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Deploy with Rsync from any local (or remote) repository when using Capistrano. Capistrano v3 ready!
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Bladrak Merge pull request #28 from MartialGeek/fix-multiple-targets
Fix rsync failures with several targets
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lib/capistrano Fix rsync failures with several targets Jul 10, 2017
.gitignore Add .gitignore. Sep 1, 2013 Release 1.4 version Jan 25, 2017
Makefile avoid to perform operations if there aren't any server Mar 16, 2015 Release 1.4 version Jan 25, 2017
capistrano-rsync-bladrak.gemspec Updated documentation Jun 5, 2015

Capistrano::Rsync for Capistrano v3

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Gem Version [gem-badge]:

This repository is a fork of which doesn't seem to be maintained anymore.

It has all the capabilities of the original repo, and some other features. Moreover, I will try to maintain it.

Deploy with Rsync to your server from any local (or remote) repository when using Capistrano. Saves you from having to install Git on your production machine and allows you to customize which files you want to deploy. Also allows you to easily precompile things on your local machine before deploying.


  • Works with the new Capistrano v3 (source code) versions >= 3.0.0pre14 and < 4.
  • Suitable for deploying any apps, be it Ruby, Rails, Node.js or others.
  • Exclude files from being deployed with Rsync's --exclude options.
  • Precompile files or assets easily before deploying, like JavaScript or CSS.
  • Caches your previously deployed code to speed up deployments ~1337%.
  • Currently works only with Git (as does Capistrano v3), so please shout out your interest in other SCMs.

Added features

Compared to moll's version, I added the following features:

  • setting the :rsync_target_dir option in order to choose where the code will be stored locally
  • implemented a set_current_revision task to be compliant with Capistrano
  • added an option to sparse checkout the repository before rsyncing it, improving performance for large repositories
  • added an option to limit the clone depth (defaults to 1) to limit used space while deploying


Install with:

gem install capistrano-rsync-bladrak

Set rsync as the SCM to use

set :scm, :rsync

Optionally set some rsync_options to your liking:

set :rsync_options, %w[--recursive --delete --delete-excluded --exclude .git*]

And after setting regular Capistrano options, deploy as usual!

cap deploy


  1. Clones and updates your repository to rsync_stage (defaults to tmp/deploy) on your local machine.
  2. Checks out the branch set in the branch variable (defaults to master).
  3. If rsync_cache set (defaults to shared/deploy), rsyncs to that directory on the server.
  4. If rsync_cache set, copies the content of that directory to a new release directory.
  5. If rsync_cache is nil, rsyncs straight to a new release directory.

After that, Capistrano takes over and runs its usual tasks and symlinking.

Exclude files from being deployed

If you don't want to deploy everything you've committed to your repository, pass some --exclude options to Rsync:

set :rsync_options, %w[
  --recursive --delete --delete-excluded
  --exclude .git*
  --exclude /config/database.yml
  --exclude /test/***

Precompile assets before deploy

Capistrano::Rsync runs rsync:stage_done before rsyncing. Hook to that like this:

task :precompile do
  Dir.chdir fetch(:rsync_stage) do
    system "rake", "assets:precompile" or raise

after "rsync:stage_done", "precompile"

Deploy release without symlinking the current directory

cap rsync:release

Bypass clone stage

set :bypass_git_clone, true


If you need to hook after rsync:stage_done in your deploy.rb, the rsync namespace is not loaded yet.

So do it like this in your deploy.rb:

namespace :rsync do
    # Create an empty task to hook with. Implementation will be come next
    task :stage_done

    # Then add your hook
    after :stage_done, :my_task do
      # Do some stuff.


Set Capistrano variables with set name, value.

Name Default Description
repo_url . The path or URL to a Git repository to clone from.
branch master The Git branch to checkout.
git_remote origin The remote to use for Git checkout.
rsync_stage tmp/deploy Path where to clone your repository for staging, checkouting and rsyncing. Can be both relative or absolute.
rsync_cache shared/deploy Path where to cache your repository on the server to avoid rsyncing from scratch each time. Can be both relative or absolute.
Set to nil if you want to disable the cache.
rsync_options [] Array of options to pass to rsync.
rsync_sparse_checkout [] Array of directories to checkout (checks out all if empty)
rsync_depth 1 Sets the --depth argument value for the git operations; this is set to 1 by default as you won't need the git history
rsync_checkout branch Is the :branch symbol containing a branch, tag or revision?
rsync_checkout_tag false Is the :branch symbol containing a branch or a tag? Deprecated
rsync_copy rsync --archive --acls --xattrs The command used to copy from remote cache to remote release
rsync_target_dir . The local directory within :rsync_stage to clone to & deploy (useful if you want to keep cache of several branches/tags for instance)
enable_git_submodules false Should we fetch submodules as well?
reset_git_submodules_before_update false Do a reset hard and clean force on submodules (in case you do modifications on working copies)?


Capistrano::Rsync is released under a Lesser GNU Affero General Public License, which in summary means:

  • You can use this program for no cost.
  • You can use this program for both personal and commercial reasons.
  • You do not have to share your own program's code which uses this program.
  • You have to share modifications (e.g bug-fixes) you've made to this program.

For more convoluted language, see the LICENSE file.


Andri Möll made this happen.
Monday Calendar was the reason I needed this.

Hugo Briand forked it, maintains it, and adds some features.

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