Getting Started

Blog Tutorial

When reading about a new framework, I often find that the best way to get familiar is to read a brief tutorial on how to develop a simple application. This can quickly give new users a sense of the development flow and processes involved in using a framework. This guide will show new users how to develop a simple blog using the Padrino framework. Along the way, each step will be explained and links will be provided to further information on different relevant topics.


There is also a screencast available for this tutorial. You can check it out by:

Please note that previous screencast, written for Padrino 0.12.2, is available under

Study Guide

To skip this tutorial or immediately see the complete blog tutorial project, you can checkout the blog tutorial repository using git:

$ git clone


In order to develop a Padrino application, we have to do a few things. First, we must obviously have ruby (at least version 2.2.2 or laster) and rubygems installed. Next, we must install the padrino framework gems:

$ gem install padrino

For more details on installation, check out the installation guide. Now we can begin developing our sample blog.

Project Generation

To create a Padrino application, the best place to start is using the convenient Padrino generator. Similar to Rails, Padrino has a project generator which will create a skeleton application with all the files you need to being development of your new idea. Padrino is an agnostic framework and supports using a variety of different template, testing, JavaScript and database components. You can learn more by reading the generators guide.

For this sample application, we will use the ActiveRecord ORM, the Slim templating language, the RSpec testing framework and the jQuery JavaScript library. With that in mind, let us generate our new project:

$ padrino g project blog-tutorial -t rspec -e haml -c scss -s jquery -d sequel -b

This command will generate our basic Padrino project and the print out a nice report of the files generated. The output of this generation command can be viewed in this gist file. Notice the -b flag in the previous command which automatically instructs bundler to install all dependencies. All we need to do now is cd into our brand new application.

$ cd blog-tutorial

Now, the terminal should be inside the root of our newly generated application with all necessary gem dependencies installed. Let us take a closer look at the particularly important generated files before we continue on with development.

  • Gemfile – Includes any necessary gem dependencies for your app.
  • app/app.rb – The primary configuration file for your app.
  • config/apps.rb – This defines which applications are mounted in your project.
  • config/database.rb – This defines the connection details for your chosen database adapter.

The following important directories are also generated:

  • app/controllers – This is where the Padrino route definitions should be defined.
  • app/helpers – This is where helper methods should be defined for your application.
  • app/views – This should contain your template views to be rendered in a controller.
  • lib – This should contain any extensions, libraries or other code to be used in your project.
  • public – This is where images, style sheets and JavaScript files should be stored.
  • spec – This is where your model and controller tests are stored.

For now, the defaults for the database connection settings (config/database.rb) are fine for this tutorial.

This environment can be configured in config/apps.rb as:

Padrino.configure_apps do
  if RACK_ENV == 'production'
    disable :reload
    disable :reload_templates
    enable :reload
    enable :reload_templates

or can be configured in app/app.rb as

if Padrino.env == :production
  # do production
  # non production here

Let us also setup a few simple routes in our application to demonstrate the Padrino routing system. Let's go into the app/app.rb file and enter the following routes:

# app/app.rb
module BlogTutorial
  class App < Padrino::Application
    register ScssInitializer
    register Padrino::Mailer
    register Padrino::Helpers

    enable :sessions

    # Here are the defined routes
    get "/" do
      'Hello World!'

    get :about, :map => '/about-us' do
      render :haml, '%p This is a sample blog created to demonstrate how Padrino works!'

Note that the first route here sets up a simple string to be returned at the root URL of the application. The second route defines a one-line about page inline using Haml which is then explicitly mapped to the /about-us URL. The symbol :about is used to reference the route later.

Be sure to check out the controllers guide for a comprehensive overview of the routing system.

Admin Dashboard Setup

Next, this is a good time to setup the Padrino admin panel which allows us to easily view, search and modify data for a project. Let's go back to the console and enter:

$ padrino g admin

This will create the admin sub-application within your project and mount it within the config/apps.rb file. The output of this command can be viewed in this gist file.

Now, you should follow the instructions of the output:

  1) Run 'bundle'
  2) Run 'bundle exec rake db:create' if you have not created a database yet
  3) Run 'bundle exec rake db:migrate'
  4) Run 'bundle exec rake db:seed'
  5) Visit the admin panel in the browser at '/admin'

During this process, you will be prompted to enter an email and password to use for the admin dashboard. Be sure to remember this for use later in development.

To read more about the features of the admin panel, check out the Admin Panel Guide.

Booting Padrino

Now the Padrino project has been generated, the database has been configured and created and the admin panel has been properly setup. We can now start up our Padrino application server. This is quite easy to do with the built-in Padrino tasks. Simply execute the following in the terminal:

$ padrino s

You should see no errors, and the terminal should output:

=> Padrino/0.14.3 has taken the stage development at
[2018-05-10 08:01:56] INFO  WEBrick 1.3.1
[2018-05-10 08:01:56] INFO  ruby 2.4.2 (2017-09-14) [i686-linux]
[2018-05-10 08:01:56] INFO  WEBrick::HTTPServer#start: pid=3489 port=3000

To read more about available terminal commands, checkout the Development and Terminal Commands guide.

Your application now exists on http://localhost:3000. Visit this URL in the browser and you should see the Hello World!.

We can also visit the admin panel by going to the URL: http://localhost:3000/admin and then log in using the admin credentials specified during the rake db:seed command performed earlier. Feel free to explore this area and checkout the existing accounts. We will come back to this in more detail later. To read more about the features of the admin panel, check out the Admin Panel Guide.

Worth noting here is that Padrino has full support for code reloading in development mode. This means you can keep the Padrino server running and change your code source and when you refresh in the browser, the changes will be automatically displayed.

Creating Posts

Now that the application is ready and the layouts have been defined, let's implement the functionality to view our blog posts and even add the ability to create new posts!

Let's start off by generating the model into our app directory. The models will be generated at the top level models directory in a project. If you want to place your models to another location, you can append the -a option to the command - this is handy if you would like to have models which should be coped only to sub-apps.

$ padrino g model post title:string body:text created_at:datetime
       apply  orms/sequel
       apply  tests/rspec
      create  models/post.rb
      create  spec/models/post_spec.rb
      create  db/migrate/002_create_posts.rb

Go ahead and migrate the database now.

$ padrino rake sq:migrate
=> Executing Rake sq:migrate ...
   INFO -  (0.000163s) PRAGMA foreign_keys = 1
   INFO -  (0.000022s) PRAGMA case_sensitive_like = 1
   INFO -  (0.000107s) SELECT sqlite_version()
   INFO -  (0.000061s) CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `schema_info` (`version` integer DEFAULT (0) NOT NULL)
   INFO -  (0.000103s) SELECT * FROM `schema_info` LIMIT 1
   INFO -  (0.000068s) SELECT 1 AS 'one' FROM `schema_info` LIMIT 1
   INFO -  (0.000062s) SELECT count(*) AS 'count' FROM `schema_info` LIMIT 1
   INFO -  (0.000070s) SELECT `version` FROM `schema_info` LIMIT 1
   INFO -  Begin applying migration version 2, direction: up
   INFO -  (0.011094s) CREATE TABLE `posts` (`id` integer NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY AUTOINCREMENT, `title` varchar(255), `body` Text, `created_at` timestamp)
   INFO -  (0.014224s) UPDATE `schema_info` SET `version` = 2
   INFO -  Finished applying migration version 2, direction: up, took 0.025778 seconds
<= sq:migrate:up executed

Next, let's create the controller to allow the basic viewing functionality.

$ padrino g controller posts get:index get:show
      create  app/controllers/posts.rb
      create  app/views/posts
       apply  tests/rspec
      create  spec/app/controllers/posts_controller_spec.rb
      create  app/helpers/posts_helper.rb
       apply  tests/rspec
      create  spec/app/helpers/posts_helper_spec.rb

We'll want to attached some of the standard routes (:index and :show) to the controller.

# app/controllers/posts.rb
BlogTutorial::App.controllers :posts do
  get :index do
    @posts = Post.reverse_order(:created_at).all
    render 'posts/index'

  get :show, :with => :id do
    @post = Post[id: params[:id]]
    render 'posts/show'

This controller is defining routes that can be accessed via our application. The "http method" get starts off the declaration followed by a symbol representing the "action". Inside a block we store an instance variable fetching the necessary objects and then render a view template. This should look familiar to those coming from Rails or Sinatra.

Next, we'll want to create the views for the two controller actions we defined: index and show.

-# app/views/posts/index.haml
- @title = "Welcome"

#posts= partial 'posts/post', :collection => @posts

-# app/views/posts/_post.haml
              = link_to post.title, url_for(:posts, :show, :id =>
   time_ago_in_words(post.created_at || + ' ago'
        = simple_format(post.body)

-# app/views/posts/show.haml

            %h3.title.article-title= @post.title
     time_ago_in_words(@post.created_at || + ' ago'
          = simple_format(@post.body)
          %p= link_to 'View all posts', url_for(:posts, :index)

Padrino Admin makes it easy to create, edit and delete records automatically. To manage posts using Padrino Admin, run this command.

$ padrino g admin_page post
      create  admin/controllers/posts.rb
      create  admin/views/posts/_form.haml
      create  admin/views/posts/edit.haml
      create  admin/views/posts/index.haml
      create  admin/views/posts/new.haml
      insert  admin/app.rb

Let's make sure the server is running (padrino s) and give this admin interface a try.

Visit http://localhost:3000/admin and login using the credentials you had setup during the seed.

There should now be two tabs, one for Posts and one for Accounts.

Now click on 'Posts'. Padrino Admin allows you to easily create new records by clicking "New". It has a form all ready complete with the fields you had generated prior in the creation of the Post model.

Note: make sure to use padrino g admin_page post after the creation of your model and their migration.

Now that you have added a few posts through the admin interface, check out http://localhost:3000/posts and notice that the posts you created now show up in the "index" action!

You can see all the routes that we now have defined using the padrino rake routes command:

$ padrino rake routes

Application: BlogTutorial::Admin
    URL                           REQUEST  PATH
    (:sessions, :new)               GET    /admin/sessions/new
    (:sessions, :create)           POST    /admin/sessions/create
    (:sessions, :destroy)         DELETE   /admin/sessions/destroy
    (:base, :index)                 GET    /admin/
    (:accounts, :index)             GET    /admin/accounts
    (:accounts, :new)               GET    /admin/accounts/new
    (:accounts, :create)           POST    /admin/accounts/create
    (:accounts, :edit)              GET    /admin/accounts/edit/:id
    (:accounts, :update)            PUT    /admin/accounts/update/:id
    (:accounts, :destroy)         DELETE   /admin/accounts/destroy/:id
    (:accounts, :destroy_many)    DELETE   /admin/accounts/destroy_many
    (:posts, :index)                GET    /admin/posts
    (:posts, :new)                  GET    /admin/posts/new
    (:posts, :create)              POST    /admin/posts/create
    (:posts, :edit)                 GET    /admin/posts/edit/:id
    (:posts, :update)               PUT    /admin/posts/update/:id
    (:posts, :destroy)            DELETE   /admin/posts/destroy/:id
    (:posts, :destroy_many)       DELETE   /admin/posts/destroy_many

Application: BlogTutorial::App
    URL                 REQUEST  PATH
    (:about)              GET    /about-us
    (:posts, :index)      GET    /posts
    (:posts, :show)       GET    /posts/show/:id

This can be helpful to understand the mapping between controllers and urls.

Attaching Accounts to Posts

So far, a post does not have a user associated as the author. Suppose that now we want to let every post have an author. Let's revisit our post model. We'll start by adding a new migration to attach an Account to a Post.

$ padrino g migration AddAccountToPost account_id:integer
       apply  orms/activerecord
      create  db/migrate/003_add_account_to_post.rb

This creates a new migration with the desired field attaching the account_id to the post.

Now, we'll return to the post model to setup the account association and add a few validations.

# models/post.rb

class Post < Sequel::Model
  many_to_one :account

  plugin :validation_helpers
  def validate
    validates_presence [:title, :body]

And add the association to the Account model:

# models/account.rb

class Account < Sequel::Model
  one_to_many :posts

Now we are ready to run the migration: $ padrino rake sq:migrate

Let's create another migration to assign the first user to all existing posts:

$ padrino g migration MigrateExistingPostsToFirstAccount
       apply  orms/activerecord
      create  db/migrate/004_migrate_existing_posts_to_first_account.rb

And change the content of the migration:

# db/migrate/004_migrate_existing_posts_to_first_account.rb
Sequel.migration do
  up do
    first_account_id = from(:accounts).get(:id)

    if first_account_id
      from(:posts).update(account_id: first_account_id)

  down do
    from(:posts).update(account_id: nil)

And run the migrations again: $ padrino rake sq:migrate

We'll need to go inside the generated Padrino Admin and make some changes to include the account with the post.

Head on over to admin/controllers/posts.rb. We're going to include the current_account to the creation of a new Post.

# admin/controllers/posts.rb
Admin.controllers :posts do

  post :create do
    @post =[:post])
    @post.account = current_account

We'll also update the post view to show the changes that we made and display the author:

-# app/views/posts/show.haml
            %h3.title.article-title= @post.title
     time_ago_in_words(@post.created_at || + ' ago'
          = simple_format(@post.body)
          %p= link_to 'View all posts', url_for(:posts, :index)

-# app/views/posts/_post.haml
              = link_to post.title, url_for(:posts, :show, :id =>
   time_ago_in_words(post.created_at || + ' ago'
        = simple_format(post.body)

Now, lets add another user. Revisit http://localhost:3000/admin and click on the Account tab. Now create a new Account record (don't forget to give the new account the admin role). Once you have a new account, try logging into it and then adding one more post in the admin interface. There you have it, multiple users and posts!

See the effects of our changes by visiting http://localhost:3000/posts to see our newly created posts linked to the author that wrote them.

Site Layout

Now that the application has been properly configured and the server has been started, let's create a few basic styles and define a layout to prepare the application for continued development.

We will take the bulma css framework for our application. Let's install the plugin with padrino g plugin bulma. You can find more plugins under

Next, let us create a layout for our application to use. A layout is a file that acts as a container for the content templates yielded by each route. The layout should be used to create a consistent structure between each page of the application. To create a layout, simply add a file to the app/views/layouts directory:

-# app/views/layouts/application.haml
!!! Strict
    %title= "Padrino Sample Blog"
    = stylesheet_link_tag 'bulma', 'application'
    = javascript_include_tag 'jquery', 'application'
          %a.navbar-item{:href => "/"}
            %img{:alt => "Logo of Padrino blog", :src => ""}/
          %span.navbar-burger.burger{"data-target" => "navbarMenu"}
            = link_to 'Home', '/', {:class => 'navbar-item'}
            = link_to 'Blog', url_for(:posts, :index), {:class => 'navbar-item'}
            = link_to 'About us', url_for(:about), {:class => 'navbar-item'}
            An example blog created with Padrino
      #main= yield

This layout creates a basic structure for the blog and requires the necessary stylesheets and javascript files for controlling the behavior and presentation of our site.

Next, we adjust some styling for our blog in the /public/stylesheets/application.css:

.hero-body {
  background-image: url(;
  background-position: center;
  background-size: cover;
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
  height: 700px;
  background-color: black;

h1.title {
  margin-top: 145px;

h3.has-text-centered {
  color: #363636;
  font-size: 2rem;
  font-weight: 600;
  line-height: 1.125;
  margin-bottom: 1.5rem;

.articles {
  margin: 5rem 0;
  margin-top: 5rem;
  margin-top: -200px;

And to have a proper mobile burger navigation we need JavaScript in public/javascripts/application.js:

document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function () {
  // Get all "navbar-burger" elements
  var $navbarBurgers ='.navbar-burger'), 0);

  // Check if there are any navbar burgers
  if ($navbarBurgers.length > 0) {

    // Add a click event on each of them
    $navbarBurgers.forEach(function ($el) {
      $el.addEventListener('click', function () {

        // Get the target from the "data-target" attribute
        var target = $;
        var $target = document.getElementById(target);

        // Toggle the class on both the "navbar-burger" and the "navbar-menu"


The blog has now a much improved look and feel! See the new style by visiting http://localhost:3000/posts.

If you want to setup a RSS feed for your page please follow the instructions on our wiki.

last updated: 2022-02-22

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