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Deployment Guide

This guide is written to get your Vulcan app deployed and running on a remote server. Deploying a Vulcan app is much like deploying a Meteor app. If something isn't addressed here, it might be in the official documentation.

Meteor Up

The recommended way to deploy Vulcan is by using Meteor Up.


You should have a Linux server online, for instance a Digital Ocean droplet running with Ubuntu.

Here's a guide to a good initial server setup.

On your local development machine, install the latest Meteor Up release.

npm install -g mup

Create Meteor Up configuration files in your project directory with mup init. In the example below, the configuration files are created in a .deploy directory at the root of your app.

cd my-app-folder
mkdir .deploy
cd .deploy
mup init

This will create two files:

mup.js - Meteor Up configuration file
settings.json - Settings for Meteor's settings API

Then, replace the content of the newly created settings.json with your own settings (you can use the content of sample_settings.json as a starter).

To quickly get up and running, copy/paste the following configuration and edit it to reflect your environment:

Please refer to the official Meteor Up starting guide for more in-depth instructions.

The official mup.js configuration examples and the possible options are found here.

module.exports = {
  servers: {
    one: {
      // TODO: set host address, username, and authentication method
      host: '123.123.321.321',
      username: 'server-username',
      // pem: '/home/user/.ssh/id_rsa',
      // password: 'server-password'
      // or neither for authenticate from ssh-agent

      // If I'm not using a default SSH port, declare which here:
      //   opts: {
      //     port: 2222,
      //   },

  app: {
    // TODO: change app name and path
    name: 'myAppName',
    path: '../',

    servers: {
      one: {},

   // All options are optional.
    buildOptions: {
      // Set to true to skip building mobile apps
      // but still build the web.cordova architecture. (recommended)
      serverOnly: true,

      executable: 'meteor',

    env: {
      // TODO: Change to your app's url
      // If you are using ssl, it needs to start with https://
      ROOT_URL: 'https://mydomain.example',
      MONGO_URL: 'mongodb://mongodb/meteor',
      MONGO_OPLOG_URL: 'mongodb://mongodb/local',

    docker: {
      // change to 'abernix/meteord:base' if your app is using Meteor 1.4 - 1.5
      image: 'zodern/meteor:root',

    // Show progress bar while uploading bundle to server
    // You might need to disable it on CI servers
    enableUploadProgressBar: true,

  mongo: {
    servers: {
      one: {},

  proxy: {
    // comma-separated list of domains your website
    // will be accessed at.
    // You will need to configure your DNS for each one.
    domains: 'mydomain.example',
    ssl: {
      // TODO: disable if not using SSL
      forceSSL: true,
      // Enable let's encrypt to create free certificates
      letsEncryptEmail: '',

You do not have to edit the mongo settings unless you are using a custom database setup.

Setup your server

From the ./deploy folder, you can now set up the remote servers you have specified in your config. It will take around 2-5 minutes depending on the server’s performance and network availability.

mup setup

Deploy your app

Still in the ./deploy folder, to deploy your app with your settings file:

mup deploy --settings settings.json

This will bundle the Meteor project locally and deploy it to the remote server(s). The bundling process is the same as what meteor deploy does.

If you are using the two-repo install you must specify the path to your package directory:

METEOR_PACKAGE_DIRS="/Users/sacha/Vulcan/packages" mup deploy --settings settings.json

(Taking care to adapt the /Users/sacha/Vulcan/packages path to point to your Vulcan core repo's /packages directory)

Utility Commands

  • mup reconfig - reconfigures app with new environment variables, Meteor settings, and it updates the start script. This is also the last step of mup deploy.
  • mup stop - stop the app
  • mup start - start the app
  • mup restart - restart the app
  • mup logs [-f --tail=50] - view the app’s logs. Supports all of the flags from docker logs.


Official docs on deploying with Meteor Up

Meteor Now

Another simple option to get your app live for no cost is by using Meteor Now. Meteor-now is a tool to let you instantly deploy your Meteor apps with one command using ZEIT's ▲now service.


Install the now and meteor-now packages:

npm install -g now meteor-now

Create now account

$ now --login
> Enter your email: <your email>
> Please follow the link sent to <your email> to log in.
> Verify that the provided security code in the email matches Pragmatic Manta Ray.

✔ Confirmed email address!

> Logged in successfully. Token saved in ~/.now.json


Now on your root folder, run the following command:

meteor-now -d -e ROOT_URL= -e NODE_ENV=production`

Change mydomain with your custom domain name. meteor-now will automatically look for a file named production.settings.json at the root of your application. For a staging deployment, you can also set NODE_ENV=development, meteor-now will then look for development.settings.json instead.

You can also add -e MONGO_URL=mongodb://<username>:<pass>@.... for persistance storage of data. We recommend you using a service like mlab.

If you are using the two-repo install you must specify the path to your package directory:

METEOR_PACKAGE_DIRS="/Users/sacha/Vulcan/packages" meteor-now ...

(Taking care to adapt the /Users/sacha/Vulcan/packages path to point to your Vulcan core repo's /packages directory)

Note that the METEOR_PACKAGE_DIRS variable is only used locally by the machine that runsmeteor-now during build, you must not send it to the server with the -e option, contrary to other variables.

After your deployment is done, create an alias to the domain you just specified. Just copy the hashed link provided by the now deployment. It should be copied to your clipboad. It usually follows this format:

now alias set

That's it! now visit

For more info, for how to get a custom domain name run now -h. You may need a premium now account.


Contributed by adalidda.

Deploy Vulcan GraphQL/Apollo version with PM2

Server Setup

On Ubuntu 14 or better.

Install nvm

Run the following command

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install build-essential libssl-dev
curl -sL -o
source ~/.profile
nvm install 4.7.3
nvm alias default 4.7.3

Check that node 4.7.3 is your default node version, with the command nvm ls.

Install PM2

sudo npm i -g pm2

Check that your PM2 is working with the following commands:

  • pm2 list => list the process under PM2
  • pm2 -v => list PM2 version

Install nginx for the management of your host server

sudo apt-get install nginx

Note: I suggest to use the docker version of nginx

Development Setup

Install pm2-meteor on your Development computer

npm i pm2-meteor -g

Create a deployment folder with mkdir deploy

Cd deploy

Type the following command to init the default deployment file: pm2-meteor init.

pm2-meteor will then create a file pm2-meteor.json.

Edit your pm2-meteor.json with your own parameters.

Below is my pm2-meteor.json given as reference.

You note that I use the nvm command in my pm2-meteor.json, because without using the nvm command, pm2 will use Node version on your server that may be not compatible with the one required by Vulcan GraphQL/Apollo (which is node version 4.7.0 or 4.7.3) and in this case pm2 will generate high use of your CPU around 100% !

  "appName": "myappname",
  "appLocation": {
    "local": "~/myappfolder",
    "branch": "myappbranch"
  "meteorSettingsLocation": "~/myappfolder/mysettings.json",
  "meteorSettingsInRepo": false,
  "prebuildScript": "meteor add mycustompackage",
  "meteorBuildFlags": "--architecture os.linux.x86_64",
  "env": {
    "ROOT_URL": "https://myurl",
    "PORT": myport,
    "MONGO_URL": "mongodb://username:password@ip1:port1,ip2:port2/dbname?authSource=admin&replicaSet=replicasetname",
    "MONGO_OPLOG_URL": "mongodb://user:password@ip1:port1,ip2:port2/local?authSource=admin&replicaSet=replicasetname"
  "server": {
    "host": "myserverip",
    "username": "username",
    "password": "mypassword",
    "deploymentDir": "/opt/pm2-meteor",
    "loadProfile": "",
    "nvm": {
      "bin": "~/.nvm/",
      "use": "4.7.2"
    "exec_mode": "cluster_mode",
    "instances": 2

Deploy your app to the host server

Type the following command

cd deploy
pm2-meteor deploy

Useful Commands

Type the following command to check the status of your app on the server pm2 list

To Stop your App, type pm2 stop myappname

To restart your App, type pm2 restart myappname

To delete your App, type pm2 delete myappname


Other Solutions

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