Chances are that if you’re using Rails 6 with Devise, most of the configurations are correct and safe by default, which probably means that just like me you’re using a reverse proxy for caching and SSL wrapping. As it turns out, without the proper additional parameters forwarded by Nginx, Rails will return IAT every single time even when all parameters are set. Your tipical configuration:
A few months ago I took a few Ruby and Railscourses on Codecademy, just for the sake of learning something new, and I was quite impressed with the language and its beauty. While it has some scalability drawbacks, I found a perfect compact use for a RoR application as a tiny multi-purpose ACL application auth server. A few months later I started setting things up and boy, is it currently a mess documentation wise. So I decided to write down background, documentation and tidbits for both myself and my fellow readers who want to give it a spin for fun.
Getting frustrated with Rails
While the official guide does a good job introducing the base mechanics, if your projects deviates immediately after the creation of the project, you’re in a world of hurt. Since Rails 6, webpack became default, and without a proper configuration not even the default application won’t work.
Then there’s the issue with the many ways to Authenticate with Rails. Given the chance, instead of rolling my own I decided to go with Devise, mostly due to the availability of things like pwnd-password amongst its extensions.
Finally there’s a choice to be made: do we want to get Bootstrap from the chain or do we want to adapt with webpack? I chose webpack for no reason in particular. Mostly to tinker with it.
Installing the basics
Depending on what you read and where you look, different packages are recommended or suggested for compilation or installation. I don’t like to waste time, so I’ll give you the rundown:
rbenv (usermode): allows usermode installation of ruby deployments and multiple separated versions, neat if you don’t want to install everything globally
nodejs (I went with the most up to date, currently 13)
yarn (to grab js packages)
MariaDB-devel and MariaDB-shared (to use MySQL instead of SQLite)
I used rbenv-installer to bootstrap the initial ruby environment, it works great, and I would also suggest installing the rbenv-update plugin which can come in handy.
To get started with rails, we need to install the ruby and rails we want, and it’s fairly easy:
$ rbenv install <version> # 2.7.5 as of today
$ gem install bundle rails
$ rails new <projectName> [-d mysql]
$ cd <projectName>
Adding Devise and some extensions
Inside the project directory, on top of all the files you will find, in order to setup additional gems to be used and updated in Rails, we will need to edit the Gemfile to add a few things. I chose the following:
gem 'devise-pwned_password' # Pwnd Password db check
gem 'devise-security' # Security features
gem 'devise_invitable', '~> 2.0.0' # Invite by e-Mail
gem 'devise_uid' # UID instead of ints
Installing devise can be done with the command rails generate devise:install. With the server started, pointing at <scheme>://server/users/sign_in should show you a login form. If it doesn’t, chances are Rails might be stopping you due to a security feature, in which case you need to editconfig/environments/development.rb and add the line config.hosts << "<your_server_hostname>" to it.
Configuring Devise along with its extensions will take quite some time, and for the sake of brevity I’m not going into it now, but could be a topic for another day. In any case I left links above to the documentation of everything that’s talked in this post, and you also have a lot of config files to read and edit, starting from config/initializers/devise.rb.
Webpack(er) and Bootstrap
If you’re starting straight with Rails 6 then you’re already set up properly with webpacker, otherwise you’ll need to run rails webpacker:install. But we still lack Bootstrap at this point, so we instruct yarn:
If you installed both Ruby and Rails using rbenv, then updating will be a breeze… more or less. Before updating anything though, install the plugin rbenv-updater if you didn’t already.
Updating and installing the new ruby version is quite easy:
> rbenv update
> rbenv install -l | grep ^[0-9]
list of Ruby versions
> rbenv install -v <version>
From within your rails project update the files .ruby-version and Gemfile with the appropriate ruby version, and if you’re doing a rails upgrade as well update the Gemfile accordingly. Then issue the commands:
> bundle update --bundler
> rails app:update
file checks will be needed here
Start your server with puma or rails s and check that everything is working properly. If you need to downgrade due to troubles, you can revert the version changes in the files, delete the Gemfile.lock if needed, issue a bundle uninstall which will end quickly, and you’re done. No harm, no foul.