5 Essential Tools for the Rails Web Developer — for Mac, Linux and Windows

There are certainly many ways to develop Ruby on Rails applications. If you are still struggling to find your perfect workflow and keep questioning the tools you are using, let me guide you. Below I will share my set of tools for developing Ruby on Rails applications, as well as general frontend web development.

When you come to the last one, I am sure you will be surprised, because you are probably already using at least one of these tools.



When it comes to a terminal I swear by iTerm. iTerm 2 gives you split windows and panes, it’s fast and you can configure it to work in almost any way you’d like.


If I am not on my Mac but on a Linux server, I always use tmux. If you want to get a crash course on tmux, please visit the Thoughtbot blog.


Readers running Windows machines should have a look at Babun. I haven’t used it, but it looks great. It comes with zsh and OhMyZsh preinstalled. Makes me almost want to install Windows to have a look at it.

Text Editor

My text editor of choice happens to be available for all three platforms.

Mac, Linux & Windows

Perhaps you know it already: Sublime Text. It is unbelievably easy to customize and there are really a huge amount of Plugins/Packages available. If you need some inspiration, visit Josh Earl.


My day-to-day browser and first-stop development choice is Google Chrome. It’s fast and offers pretty nice Extensions. Look out for a list of my Extensions in one of my next posts.

Mac, Linux & Windows

Of course Chrome is available for all three platforms as well. Just recently Mozilla released a new version of their browser, Firefox. It’s called Firefox Developer Edition. It offers many useful tools as well. Probably the best one is the WebIDE where you can simulate different portable devices and even use your connected iOS or Android device for debugging.

Stack Overflow & Web search engines

These aren’t as much of a tool as the others but I sometimes couldn’t do my job without them. Lately I started using DuckDuckGo as my main search engine. It integrates many StackOverflow answers right at the top, because these are often the most important ones. I kind of like that idea.


I couldn’t live without Github. It ubiquitous. Nearly all developers use it for their code. I find great new projects there. I can use it to edit files on the go, when I don’t have my iPad or laptop with me. You can use it as a homepage for you projects without buying domain names and setting up a web server. I can use it to quickly participate in projects, just to propose small changes. I love it.

Your tools

Okay. So what did I miss? What extensions for Chrome or Plugins for SublimeText are you using? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading.