send_data(data, options = {}) protected

Sends the given binary data to the browser. This method is similar to render plain: data, but also allows you to specify whether the browser should display the response as a file attachment (i.e. in a download dialog) or as inline data. You may also set the content type, the apparent file name, and other things.


  • :filename - suggests a filename for the browser to use.

  • :type - specifies an HTTP content type. Defaults to ‘application/octet-stream’. You can specify either a string or a symbol for a registered type register with Mime::Type.register, for example :json If omitted, type will be guessed from the file extension specified in :filename. If no content type is registered for the extension, default type ‘application/octet-stream’ will be used.

  • :disposition - specifies whether the file will be shown inline or downloaded. Valid values are ‘inline’ and ‘attachment’ (default).

  • :status - specifies the status code to send with the response. Defaults to 200.

Generic data download:

send_data buffer

Download a dynamically-generated tarball:

send_data generate_tgz('dir'), filename: 'dir.tgz'

Display an image Active Record in the browser:

send_data, type: image.content_type, disposition: 'inline'

See send_file for more information on HTTP Content-* headers and caching.

Show source
Register or log in to add new notes.
March 27, 2012 - (>= v3.2.1)
0 thanks

Example to auto download


op = Operation.find(params[:id])
fname = "operation_#{}_#{}.csv"
send_data op.export(params[:url_type]), 
  :type => 'text/csv; charset=iso-8859-1; header=present',
  :disposition => "attachment; filename=#{fname}.csv"


def export(url_type)
  csv_data = CSV.generate do |csv|
    csv << self.header_columns # simple array ["id","name"]
    url_items = @operation.url_items.where(:url_type => url_type)
    url_items.each do |url_item|
      csv << self.process_row(url_item)  # simple array [1,"bob"]
  return csv_data
October 7, 2012
0 thanks

Send with filename

The Content-Disposition response header holds the suggested attachment filename (i.e. “attachment; filename=fname.ext”)

Set the :disposition option to pass this name.


http =
res =, info.to_query, headers)
send_data res, :content_type => res.content_type, :disposition => res["Content-Disposition"], status: res.code