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Yesod deployment manager
Haskell Shell
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Deployment system for Yesod (and other Haskell) web apps.


Instructions are for an Ubuntu system. Eventually, I hope to provide a PPA for this (please contact me if you would like to assist with this). For now, the following steps should be sufficient:

First, install PostgreSQL

sudo apt-get install postgresql

Second, build the keter binary and place it at /usr/bin.

Third, create a Keter config file:

# /opt/keter/etc/keter-config.yaml
root: ..
# host: host to bind to
# port: port to listen on
# ssl:
#   host:
#   port:
#   key:
#   certificate:

Fourth, set up an Upstart job to start keter when your system boots.

# /etc/init/keter.conf
start on (net-device-up and local-filesystems and runlevel [2345])
stop on runlevel [016]

console none

exec /usr/bin/keter /opt/keter/etc/keter-config.yaml

Finally, start the job for the first time:

sudo start keter


An application needs to be set up as a keter bundle. This is a GZIPed tarball with a .keter filename extension and which has one special file: config/keter.yaml. A sample file is:

exec: ../dist/build/yesodweb/yesodweb
    - production
ssl: false # true would use https scheme for approot

A sample Bash script for producing a Keter bundle is:

#!/bin/bash -ex

cabal build
strip dist/build/yesodweb/yesodweb
rm -rf static/tmp
tar czfv yesodweb.keter dist/build/yesodweb/yesodweb config static

For users of Yesod, The yesod executable provides a keter command for creating the bundle, and the scaffolded site provides a keter.yaml file.


In order to deploy, you simply copy the keter bundle to /opt/keter/incoming. To update an app, copy in the new version. The old process will only be terminated after the new process has started answering requests. To stop an application, delete the file from incoming.

Technical Details


  • Logger: provides a file descriptor to redirect output to. Takes the name of the app.

  • Process: Give it all the information (executable, working directory, environment, args) for a process, and it will start the process and monitor it. If the process dies, it will restart. Binds the output to the logger. Allows you to terminate the process.

  • Postgres: Ask it for database information for an app. If no information is available, it will create a database/user.

  • TempFolder: Wipes out a folder on startup, then assigns random, unique folders inside it on request.

  • App: Started with a path to an app bundle. Unpacks into a random folder inside the temp folder, gets a random port, starts a Process, updates Nginx, and waits for commands. Accepts two commands: reload and terminate.

    • Terminate kills the existing process, removes from Nginx, and deletes the folder.

    • Reload gets a new random port, unpacks to a new folder in the temp folder, starts a Process, waits till the process is "ready" (checks with an HTTP request)- canceling after a certain timeout.

      • If process is not ready within timeout, terminate the new process and delete the new folder.

      • If a process is ready, tell Nginx to use the new port, wait some amount of time (20 seconds?), send a TERM to the old process, wait some more (1 minute?) and delete the old folder.

  • Keter: Delete temp folder, start the Nginx, logger, and port assigner. Start a new App for each app in the incoming folder. Monitor for file changes in the incoming folder, and appropriately start a new app, reload an existing app, or delete an existing app. Also provide a web interface based on logger.

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