The neo4j.rb gems (neo4j and neo4j-core) support both Ruby and JRuby and can be used with many different frameworks and services. If you’re just looking to get started you’ll probably want to use the neo4j gem which includes neo4j-core as a dependency.

Below are some instructions on how to get started:

Ruby on Rails

The following contains instructions on how to setup Neo4j with Rails. If you prefer a video to follow along you can use this YouTube video

There are two ways to add neo4j to your Rails project. You can LINK||generate a new project||LINK with Neo4j as the default model mapper or you can LINK||add it manually||LINK.

Generating a new app

To create a new Rails app with Neo4j as the default model mapper use -m to run a script from the Neo4j project and -O to exclude ActiveRecord like so:

rails new myapp -m -O


Due to network issues sometimes you may need to run this command two or three times for the file to download correctly

An example series of setup commands:

rails new myapp -m -O
cd myapp
rake neo4j:install[community-latest]
rake neo4j:start

rails generate scaffold User name:string email:string
rails s
open http://localhost:3000/users

See also

There is also a screencast available demonstrating how to set up a new Rails app:

Adding the gem to an existing project

Include in your Gemfile:

# for rubygems
gem 'neo4j', '~> 5.0.0'

In application.rb:

require 'neo4j/railtie'


Neo4j does not interfere with ActiveRecord and both can be used in the same application

If you want the rails generate command to generate Neo4j models by default you can modify application.rb like so:

class Application < Rails::Application
  # ...

  config.generators { |g| g.orm :neo4j }

Rails configuration

For both new apps and existing apps the following configuration applies:

An example config/application.rb file:

config.neo4j.session_type = :server_db
config.neo4j.session_path = 'http://localhost:7474'

Neo4j requires authentication by default but if you install using the built-in rake tasks) authentication is disabled. If you are using authentication you can configure it like this:

config.neo4j.session_options = { basic_auth: { username: 'foo', password: 'bar'} }

Configuring Faraday

Faraday is used under the covers to connect to Neo4j. You can use the initialize option to initialize the Faraday session. Example:

config.neo4j.session_options = {initialize: { ssl: { verify: true }}

Any Ruby Project

Include either neo4j or neo4j-core in your Gemfile (neo4j includes neo4j-core as a dependency):

gem 'neo4j', '~> 5.0.0'
# OR
gem 'neo4j-core', '~> 5.0.0'

If using only neo4j-core you can optionally include the rake tasks (documentation) manually in your Rakefile:

# Both are optional

# This provides tasks to install/start/stop/configure Neo4j
load 'neo4j/tasks/neo4j_server.rake'
# This provides tasks to have migrations
load 'neo4j/tasks/migration.rake'

If you don’t already have a server you can install one with the rake tasks from neo4j_server.rake. See the (rake tasks documentation) for details on how to install, configure, and start/stop a Neo4j server in your project directory.


To open a session to the neo4j server database:

In Ruby

# In JRuby or MRI, using Neo4j Server mode. When the railtie is included, this happens automatically.

Embedded mode in JRuby

In jRuby you can access the data in server mode as above. If you want to run the database in “embedded” mode, however you can configure it like this:

session =, '/folder/db')

Embedded mode means that Neo4j is running inside your jRuby process. This allows for direct access to the Neo4j Java APIs for faster and more direct querying.


Add a Neo4j db to your application:

# To use GrapheneDB:
heroku addons:create graphenedb

# To use Graph Story:
heroku addons:create graphstory

Rails configuration


config.neo4j.session_type = :server_db
# GrapheneDB
config.neo4j.session_path = ENV["GRAPHENEDB_URL"] || 'http://localhost:7474'
# Graph Story
config.neo4j.session_path = ENV["GRAPHSTORY_URL"] || 'http://localhost:7474'