[GUIDE] MDBootstrap Integration with Ruby on Rails

Topic: [GUIDE] MDBootstrap Integration with Ruby on Rails

kenc138 asked 2 years ago

I see several Rails developers asking how to integrate the amazing MDBootstrap with their Rails applications. Since the MDBootstrap team doesn’t work directly in Rails, this can be a tricky question to address in the Rails context.

As a Rails developer myself, I grappled with this a bit, and I wanted to share my step-by-step process for getting MDBootstrap up and running:

rails new app_name

In your gemfile, add

gem 'jquery-rails'
gem 'font-awesome-rails'


bundle install

Download your particular MDB version and extract it some place handy.

Create the following paths in your app:





place the following MDB assets:




place the following assets:


Inside your javascript manifest


set up your requires as follows:

//= require jquery
//= require popper.min
//= require bootstrap
//= require mdb
//= require custom
//= require rails-ujs
//= require activestorage
//= require turbolinks
//= require_tree .

Do not use require_tree with a relative path to add your entire vendor/assets/javascripts folder as Rails will execute
them in alphabetical order and create rendering issues on the front end. Require them individually as above.


Inside your CSS manifest


set up your requires as follows:

 *= require font-awesome
 *= require bootstrap
 *= require mdb
 *= require_tree .
 *= require_self

How to get the font working

Now, you'll need to deal with the provided web font 'Roboto'.

Create the path:


and place the roboto folder in it so the path looks like

app/assets/font/roboto/<files here>

You'll need to tell Rails to include the font path in the asset pipeline. To do this, add:

config.assets.paths << Rails.root.join("app", "assets", "font", "roboto")

in your



Now you'll need to address the font path references in the mdb.css file. By default, the @font-face styles are defined like:

@font-face {
 font-family: Roboto;
 src: local(Roboto-Thin),
 src: url(../font/roboto/Roboto-Thin.eot?#iefix) format("embedded-opentype"),
   url(../font/roboto/Roboto-Thin.woff2) format("woff2"),
   url(../font/roboto/Roboto-Thin.woff) format("woff"),
   url(../font/roboto/Roboto-Thin.ttf) format("truetype");

This will block rendering of your Rails app as it looks for invalid font references and searches for a replacement font when not found. This is obviously bad.

In mdb.css you'll need to modify the CSS @font-face styles so they look like the following:

@font-face {
 font-family: Roboto;
 src: url(/assets/Roboto-Thin.eot);
 src: url(/assets/Roboto-Thin.eot?#iefix) format("embedded-opentype"), 
   url(/assets/Roboto-Thin.woff2) format("woff2"), 
   url(/assets/Roboto-Thin.woff) format("woff"), 
   url(/assets/Roboto-Thin.ttf) format("truetype");
   font-weight: 200

You'll need to do this for ALL weights of Roboto (regular, bold, etc) defined in the mdb.css or you'll continue to get reference errors and render blocking issues as you call different classes in your app.

Be sure to inspect element and look at console errors to verify all fonts are being correctly referenced.

How to get Lightbox, Carousel, and their assets working

The process is exactly the same as getting the font to work.  You'll need to add the mdb-addons and img folders to


Then as you did with the fonts, add the asset paths to config/application.rb

config.assets.paths << Rails.root.join("vendor", "assets", "img")
config.assets.paths << Rails.root.join("vendor", "assets", "mdb-addons")

Then open your mdb.css file and locate the URL references to these assets, and change them the same way you did for the font.

Here are some examples of what the CSS path changes should look like for the lightbox controls, overlays, and svg  folders:

.pswp__button--arrow--right:before {
 background: url(/assets/lightbox/default-skin.png) 0 0 no-repeat;
 -webkit-background-size: 264px 88px;
 background-size: 264px 88px;
 width: 44px;
 height: 44px; }
.pattern-1 {
 background: url("/assets/overlays/01.png"); }
.carousel .carousel-control-prev-icon {
 background-image: url(/assets/svg/arrow_left.svg); }

How do I use specific MDB js modules on specific pages?

In your


file, use embedded Ruby to define a body class as follows:

<body class="<%= controller_name %> <%= action_name %>">
 <%= yield %>

Let's say there is a request for the following route: root 'home#index'



tag for this page will be render as

<body class="home index">

in the DOM.

Now you can easily target the DOM with some custom JS using the body class ".home.index".

Let's say you want to use the Datepicker module ONLY on the this page.

You'll achieve this by adding the Datepicker jQuery provided by MDB to your custom.js in your


path with a .ready wrapper like this:

     weekdaysShort: ['Su', 'Mo', 'Tu', 'We', 'Th', 'Fr', 'Sa'],
     showMonthsShort: true
     // Code here

When your app loads, application.html.erb loads once, and all of your assets will be loaded once as well.  The only things that change are what view is displayed in <%= yield %> and the <body> tag which will have a class name that changes dynamically based on controller#action.

So while your custom jQuery is loaded once due to Rails convention, all of the methods are properly scoped to their respective views.

Hope this helps!

Brandon Hilkert @ brandonhilkert.com
anotheruiguy @ github

Jakub Strebeyko staff answered 2 years ago

Hi there,

Welcome to the Support Board! I gotta say - me and the Team are impressed with the effort you have put forward. What you have posted is straight-way awesome and hopefully will serve as a reference for fellow Rubyists who struggle to implement MDB in their projects.

If you're OK with it, we will have a deep hard look into the steps you've provided and, if it all goes well, might one day use them as an outline for an official guide for Ruby MDB implementation.

With pride we salute you,
Kuba & MDB Team

kenc138 commented 2 years ago

Hello Jakub, Thank you for your kind words. MDB is a very good framework right out of the box, but as you know sometimes the technology stacks can make things more challenging. I've seen some requests in the MDB support forum about Rails + MDB, so I figured this would help both MDB developers and MDB end users alike. Great work on this product!

Jakub Strebeyko staff commented 2 years ago

Thank you - we're trying to reach and accommodate everyone here at support, but sometimes it is just not possible with the multitude of technologies out there, just as you said. It is the community that makes it worthwhile, though, and what you, sir, did will certainly benefit us all! Day: made, thanks! :)

Jakub Strebeyko staff answered 2 years ago

Hi there @kenc138,

The MDB on Rails Tutorial is finally here! It certainly took a time long-enough to have this one ready, but nevertheless we're through! Huge thanks for providing the guide here, as it is core to the article. Any kind of feedback is welcome. Tipping my fedora again!

Cheers! :beers:

Neil Jobbins pro commented 2 years ago


I received an error when trying to access the Tutorial "You do not have permission to view this page."

Jakub Strebeyko staff commented 2 years ago

It should be fine now.


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Specification of the issue
  • User: Free
  • Premium support: No
  • Technology: jQuery
  • MDB Version: -
  • Device: -
  • Browser: -
  • OS: -
  • Provided sample code: Yes
  • Provided link: Yes