Often times when building web applications, I used to spend time deploying my web applications via
scp. Then I used Heroku for a few projects, and I really liked that deploying to heroku was as easy as it could be.
I wanted to have a similar deployment scheme on my own projects that aren’t deployed on Heroku.
How it works
Since git is a distributed version control system, you can push the code that lives on your machine to another machine very easily via
ssh. So your first instinct is to set up a repo in the location that your code needs to be deployed, and push to it via git. This is a good instinct, but git does not allow you to push code to a working copy. To resolve this, you will create a bare repository on your server, and push to it. You will also set up a git hook to automatically deploy your application when code gets pushed to the bare repository.
Setting it up
Before you start, your codebase needs to be in a git repository. This could be a Github repository that you use for version control. I will assume that your codebase lives in one directory called
project on your development machine, which I will refer to as
This codebase will be deployed to your server. I will refer to your server as
Now, you are going to create a bare git repository on
deploy, and you will be able to push to it from
username@deploy:~$ mkdir repos # this is the dir where all your repos will be stored. username@deploy:~$ cd repos username@deploy:~/repos$ mkdir project.git username@deploy:~/repos$ cd project.git # You can replace this with the name of your project. username@deploy:~/repos/project.git$ git init --bare # Initialized empty Git repository in /home/username/repos/project.git
You will now set up your codebase on
develop to push to the repos/project.git directory on
username@develop:~$ cd /path/to/my/project username@develop:~/code/project$ git status # This must be a git repo. username@develop:~/code/project$ git remote add deploy username@deploy:~/repos/project.git # This is the path to your bare repo. username@develop:~/code/project$ git push deploy master
This will push your codebase, to the bare repository you just created on
deploy. You can verify this by cloning the bare repository if you’d like.
username@develop:~$ cd /tmp username@develop:/tmp$ git clone username@deploy:~/repos/project.git # Cloning into 'project'... # remote: Counting objects: 666, done. # remote: Compressing objects: 100% (417/417), done. # remote: Total 666 (delta 255), reused 632 (delta 221) # Receiving objects: 100% (666/666), 621.96 KiB | 462 KiB/s, done. # Resolving deltas: 100% (255/255), done. username@develop:/tmp$ cd project username@develop:/tmp$ ls # make sure your files are here.
Now that we are pushing to the repos/project.git directory on
deploy. Let’s set up our repository to actually deploy its code. I’ll assume that your application gets deployed to
username@deploy:~$ cd repos/project.git username@deploy:~$ ls # HEAD branches config description hooks info objects refs username@deploy:~$ cd hooks username@deploy:~$ [editor] post-receive
The post-receive hook gets called by git right after code gets pushed to a repository (right after git push deploy master). We will make this hook deploy your application to
/var/www/myproject.com . Using an editor of your choice, place the following in the post-receive file.
#!/bin/bash ### This file gets run when code is pushed to the project.git directory. GIT_WORK_TREE=/var/www/myproject.com git checkout -f
Make the hook executable.
username@deploy:~/repos/project.git/hooks$ chmod +x post-receive
Make sure that your user has permissions to write to
/var/www/myproject.com. This is it! You can now deploy your code anytime you want by running:
username@develop:~/code/project$ git push deploy master
Verify that your code is deployed when you push, and you should never need to use
scp to deploy ever again.