Serve an image up from an action

What I am really trying to do is use the file_column plugin for the file
uplaod/storage (to a non-application directory), but serve up the images
on my own (without the mage_tag url_for_file_column technique)

In the java world, I would simply do something like this:

and myImageServlet would simply return the appropriate mime headers and
data that represented the image.

I am lost in the ruby/rails world.

My images are being stored in a NON application folder (I do not want
users to be able to access them directly…I want the retrieval of the
images to be controlled by an action.

I have an action in one of my controllers that looks something like

def serve_user_image
@user = session[:user]
image_file =, “rb”)
send_data image_file, :filename => @user.image_filename, :type =>
“image/jpeg”, :disposition => “inline”

And inside my view, something like this:

<%= image_tag url_for(:action => “serve_user_image” ) %>

However, aside from it not working, I get really weird things in my logs
"Parameters: {“action”=>“serve_user_image.png”, “controller”=>“main”}

Now, there is no reference to a png in my code…(the filename is a
.jpg), so I assume I am doing something dreadfuly wrong.

Any pointers would be appreciated

Anyone? I am sure there is a ruby-eque way of doing this, I just can’t
seem to get it right…


You might look at:

which talks about reading/writing images to a database. Should be
to the file system using IO classes.

You’re getting .png because Rails is interpreting your url_for params as
relative url with no file extension, .png is the default.


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