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Enables static websites deployment to Amazon S3 website buckets using Capistrano.

Build Status Maintainability Gem Version

Hosting your website with Amazon S3

Amazon S3 provides special websites enabled buckets that allows you to serve web pages from S3.

To learn how to setup your website bucket, see Amazon Documentation.

Getting started

# Gemfile
source ''
gem 'capistrano-s3'


Install gems with bundle and create your public folder that will be published :

bundle install
mkdir -p public

Gem supports both flavors of Capistrano (2/3). Configurations between versions differ a bit though.

Capistrano 2

First initialise Capistrano for given project - bundle exec capify .

Replace deploy.rb content generated by capify with these simple Amazon S3 configurations:

# config/deploy.rb
require 'capistrano/s3'

set :bucket,            ""
set :access_key_id,     "CHANGETHIS"
set :secret_access_key, "CHANGETHIS"

If you want to deploy to multiple buckets, have a look at Capistrano multistage and configure a bucket per stage configuration.

Capistrano 3

Initialise Capistrano by running - bundle exec cap install

Next add require "capistrano/s3" to Capfile.

Finally, replace deploy.rb content generated by Capistrano with this config:

# config/deploy.rb
set :bucket,            ""
set :access_key_id,     "CHANGETHIS"
set :secret_access_key, "CHANGETHIS"


Add content to your public folder and run deploy command:

  • cap deploy (Capistrano 2)


  • cap <stage> deploy (Capistrano 3).

Advanced options

Custom region

If your bucket is not in the default US Standard region, set region with:

set :region, 'eu-west-1'

Deployment path

You can set deployment_path to select the local path to deploy relative to the project root. Do not use trailing slash. Default value is: public.

set :deployment_path, 'dist'

Target path

You can also set a remote path relative to the bucket root using target_path. Do not use trailing slash. Default value is empty (bucket root).

set :target_path, 'app'

Write options

See aws-sdk S3Client.put_object doc for all available options both for bucket_write_options and object_write_options.

Bucket-level options

capistrano-s3 sets files :content_type and :acl to public-read, add or override with:

set :bucket_write_options, {
    cache_control: "max-age=94608000, public"

Object-level options

You can also set write options for files matching specific patterns using:

set :object_write_options, {
  'index.html' => { cache_control: 'no-cache' }

or in a more advanced scenario

set :object_write_options, {
  'assets/**' => { cache_control: 'public, max-age=86400' },
  'index.html' => { cache_control: 'no-cache' }


  • object_write_options are evaulated after bucket_write_options and can override them
  • Also the pattern matching for object_write_options is evaluated in the order of definition and overrides on match down the chain. For example defining
set :object_write_options, {
  'assets/my-script.js' => { cache_control: 'no-cache' },
  'assets/**' => { cache_control: 'public, max-age=86400' }

will set Cache-Control: public, max-age=86400 header on assets/my-script.js as well!


Use :redirect_options to natively redirect (via HTTP 301 status code) any hosted page. For example:

set :redirect_options, {
  'index.html' => '',
  'another.html' => '/test.html',

The redirect_options parameter takes target_path into account, you can use the same paths regardless of its value.

Valid redirect destination should either start with http or https scheme, or begin with leading slash /.

Upload only compressed versions

You can configure capistrano-s3 to only upload gzipped assets (when they are present) and remove the .gz suffix. This feature comes in handy because Amazon S3 does not provide a way to decide when to serve compressed or uncompressed content depending on Accept-Encoding header.

For example: if you have main.js and main.js.gz capistrano-s3 will upload the compressed version as main.js to S3.

Please note:

  1. Only the file is renamed, the original Content-Type, and Content-Encoding: gzip headers will be served
  2. By enabling this feature way only compressed assets will be served. Browser support although is pretty good.

Just add to your configuration:

set :only_gzip, true

CloudFront invalidation

If you set a CloudFront distribution ID (not the URL!) and an array of paths, capistrano-s3 will post an invalidation request. CloudFront supports wildcard invalidations. For example:

set :distribution_id, "CHANGETHIS"
set :invalidations, [ "/index.html", "/assets/*" ]

The CloudFront invalidation feature takes target_path into account. Write your invalidations relatively to your target_path. For example to invalidate everything inside the remote app folder:

set :target_path, "app"
set :distribution_id, "CHANGETHIS"
set :invalidations, [ "/*" ]

If you want to wait until the invalidation batch is completed (e.g. on a CI server), you can run cap <stage> deploy:s3:wait_for_invalidation. The command will wait indefinitely until the invalidation is completed.

Exclude files and directories

You can set a list of files or directories to exclude from upload. The path must relative to deployment_path and use the dir/**/* pattern to exclude directories.

set :exclusions, [ "index.html", "resources/**/*" ]

MIME types

Under the hood capistrano-s3 is using the mime-types gem to determine the correct MIME type used for :content_type based on the filename extension. The possible list of MIME types are in a priority ordered list, and by default capistrano-s3 uses the first element - the "best" match.

However CloudFront has a list of MIME types that are supported by the Serving Compressed Files feature, and the two results are not necessarily overlap.

For example: the "best" MIME type match for a .js file is application/ecmascript, but files with this type are not compressed by CloudFront, only the ones with application/javascript.

You can enable to prefer CloudFront-supported MIME types over the "best" ones by setting:

set :prefer_cf_mime_types, true

Example of usage

Our Ruby stack for static websites:

  • sinatra : awesome simple ruby web framework
  • sinatra-assetpack : deals with assets management, build static files into public/
  • sinatra-export : exports all sinatra routes into public/ as html or other common formats (json, csv, etc)

Mixing it in a capistrano task:

# config/deploy.rb
before 'deploy' do
  run_locally "bundle exec ruby sinatra:export"
  run_locally "bundle exec rake assetpack:build"

See our boilerplate sinatra-static-bp for an example of the complete setup.

Migration guide

From < 2.0.0

If you have customized deployment_path from 2.0 use a simplified format

# config/deploy.rb
-set :deployment_path, proc { Dir.pwd.gsub('\n', '') + '/build' }
+set :deployment_path, 'build'

If you have configured s3_endpoint to something other than the default switch to new syntax using region identifiers

-set :s3_endpoint, ''
+set :region, 'eu-west-1'


See for more details on contributing and running test.



capistrano-s3 is maintained and funded by hooktstudios

Thanks & credits also to all other contributors.


Using Ruby and Capistrano, deploy a static website to an Amazon S3 website bucket.





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