In this post I’ll go over how I set up Sublime Text Editor for Ruby on Rails development.

Sublime Text Editor is a popular proprietary text editor that runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS. It’s highly customizeable, with many user-developed plugins that tweak various parts of the interface.

The full program can be evaluated for free indefinitely. It is paid software, so in evaluation mode you’ll receive a prompt asking if you’d like to purchase a license after every few file saves ($80 USD as of September 2017).

Step 1: Download Sublime Text Editor 3.

Follow the download instructions on and install.

Update (2017-09-17): As of September 2017, Sublime provides official repositories for apt, pacman, yum, dnf, and zypper, so Linux users can get updates through their package manager of choice after adding sublime-text to their source list as per their install instructions.

Step 2: Install Package Control Manager.

Follow the instructions on Package Control Manager can be used to list, enable/disable, install/uninstall Sublime Text Editor plugins.

Step 3: Install any Sublime Text Editor plugins.

Once you have Package Control Manager installed, you can open “Preferences/Package Control” to access the package manager interface.

Enter “Install Package” to get a list of all available plugins.

I currently use the following plugins. Links are provided for interest only, you can install the plugins within Sublime Text Editor using the package manager.

Step 4: Add global key-bindings under “Preferences/Key Bindings - User”.

You can see “Preferences/Key Bindings - Default” for examples.

I like to set a key binding for reindenting files.

{ "keys": ["ctrl+a+i"], "command": "reindent", "single_line": false }

Step 5: Add global settings under “Preferences/Settings - User”.

You can add any settings you want to apply across Sublime Text Editor to this file. (

Step 6: Add project-specific settings.

If this is a new project, you can create a project-specific settings file by going to “Project/Save Project As…” and saving a file as project_name.sublime-project.

For my current project I’m using 2-space indentation, so I have the following settings in my sublime-project file:

	"tab_size": 2,
	"translate_tabs_to_spaces": true

See for more on Sublime Text Editor projects.

Note: It can be a good idea to check .sublime-project files into version control so everyone has the same settings, and ignore other Sublime config files.

Step 7: (Debian LXDE) Set up a keyboard shortcut for starting Sublime Text Editor.

This is strictly optional, but in Linux I like to have keybindings for starting terminals and development environments.

Using Debian LXDE, I added the following keybinding to ~/.config/openbox/lxde-rc.xml. Keybindings can be added within the <keyboard>…</keyboard> object.

  <!-- Launch Sublime Text Editor when Ctrl+Alt+S is pressed -->
  <keybind key="C-A-s">
    <action name="Execute">

This keybinding starts Sublime Text Editor whenever the user types “Ctrl+Alt+s”. You can use any other key combination you like.

Helpful resources: