since his take on things comes directly from hard-won experience. A great compliment to the PragProg Rails book and/or The Rails Way.

Dave Sims
Dan Chak has some awesome advice on data modeling, caching, and a variety of topics.
Jay Godse
Yes this is an amazing book

Head First Rails - I like the teaching style of the Head First books. Also, the version of Rails they use is probably the most up-to-date...this week.

Jay Godse
+1  A: 

I started with the Simply Rails book and was able to learn enough to get a decent web app up and running.


[Ruby]Pragmatic-Agile Web Development with Rails.3E This was the best I had saw. You can download the book from


Simply Rails 2 is my personal favorite, especially because an entire chapter is devoted to learning Ruby.

Govind N

I'd recommend Rails Tutorial by Michael Hartl.

In my opinion it provides a fantastic introduction to Ruby on Rails whilst also introducing you to the overall process of developing web applications (explains version control using Github and deployment using Heroku).

The latest version is up to date with Rails 3, and is available for free online at the link provided above. (You can also purchase a PDF / Paper version of the book from his website).

Good Luck!

Tom Hacquoil