Easy integration Rails with AdminLTE template

AdminLTE is a great dashboard template based on Bootstrap 3. I’ll integrate AdminLTE to Rails application using bower in this post.

AdminLTE dashboard
AdminLTE dashboard


  • Install package using npm
  • General instruction for integration themes

Install application

$ rails new admin_lte_todo --skip-turbolinks
$ cd admin_lte_todo
$ rails g controller dashboard index

root 'dashboard#index'

Let’s install slim

Usually, in development, I use slim as a templating language. So let’s install slim in our application.

gem 'slim-rails'

And change .erb templates to .slim. To make that we can use html2slim utility.

Bower Rails config

  1. Install bower using node package utility. $ npm install -g bower
  2. Configure bower to install packages to valid /vendor path. .bowerrc { "directory" : "vendor/assets/components" }
  3. Initialize bower.json file. bower.json { "name": "admin_lte_todo", "dependencies": { } }
  4. Configure rails application to work with bower.config/initializers/assets.rb
    Rails.application.config.assets.paths << Rails.root.join('vendor', 'assets', 'components')
  5. To deploy the application with bower’s assets, we can use capistrano-bower gem.

Install AdminLTE with Bower

Time to install AdminLTE plugin.

Add AdminLTE to bower.json file.

"dependencies": {
  "admin-lte": "*"

Instead of “*” you can set the latest release version. Currently, it is:

  "admin-lte": "2.3.6"

Install AdminLTE plugin.

$ bower install

Node package manager

Also, you can install AdminLTE template using Node package manager (npm).

  1. Initialize package.json file. $npm init
  2. Configure rails application to work with npm libs. config/initializers/assets.rb Rails.application.config.assets.paths << Rails.root.join('node_modules')

To deploy the application with npm, use capistrano/npm gem.

Install AdminLTE with NPM

You should add dependencies to package.json file to install AdminLTE with NPM:

"dependencies": {
  "admin-lte": "2.3.5"

And run the command:

$npm install

Integrate AdminLTE assets to Rails application

When integrating some template the first thing you should start with is dependencies configuration.

For the AdminLTE theme, dependencies are described in the documentation here.

They are Bootstrap 3 and jQuery. jQuery is installed by default in each Rails application and you can verify it in the default application.js file.

//= require jquery
//= require jquery_ujs

Let’s include Bootstrap 3:

//= require admin-lte/bootstrap/js/bootstrap

 *= require admin-lte/bootstrap/css/bootstrap

After including dependencies, we can include AdminLTE assets to the project. Usually, template sources are stored in dist path.

//= require admin-lte/dist/js/app.js

 *= require admin-lte/dist/css/AdminLTE
 *= require admin-lte/dist/css/skins/skin-blue

In AdminLTE skins path saved a color theme for a template. One project can include any theme.

After all the action we get the following assets files.

//= require jquery
//= require jquery_ujs
//= require admin-lte/bootstrap/js/bootstrap
//= require admin-lte/dist/js/app.js

 *= require admin-lte/bootstrap/css/bootstrap
 *= require admin-lte/dist/css/AdminLTE
 *= require admin-lte/dist/css/skins/skin-blue

Integrate AdminLTE template

For example, use this link to integrate AdminLTE template.

Create application.html file with the source code of starter page.

Change application.html.slim file using this template, for that:

  1. Convert application.html to application.html.slim using html2slim utility. $ html2slim app/views/layouts/application.html app/views/layouts/application.html.slim
  2. Change header on application.html.sli template. application.html.slim head title AdminLTE example = stylesheet_link_tag "application", media: "all" = javascript_include_tag "application" = csrf_meta_tags
  3. Remove app/views/layouts/application.html file.
  4. Remove scripts on end of app/views/layouts/application.html.slim file.

Now we can start rails server and check AdminLte rails template.

$ rails s

At last, fixing icons and fonts. For this, add styles to application.html.slim.

= stylesheet_link_tag "https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/font-awesome/4.3.0/css/font-awesome.min.css"
= stylesheet_link_tag "http://code.ionicframework.com/ionicons/2.0.0/css/ionicons.min.css"

Hallelujah! We integrated AdminLTE template to rails application.

AdminLTE template
AdminLTE template

Summary and the best advice ever

This tutorial will help you to install any bootstrap template. I took AdminLTE template integration as an example. To add bootstrap to rails you should set the following steps:
1) to install a package with some package manager,
2) to install and include dependencies,
3) to include template assets.

And finally, the main advice from me is to read the documentation carefully.

It remains for me to wish you success in your work!