Common Rails Tasks

Installing a Rails Plug-in

Now that Subversion is installed, we can use it to install Rails plug-ins. For this example, I've chosen a plug-in that I use on every project called annotate_models (see Figure 36). This plug-in, written by Dave Thomas, adds a rake task that automatically comments your models and fixtures with the current database schema.

Open a command prompt and navigate to a current Rails project.

Execute the command:

ruby script\plugin install
Installing the Annotate Models plug-in

Figure 36. Installing the Annotate Models plug-in

This command should complete successfully, installing a few files to your application.

To use this particular plug-in, simply run the command

rake annotate_models

from the root of any of your Rails applications.

Head on over to to find more plug-ins you can use in your project.


Rails has a feature that will "discover" the URLs for many plug-ins so you can simply install them by name rather than passing a long URL. Open a command prompt, navigate to your Rails application folder, and enter the command:

ruby script/plugin discover

You'll need to accept each new repository as they are discovered. Once the repositories have been indexed, you can install plug-ins by name:

ruby script\plugin install annotate_models
ruby script\plugin install acts_as_authenticated

You can list ...

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