I’ve got a few node.js apps kicking around on my computer that I’ve been wanting to deploy for a while, but I’d never got around to it. Happily, I decided to try and deploy the asset-server.


Forever is a little tool by nodejitsu that starts node.js apps and makes sure they keep running, even if they crash. It’s pretty straightforward and seems to work reliably. It had a bunch of parameters for logging and restarting the server. I tried it out and it seems pretty good.

Git archive

I was looking for sam minnee article on deploying using git, but couldn’t find it, so instead I went for the easy answer:

git archive | gzip > bundle.tar.gz

AFAICT, this takes the current master branch and archives it up.

Bash magic!

So then I just needed a little bash scripts to create the bundle, scp it to my production server, untar it to /app/$ISODATE, symlink it in place, run npm install, then start and stop forever. This is the script I used:


git archive master | gzip > /tmp/asset-server.tar.gz
scp /tmp/asset-server.tar.gz munich:~/builds/

RELEASE=`date -u +"%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%SZ"`

ssh munich <<ENDS
  cd ~/apps/asset-server/current
  forever stop asset-server.js

  mkdir -p ~/apps/asset-server/$RELEASE
  cd ~/apps/asset-server/$RELEASE
  tar xvfz ~/builds/asset-server.tar.gz
  rm ~/apps/asset-server/current
  ln -s ~/apps/asset-server/$RELEASE ~/apps/asset-server/current

  mkdir -p ~/apps/asset-server/models
  mkdir -p ~/apps/asset-server/current/public
  ln -s ~/apps/asset-server/models ~/apps/asset-server/current/public/models

  cd ~/apps/asset-server/current
  npm install
  forever start -a -l asset-server.log asset-server.js

echo " * Deploy complete"    

It seems to work for now, it’s not ideal, but it’ll do.

nb: An earlier version of this post had the RELEASE=... line inside the heredoc, which didn’t do what I expected. The above code is corrected.