Bootstrap for Sass

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bootstrap-sass is a Sass-powered version of Bootstrap, ready to drop right into your Sass powered applications.


Please see the appropriate guide for your environment of choice:

a. Rails

bootstrap-sass is easy to drop into Rails with the asset pipeline.

In your Gemfile you need to add the bootstrap-sass gem, and ensure that the sass-rails gem is present - it is added to new Rails applications by default.

gem 'sass-rails', '>= 3.2' # sass-rails needs to be higher than 3.2
gem 'bootstrap-sass', '~>'

bundle install and restart your server to make the files available through the pipeline.

b. Compass (no Rails)

Install the gem

gem install bootstrap-sass

If you have an existing Compass project:

# config.rb:
require 'bootstrap-sass'
bundle exec compass install bootstrap

If you are creating a new Compass project, you can generate it with bootstrap-sass support:

bundle exec compass create my-new-project -r bootstrap-sass --using bootstrap

This will create a new Compass project with the following files in it:

  • _variables.scss - all of bootstrap variables (override them here).
  • styles.scss - main project SCSS file, import variables and bootstrap.

c. Sass-only (no Compass, nor Rails)

Require the gem, and load paths and Sass helpers will be configured automatically:

require 'bootstrap-sass'

When using outside ruby (e.g. as a bower package), disable ruby asset lookup helper:

$bootstrap-sass-asset-helper: false

JS and fonts

If you are using Rails or Sprockets, see Usage.

If none of Rails/Sprockets/Compass were detected the fonts will be referenced as:


$icon-font-path defaults to bootstrap/.

When not using an asset pipeline, you have to copy fonts and javascripts from the gem.

mkdir public/fonts
cp -r $(bundle show bootstrap-sass)/vendor/assets/fonts/ public/fonts/
mkdir public/javascripts
cp -r $(bundle show bootstrap-sass)/vendor/assets/javascripts/ public/javascripts/

In ruby you can get the assets' location in the filesystem like this:




Import Bootstrap into a Sass file (for example, application.css.scss) to get all of Bootstrap's styles, mixins and variables! We recommend against using //= require directives, since none of your other stylesheets will be able to access the Bootstrap mixins or variables.

@import "bootstrap";

You can also include optional bootstrap theme:

@import "bootstrap/theme";

The full list of bootstrap variables can be found here. You can override these by simply redefining the variable before the @import directive. For example:

$navbar-default-bg: #312312;
$light-orange: #ff8c00;
$navbar-default-color: $light-orange;

@import "bootstrap";

You can also import components explicitly. To start with a full list of modules copy this file from the gem:

cp $(bundle show bootstrap-sass)/vendor/assets/stylesheets/bootstrap/bootstrap.scss \

In your application.sass, replace @import 'bootstrap' with:

  @import 'bootstrap-custom';

Comment out any modules you don't need from bootstrap-custom.


We have a helper that includes all Bootstrap javascripts. If you use Rails (or Sprockets separately), put this in your Javascript manifest (usually in application.js) to load the files in the correct order:

// Loads all Bootstrap javascripts
//= require bootstrap

You can also load individual modules, provided you also require any dependencies. You can check dependencies in the Bootstrap JS documentation.

//= require bootstrap/scrollspy
//= require bootstrap/modal
//= require bootstrap/dropdown

Development and Contributing

If you'd like to help with the development of bootstrap-sass itself, read this section.

Upstream Converter

Keeping bootstrap-sass in sync with upstream changes from Bootstrap used to be an error prone and time consuming manual process. With Bootstrap 3 we have introduced a converter that automates this.

Note: if you're just looking to use Bootstrap 3, see the installation section above.

Upstream changes to the Bootstrap project can now be pulled in using the convert rake task.

Here's an example run that would pull down the master branch from the main twbs/bootstrap repo:

rake convert

This will convert the latest LESS to SASS and update to the latest JS. To convert a specific branch or version, pass the branch name or the commit hash as the first task argument:

rake convert[e8a1df5f060bf7e6631554648e0abde150aedbe4]

The latest converter script is located here and does the following:

  • Converts upstream bootstrap LESS files to its matching SCSS file.
  • Copies all upstream JavaScript into vendor/assets/javascripts/bootstrap
  • Generates a javascript manifest at vendor/assets/javascripts/bootstrap.js
  • Copies all upstream font files into vendor/assets/fonts/bootstrap
  • Sets Bootstrap::BOOTSTRAP_SHA in version.rb to the branch sha.

This converter fully converts original LESS to SCSS. Conversion is automatic but requires instructions for certain transformations (see converter output). Please submit GitHub issues tagged with conversion.


bootstrap-sass has a number of major contributors:

and a significant number of other contributors.

You're in good company

bootstrap-sass is used to build some awesome projects all over the web, including Diaspora, rails_admin, Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial, gitlabhq and kandan.