url_for(options = {}) public

Returns the URL for the set of options provided. This takes the same options as url_for in Action Controller (see the documentation for ActionController::Base#url_for). Note that by default :only_path is true so you’ll get the relative “/controller/action” instead of the fully qualified URL like “http://example.com/controller/action”.


  • :anchor - Specifies the anchor name to be appended to the path.

  • :only_path - If true, returns the relative URL (omitting the protocol, host name, and port) (true by default unless :host is specified).

  • :trailing_slash - If true, adds a trailing slash, as in “/archive/2005/”. Note that this is currently not recommended since it breaks caching.

  • :host - Overrides the default (current) host if provided.

  • :protocol - Overrides the default (current) protocol if provided.

  • :user - Inline HTTP authentication (only plucked out if :password is also present).

  • :password - Inline HTTP authentication (only plucked out if :user is also present).

Relying on named routes

Passing a record (like an Active Record or Active Resource) instead of a Hash as the options parameter will trigger the named route for that record. The lookup will happen on the name of the class. So passing a Workshop object will attempt to use the workshop_path route. If you have a nested route, such as admin_workshop_path you’ll have to call that explicitly (it’s impossible for url_for to guess that route).


<%= url_for(:action => 'index') %>
# => /blog/

<%= url_for(:action => 'find', :controller => 'books') %>
# => /books/find

<%= url_for(:action => 'login', :controller => 'members', :only_path => false, :protocol => 'https') %>
# => https://www.example.com/members/login/

<%= url_for(:action => 'play', :anchor => 'player') %>
# => /messages/play/#player

<%= url_for(:action => 'jump', :anchor => 'tax&ship') %>
# => /testing/jump/#tax&ship

<%= url_for(Workshop.new) %>
# relies on Workshop answering a persisted? call (and in this case returning false)
# => /workshops

<%= url_for(@workshop) %>
# calls @workshop.to_param which by default returns the id
# => /workshops/5

# to_param can be re-defined in a model to provide different URL names:
# => /workshops/1-workshop-name

<%= url_for("http://www.example.com") %>
# => http://www.example.com

<%= url_for(:back) %>
# if request.env["HTTP_REFERER"] is set to "http://www.example.com"
# => http://www.example.com

<%= url_for(:back) %>
# if request.env["HTTP_REFERER"] is not set or is blank
# => javascript:history.back()
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March 20, 2009
9 thanks

Use the current URL, with changes

You can use the current URL, whatever it is, with changes, as in:

# Create a link to the current page in RSS form
url_for(:overwrite_params => {:format => :rss})

This can be super-helpful because it preserves any GET params (like search parameters)

March 3, 2011
8 thanks

Using namespaces

If you are using a namespace in your routes.rb, for example:

namespace :admin do
  resources :products

then you can:

url_for([:admin, @product])


url_for([:edit, :admin, @product])
August 24, 2012
0 thanks

Specify :host option in emails

Emails need a fully qualified URL (with domain). Use the :host parameter.

But note also that you need to specify a value that is not dependent upon the request context. http://api.rubyonrails.org/classes/ActionMailer/Base.html recommends setting a default host in application.rb For those of us who have development, test, staging and production environments, set in the environment-specific files, or in the :default hash in the mailer.

This applies to both +url_for(:host => “example.com”)+ and when using named routes as in +widgets_url(:host => “example.com”)+