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Debian package builder for ruby apps
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A tool for debian-packaging Rails apps from git repositories.

Quick Start

$ au new projectname git@host:project/name.git
$ cd projectname
$ au release projectname
$ ls pkg/*.deb

This can then be uploaded to an apt repository or installed directly with a dpkg -i.

What it Does

au new makes a new directory, and checks out the source repo you pass to it into /src.

Running au release projectname will package the app up with its gem dependencies (via bundler) such that it will install to /opt/apps/<projectname>. If you want a different prefix, pass it on the command line: au release projectname /srv, for instance.

The au release command will add a date-based tag to HEAD of whatever branch is checked out in the src directory. The package name uses the tag to specify the package version for Debian.

This process uses whichever ruby you currently have active, and because binary gems are invariably involved, this needs to be the same ruby you're deploying to. au also generates a script called /srv/<projectname>/activate, which contains environment settings needed to correctly activate the installed gems. As ruby now includes its own set of gems, au needs your active ruby to be installed in the same location as it will be in production: having the same version alone isn't going to be enough.

You also need to build on the same distribution you're going to deploy to, otherwise linking to native libraries isn't going to work.

To gather the dependencies for the package, au release finds first the package for the ruby you're using, then the dependencies for any binary gems in your app's $GEM_HOME.

Note that this means your local ruby must have been installed by apt-get, and must have the same package name as the ruby you'll be using in production.

In addition, if there's a file called "depends" in your rails root, au release expects it to list additional apt dependencies which scanning the binary gems won't find.

Note that the .deb produced pays no attention whatsoever to the Debian Packaging Guidelines: it does what it does to build the simplest possible thing that can work.

Finally, there's also an au clean command, which will clear out the build/ and pkg/ directory. Use this when things seem not to be working.

What it Doesn't Do

au makes no claims to know how you're going to run your application, so doesn't build Procfiles, have any init.d scripts, or do whatever it would be that systemd wants. All it does is get your app, and all its dependencies, onto the server. The rest is up to you (but I'm a fan of runit and puma).


Alex Young

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