Implementing user authentication and registration in Ruby on Rails

User authentication and registration are crucial components of any web application. They allow users to create accounts, securely log in, and access personalized features. Ruby on Rails provides powerful tools and libraries to simplify the implementation of user authentication and registration.

In this article, we will explore how to implement user authentication and registration using Ruby on Rails.

Setting up the project

Before we dive into the implementation details, let's create a new Ruby on Rails project and set up the necessary dependencies.

  1. Ensure Ruby and Ruby on Rails are installed on your system. You can check your Ruby version by running ruby -v and install Rails using gem install rails.

  2. Create a new Rails project by running rails new project_name. Replace project_name with the desired name of your project.

  3. Change into the project directory using cd project_name.

  4. Open the project in your favorite code editor.

Adding user authentication

To add user authentication functionality to our Rails application, we will use the popular devise gem. Devise provides a flexible authentication solution with support for various authentication methods.

  1. Open your Gemfile and add the following line: ruby gem 'devise'

  2. Save the file and run bundle install to install the devise gem.

  3. Next, run the following command to generate the necessary Devise files: bash rails generate devise:install

  4. This command will generate a config/initializers/devise.rb file. Open it in your code editor and modify any configuration options according to your needs.

  5. Next, run the following command to generate the User model: bash rails generate devise User

  6. This command will generate a migration file. Run the migration with the following command: bash rails db:migrate

  7. Open your config/routes.rb file and add the following line to set up the necessary routes for user authentication: ruby devise_for :users

  8. Save the file and proceed to the next step.

  9. Open your desired view file (e.g., app/views/layouts/application.html.erb) and add the following lines to display authentication links: erb <% if user_signed_in? %> <%= link_to 'Sign out', destroy_user_session_path, method: :delete %> <% else %> <%= link_to 'Sign in', new_user_session_path %> <%= link_to 'Sign up', new_user_registration_path %> <% end %>

  10. Finally, restart your Rails server using rails server and navigate to the appropriate URL to see the authentication links.

Congratulations! You have successfully implemented user authentication in your Ruby on Rails application using the devise gem. Users can now register, log in, and log out.

Implementing user registration

In addition to user authentication, we may also want to allow users to register for new accounts. To implement user registration, we can leverage the devise gem's built-in functionality.

To enable user registration in your Rails application:

  1. Open your config/routes.rb file and add the following line: ruby devise_for :users, :controllers => { :registrations => 'registrations' } This will override the default devise registrations controller with a custom one.

  2. Generate the custom registrations controller with the following command: bash rails generate controller registrations

  3. Open the newly generated app/controllers/registrations_controller.rb file and add the following code: ```ruby class RegistrationsController < Devise::RegistrationsController


    def sign_up_params params.require(:user).permit(:name, :email, :password, :password_confirmation) end

    def account_update_params params.require(:user).permit(:name, :email, :password, :password_confirmation, :current_password) end end ```

  4. Save the file and restart your Rails server.

Now, when users navigate to the registration page (/users/sign_up), they will see a registration form with input fields for name, email, password, and password confirmation. Submitting the form will create a new user record in the database.


Implementing user authentication and registration is a common requirement for web applications. Ruby on Rails, combined with the devise gem, provides a simple and efficient way to handle these tasks.

In this article, we covered the steps required to implement user authentication and registration in a Ruby on Rails project. By following these steps, you should now have a fully functional user authentication system in your Rails application.

Remember to fine-tune the authentication and registration process based on your application's specific requirements and security needs. Happy coding!

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