The Rake Field Manual

A practical, cookbook-style guide to using the Rake build tool.

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The Rake Field Manual is a book-in-progress about the Rake build tool, by Avdi Grimm.


Because although Rake is widely known (at least among Ruby programmers) most users don't realize just how powerful it is. And because many users of other build tools could benefit from giving Rake a try. It is a flexible, robust, general-purpose build system whose applicability extends well beyond automating Ruby development tasks.

For a taste of the kind of content you'll see in this book, check out this series of RubyTapas videos I made about Rake.


I'm Avdi Grimm. I wrote Exceptional Ruby and Confident Ruby. I also make RubyTapas, and chatter on the Ruby Rogues podcast.

What do I know about Rake? I've written a sizable ebook-generation toolchain on top of Rake. In the process, I've delved into its darker corners, read most of its source code, contributed a patch or two, and come to appreciate its true power.

Buy the book

I'm presently writing this book. At least for now, I'm also releasing the text of it on this site. So why should you give me money for it? Here's a list of the perks you'll get if you buy the book:

Read the book online

Here are the chapters that are available so far: