Most Loved Ruby on Rails Open Source Projects

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Diana Dubko

Updated Feb 21, 2024 • 8 min read
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Best of the best open source Ruby on Rails projects (ranked by the amount of stars on Github).

It’s no secret that Netguru loves open source. Our developers are long-time contributors to open source projects and we still find ourselves giddy at new open source apps.

Open Source Rails recently published a list of the best of the best open source Ruby on Rails projects (ranked by the amount of stars on Github). Read on to find how each project ranked.


The clear winner is code collaboration. Gitlab is a well-shaped, friendly software which allows users to work together on code through git repository management, code reviews, issue tracking, activity feeds and wikis.

Project URL: GitLab. Fork it at Stars: 13 594.


Ever lose track of a page, discussion, or comment in one of your favorite forums? Discourse solves this problem with its 100% open source discussion platform, showing users of the stream real time updates while scrolling down. You can easily log in with your account on Facebook, Google, Twitter, GitHub, Yahoo or an email address and keep in touch with your mates.

Project URL: Discourse. Fork it at Stars: 11 288.


Bored, angry, annoyed or all of the above, with Facebook? There is new hot trend coming your way: a social network with no central system for data storing or user management. Diaspora allows you to host your own network as it is built up from distributed pods which act as web servers, and then connect to other pods. Founded in 2010, it has more than 1 million accounts and has promised to never sell their users’ social life to advertisers. From August 27th, 2012, Diaspora has been developed entirely by volunteers.

Project URL: Diaspora. Fork it at Stars: 9277.


Do you ever dream of owning an e-commerce site? With Spree, you can easily set up simple and efficient e-shop. This flexible e-commerce platform is piece of cake to administer and deploy. From 2007, the community around the platform has built hundreds of extensions (you can find ours at

Stars: 5306.

Refinery CMS

Creating a website and managing content is much easier with Refinery CMS. It’s a simple modular and extendable content management system. Released in 2009, it’s currently undergoing improvements by the community in 10 different languages.

Project URL: RefineryCMS. Fork it at Stars: 2909.


Among funding platforms galore, Selfstarter helps you host your own crowdfunding site for your project. Donations are easily made via Amazon Payments, or you can choose your preferred provider. Simple and easy, driven by Ruby on Rails.

Project URL: Selfstarter. Fork it at Stars: 2610.


Errbit is an error catcher designed for special purposes and special users. Can’t say we’re familiar with all of them, some are a bit, err, obscure! See if any of the strange situations below apply to you or your project:

  • Your exceptions contains sensitive data
  • Your application is secure within a firewall
  • You'd like to brand your exceptions notifier
  • You want to enrich the catcher with your own features You're crazy enough to love managing servers

Fat Free CRM

With Fat Free CRM, you can have the power of an entire marketing agency. This simple and customizable CRM manage leads, build campaigns, track accounts, and closes sales. It allows group collaboration which is a fresh idea. It also has contact lists and opportunity tracking.

Project URL: Fat Free CRM. Fork it at Stars: 2328.


One of the most popular Rails open source projects initially released in 2006. Redmine make project management easy-going even for a beginning Project Manager. The features make this tool simple to use, administer, and deploy:

  • Multiple projects
  • Ticket tracking
  • Source control integration (SVN, Git, etc)
  • Roles and permissions
  • Project wiki
  • Email integration
  • Calendar
  • Gantt charts

Project URL: Redmine. Fork it at Stars: 2239.


Real-time Chat. This fast, secure and stable chat solution based on Rails will get you to reconsider your standard instant messaging system. Real-time Chat has an elegant, clean design and tons of features: searchable message history, file uploads, managing multiple chat rooms, shared room audio and hubot integration.

The above list of open source applications in RoR offers great alternatives to your typical CMS, CRM, instant messaging or even social network. For open source geeks or RoR enthusiasts alike, they’re must-know projects that contribute to the common good. If you, like Netguru, would like to be a part of open source community, the best thing you can do is to start contributing today! You'll find some inspiration at our Open Source Tab.

PS. If you're just starting you adventure with Ruby/Ruby on Rails, make sure to take a look at Top Free Online Ruby Tutorials. Need experienced Ruby on Rails Consulting company? Contact us!

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Diana Dubko

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