New year, new codebase for a side-project of mine, and I decided to go with ReactOnRails, turbolinks and other sorcery that will help me go faster but won’t sacrifice code quality.

An issue I found with this approach is that it wasn’t clear to me how to render a React Component as a layout, since the yield call in my application.html.erb would render the <%= react_component ... %> part in the view, as described in the ReactOnRails README file. Here’s the way I found in order to do so:

Added a react_layout method in my controller. That way I can overload this method in child classes

# file app/controllers/application_controller.rb
class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  def react_layout

  def react_layout_props
    { user: { id: } } # ... fill in your layout props

Created a ReactHelper module with a react_view wrapper method, which utilizes react_component internally.

# file app/helpers/react_helper.rb
module ReactHelper
  def react_view viewname, props: {}, layout: nil, layout_props: {}
    layout ||= controller.react_layout
    layout_component_props = controller.react_layout_props.merge(layout_props)

    react_component(layout, props: layout_component_props.merge({
      component: viewname,
      componentProps: props,

Replaced calls to react_component with react_view, for example

# file app/views/dashboard/index.html.erb
<%= react_view("DashboardView", props: @props) %>

Dynamically rendered the component requested in the view inside LayoutDefault.jsx

// store this in a location resolvable by webpacker
import React from 'react';
import PropTypes from 'prop-types';

const LayoutDefault = ({ component, componentProps }) => {
  const ViewComponent = ReactOnRails.getComponent(component);

  return (
      ... Layout area ...
      <ViewComponent.component {...componentProps} />
      ... Layout area ...

LayoutDefault.propTypes = {
  component: PropTypes.string.isRequired,
  componentProps: PropTypes.object,

LayoutDefault.defaultProps = {
  componentProps: {},

export default LayoutDefault;

And done. The app now renders the react layout and the component I’ve requested in my view inside.

Pro tip: You need to declare ReactOnRails as a global in your eslint config if you’re using a linter (which you should)