Hamed Asghari


ActionMailer Link Validator

15 Nov 2014

Recently we encountered a bug where a link in a delivered email was not working. A quick investigation revealed that the problem was due to a relative url being generated instead of absolute. The problem was easy to fix but we wanted to put a safeguard in place to prevent this from happening in the future.

As far as I know, Rails provides 3 different helper methods to generate urls:

  1. url_for helper
  2. link_to helper which delegates to url_for
  3. Named route helpers such as product_path(@product) which delegate to url_for

Therefore it seems like as long as we override the implementation of url_for in our mailers and throw an exception when the provided url is relative, we can prevent the mailer from being delivered:

# config/initializers/mailer_link_validator.rb

ActionMailer::Base.helper do
  def url_for(options = nil)
    url = super(options)
    return url if absolute_url?(url) || fragment?(url)
    fail 'Can not provide relative urls in mailers'


  def absolute_url?(url)
    URI.parse(url).is_a? URI::HTTP

  def fragment?(url)
    url.start_with? '#'

comments powered by Disqus