Rails app is searching for stylesheets in the app/assets/stylesheets directory instead of app/javascript/stylesheets

Rails app is searching for stylesheets in the app/assets/stylesheets directory instead of app/javascript/stylesheets

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When Rails app is running, it incorrectly searches for stylesheets in the app/assets/stylesheets instead of the intended app/javascript/stylesheets, resulting in issues with the correct functioning of the stylesheets.

Current configuration

Brief explanation

This situation is likely due to the default asset pipeline configuration.

In Rails 6 and later, JavaScript and stylesheets are often managed differently, with JavaScript using Webpacker and stylesheets using the asset pipeline.

However, if you want to centralize your stylesheets in the app/javascript/stylesheets directory and use them in your application, you must ensure the following steps.

Check Webpacker installation

Via npm

npm list | grep webpacker


calaca@calaca-PC ~/var/www/edume (courses-initial-configuration)$ npm list | grep webpacker
├── @rails/webpacker@5.4.4


Via bundle

bundle list | grep webpacker


calaca@calaca-PC ~/var/www/edume (courses-initial-configuration)$ bundle list | grep webpacker
The dependency tzinfo-data (>= 0) will be unused by any of the platforms Bundler is installing for. Bundler is installing for ruby but the dependency is only for x86-mingw32, x86-mswin32, x64-mingw32, java. To add those platforms to the bundle, run `bundle lock --add-platform x86-mingw32 x86-mswin32 x64-mingw32 java`.
  * webpacker (5.4.4)


Open the webpacker.yml file

The file is located in config/webpacker.yml.

UPdate the source_path

In config/webpacker.yml:

# config/webpacker.yml
source_path: app/javascript

You file should look something like the following

# Note: You must restart bin/webpack-dev-server for changes to take effect

default: &default
  source_path: app/javascript
  source_entry_path: packs
  public_root_path: public
  public_output_path: packs
  cache_path: tmp/cache/webpacker
  webpack_compile_output: true

  # Additional paths webpack should lookup modules
  # ['app/assets', 'engine/foo/app/assets']
  additional_paths: []

  # Reload manifest.json on all requests so we reload latest compiled packs
  cache_manifest: false

  # Extract and emit a css file
  extract_css: false

    - .jpg
    - .jpeg
    - .png
    - .gif
    - .tiff
    - .ico
    - .svg
    - .eot
    - .otf
    - .ttf
    - .woff
    - .woff2

    - .mjs
    - .js
    - .sass
    - .scss
    - .css
    - .module.sass
    - .module.scss
    - .module.css
    - .png
    - .svg
    - .gif
    - .jpeg
    - .jpg

  <<: *default
  compile: true

  # Reference: https://webpack.js.org/configuration/dev-server/
    https: false
    host: localhost
    port: 3035
    public: localhost:3035
    hmr: false
    # Inline should be set to true if using HMR
    inline: true
    overlay: true
    compress: true
    disable_host_check: true
    use_local_ip: false
    quiet: false
    pretty: false
      'Access-Control-Allow-Origin': '*'
      ignored: '**/node_modules/**'

  <<: *default
  compile: true

  # Compile test packs to a separate directory
  public_output_path: packs-test

  <<: *default

  # Production depends on precompilation of packs prior to booting for performance.
  compile: false

  # Extract and emit a css file
  extract_css: true

  # Cache manifest.json for performance
  cache_manifest: true


Restart the Webpacker server

In your terminal emulator:



Import stylesheets into application.js

In the main javascript file, which is app/javascript/packs/application.js, add the stylesheets:

# app/javascript/packs/application.js
import "stylesheets/application"
import "stylesheets/courses"

Or with the following syntax:

# app/javascript/packs/application.js
import "../stylesheets/application.scss"
import "../stylesheets/courses.scss"

It'll look something like this:

# app/javascript/packs/application.js
// This file is automatically compiled by Webpack, along with any other files
// present in this directory. You're encouraged to place your actual application logic in
// a relevant structure within app/javascript and only use these pack files to reference
// that code so it'll be compiled.

import Rails from "@rails/ujs"
import Turbolinks from "turbolinks"
import * as ActiveStorage from "@rails/activestorage"

import 'bootstrap/dist/js/bootstrap'
import 'bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap'
import "bootstrap"
import "stylesheets/application"
import "stylesheets/courses"

import "channels"
import "@fortawesome/fontawesome-free/css/all"



Create an index file

In app/javascript/stylesheets/, create a file called index.scss:

touch app/javascript/stylesheets/index.scss

This file will serve as an entry point for your SCSS imports.

Include all imports

In app/javascript/stylesheets/index.scss:

@import 'application';
@import 'courses';


Add index to the javascript entry point file

In your JavaScript entry point file, which is app/javascript/packs/application.js, import the index.scss file:

# app/javascript/packs/application.js
import 'stylesheets/index.scss';


Check the result

Rails server

View page


You've made it!

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Final thoughts

I hope this article has been helpful to you. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Your thoughts, suggestions, and corrections are more than welcome.

By the way, don't hesitate to drop your suggestions for new blog articles.

I look forward to seeing you next time.