Ruby on Rails Version History

by Daniel Kehoe

Last updated 9 November 2016

A history of Ruby on Rails versions with summaries and advice.

If You Are New to Rails

If you’re new to Rails, see What is Ruby on Rails?, the book Learn Ruby on Rails, and recommendations for a Rails tutorial.

From the RailsApps Project

This is an article from the RailsApps project. The RailsApps project provides open source applications and detailed tutorials for Rails developers.

For Rails installation instructions or upgrade advice, see the articles:

Stay Informed

The site shows differences between versions of the Rails default application.

These two weekly email newsletters will keep you informed about new Rails releases:

Another weekly email newsletter is more technical, and focused on code arriving in the next version of Rails:

You also can follow @rails_apps on Twitter for news.

Rails 5.0

Rails 5.0.0 was released June 30, 2016.

Notable additions in Rails 5.0 include an option for an API-only application suitable for use as a backend to JavaScript or mobile applications. Also Action Cable for live features such as chat and notifications.

Learn more about Rails 5.0:

What You Need to Know: Rails 5.0 is the current stable version. Upgrade older projects to Rails 5.0 now. See the article Updating to Rails 5.0 and Upgrading to Rails 5 Beta.

Rails 4.2

Rails 4.2.0 was released December 20, 2014. Notable additions in Rails 4.2 include Active Job for queueing tasks to run separately from the user request-response cycle.

Learn more about Rails 4.2:

What You Need to Know: Rails 4.2 is the current stable version. Upgrade older projects to Rails 4.2 now.

Rails 4.2 Release History

Rails 4.1

Rails 4.1.0 was released April 8, 2014. Two release candidates were released beginning February 18, 2014. See Rails 4.1.0 for a description.

Learn more about Rails 4.1:

What You Need to Know: The biggest change in Rails 4.1 is the new config/secrets.yml file.

Rails 4.1 Release History

Rails 4.0

Rails 4.0 was released June 25, 2013. Two release candidates were released beginning April 29, 2013. The Rails 4.0: Beta 1 release announcement offers an overview of new features.

You can learn more about Rails 4.0:

What You Need to Know: The biggest changes are the use of strong parameters, which requires rewriting controller methods that process forms, and Turbolinks, which requires rewriting JavaScript code that depends on page loading.

Rails 4.0 Release History

Rails 3.2

Rails 3.2 was released January 20, 2012. Improvements over Rails 3.1 include faster execution in development mode. The speed of resolving routes also improved. There are many tiny (but helpful) improvements throughout the framework. Rails 3.2 deprecates plugins so you must find Ruby gems to replace any plugins used in earlier Rails projects. You can use Ruby 1.8.7 but you should use Ruby 1.9.3 or Ruby 2.0. See the Rails 3.2.0 Announcement and Ruby on Rails 3.2 Release Notes (with upgrade instructions). There’s a Railscast from Ryan Bates titiled Upgrading to Rails 3.2. Michael Hartl’s popular Ruby on Rails Tutorial book covers Rails 3.2 (Ruby on Rails Tutorial Version 3.2). Finally, José Valim highlights his Five Favorite ‘Hidden’ features in Rails 3.2.

What You Need to Know: Rails 3.2.16 is far more secure than earlier versions. If an application uses an older version of Rails, you should update to Rails 3.2.16 immediately and then begin an upgrade to Rails 4.0.

Rails 3.2 Release History

Rails 3.1

Rails 3.1.0 was released August 31, 2011. Eight release candidates were released beginning May 21, 2011. Rails 3.1 introduced the asset pipeline which enables proper organization of CSS and JavaScript. Other features include HTTP streaming, default jQuery, reversible migrations, mountable engines, identity map, prepared statements, Rack::Cache on by default, forced SSL, role-based mass-assignment protection, has_secure_password, and custom serializers. See the Rails 3.1 release candidate announcement for details. There’s a Rails 3.1 Overview from Ryan Bates and a changelog for all the details. Yehuda Katz explains What’s Up With All These Changes in Rails?. The best overview of Rails 3.1 is Michael Hartl’s chapter on Rails 3.1 in his Ruby on Rails Tutorial book.

What You Need to Know: The greatest impact for developers moving from Rails 3.0 to 3.1 is the new location for CSS and JavaScript files and changes to the application layout file. See the official Rails 3.1 Asset Pipeline guide for details.

Rails Release History

The official Rails blog describes all major and minor Rails releases.

The site lists every Rails gem version, with release dates, including patch releases, release candidates, and beta releases.

Version Date Information
5.0 (beta) December 18, 2015 Announcement and Release Notes
4.2 August 20, 2014 Announcement and Release Notes
4.1 April 8, 2014 Announcement and Release Notes
4.0 June 25, 2013 Announcement and Release Notes
3.2 January 20, 2012 Announcement and Release Notes
3.1 August 31, 2011 Announcement and Release Notes
3.0 August 29, 2010 Announcement and Release Notes
2.3 March 16, 2009 Announcement and Release Notes
2.2 November 21, 2008 Announcement and Release Notes
2.1 June 1, 2008 Announcement
2.0 December 7, 2007 Announcement
1.2 January 19, 2007 Announcement
1.0 December 13, 2005 Announcement


Daniel Kehoe compiled the information and wrote the summaries.

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