Ruby read file example - read a file as a string

Here's a Ruby "read file" example program that shows how to read a file as one string. You just have to pass a file name in to the get_file_as_string method, and this Ruby method will read in all the records from the file, and return the contents of the file as a string.

def get_file_as_string(filename)
  data = ''
  f =, "r") 
  f.each_line do |line|
    data += line
  return data

##### MAIN #####

xml_data = get_file_as_string 'Pizza.hbm.xml'

# print out the string
puts xml_data

As you can see from this example, I'm using this method to read in a Hibernate XML configuration file, which I'm about to parse. However, in this example I'm just using puts to write the file out to my screen to make sure I'm reading it correctly (instead of parsing it using an XML parser, which I hope to show shortly).

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There’s just one person behind this website; if this article was helpful (or interesting), I’d appreciate it if you’d share it. Thanks, Al.


You can also just use I don't know why it's not listed in the Ruby File class doc (, but it works.

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