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thoughtbot /bourbon

A Lightweight Sass Tool Set

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Reviewed by Hound

A Lightweight Sass Tool Set

Bourbon is a library of Sass mixins and functions that are designed to make you a more efficient style sheet author.

It is…

  • Dependency-free: Bourbon is pure Sass.
  • Human-readable: We aim for clarity over brevity.
  • Lightweight: Zero output post-install and has no visual opinion.

Helpful Links

Table of Contents



  1. Install the Bourbon gem using the RubyGems package manager:

    gem install bourbon
  2. Install the Bourbon library into the current directory:

    bourbon install

    Pro Tip: You can target installation into a specific directory using the

    bourbon install --path my/custom/path/
  3. Import Bourbon at the beginning of your stylesheet:

    @import "bourbon/bourbon";

    It’s not recommended that you modify Bourbon’s files directly as it will make updating to future versions difficult, by overwriting your custom changes or causing merge conflicts.

Installation for Ruby on Rails 4.2+

  1. Add Bourbon to your Gemfile:

    gem "bourbon"
  2. Then run:

    bundle install
  3. Restart your server and rename

    mv app/assets/stylesheets/application.css app/assets/stylesheets/application.scss
  4. Delete all Sprockets directives in

    ) and use Sass’s native
    instead (why?).
  5. Import Bourbon at the beginning of

    . Any project styles that utilize Bourbon’s features must be imported after Bourbon.
    @import "bourbon";
    @import "home";
    @import "users";

Installing with npm and using a Node-based asset pipeline

  1. Add Bourbon as a dependency:

    npm install --save bourbon
  2. If you’re using eyeglass, skip to Step 3. Otherwise, you’ll need to add Bourbon to your node-sass

    is an array of directories that you should pass to node-sass. How you do this depends on how node-sass is integrated into your project.
  3. Import Bourbon into your Sass files:

    @import "bourbon";

Installing older versions of Bourbon

  1. Uninstall any Bourbon gem versions you already have:

    gem uninstall bourbon
  2. Reinstall the Bourbon gem, using the

    flag to specify the version you need:
    gem install bourbon -v 4.2.7
  3. Follow the instructions above to install Bourbon into your project.

Command Line Interface

bourbon [options]


| Option | Description | | :---------------- | :------------------------ | |

| Show help | |
| Show the version number | |
| Specify a custom path | |
| Force install (overwrite) |


| Command | Description | | :---------------- | :---------------------------------------------------- | |

bourbon install
| Install Bourbon into the current directory | |
bourbon update
| Overwrite and update Bourbon in the current directory | |
bourbon help
| Show help |

Browser Support

Bourbon supports Internet Explorer 11+ and the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.


See the contributing document. Thank you, contributors!


Bourbon is copyright © 2011-2020 thoughtbot, inc. It is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the license.


Bourbon is maintained by Tyson Gach and the thoughtbot design team. It is funded by thoughtbot, inc. and the names and logos for thoughtbot are trademarks of thoughtbot, inc.


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