Simpler and faster capistrano deployment (canonical repo is at
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bin Move files that shouldn't be directly required into subfolders. Apr 30, 2012
features Fix broken features caused by move to ungemified vagrant May 21, 2013
lib Release 1.0.12 (with minor hash syntax change) May 28, 2013
test-vm Remove vagrant as a dependency May 4, 2013
.gitignore Host documentation at May 4, 2012
LICENSE Update README with instructions for publishing docs Jun 23, 2014
Rakefile Allow host to be changed in Rakefile Jun 23, 2014


Recap is an opinionated set of Capistrano deployment recipes, that use git's strengths to deploy applications and websites in a fast and simple manner.

Features & Aims

  • Releases are managed using git. All code is deployed to a single directory, and git tags are used to manage different released versions. No releases, current or shared directories are created, avoiding unnecessary sym-linking.
  • Deployments do the minimum work possible, using git to determine whether tasks need to run. e.g. the bundle:install task only runs if the app contains a Gemfile.lock file and it has changed since the last deployment.
  • Applications have their own user account and group, owning all of that application's associated files and processes. This gives them a dedicated environment, allowing environment variables to be used for application specific configuration. Tasks such as env, env:set and env:edit make setting and changing these variables easy.
  • Personal accounts are used to deploy to the server, distinct from the application user. The right to deploy an application is granted simply by adding a user to the application group.


For more information, the main documentation can be found at


  • Recap's built-in tasks only support deploying to Ubuntu
  • Your user account (as opposed to the application account) must be able to sudo
  • Your user account should be able to connect to the remote git repository from your deployment server(s)


The source code is available on Github.

Running Tests

  • Run the following commands from the checked out project directory.

  • Install dependencies (assumes the bundler gem is installed).

    $ bundle install

  • Run specs

    $ bundle exec rake

  • Install VirtualBox - only necessary if you want to run Cucumber features.

  • Install and provision a test VM based on the Vagrantfile (assumes VirtualBox is installed)

    $ bundle exec vagrant up

  • Run features

    $ bundle exec cucumber

Publishing documentation

This defaults to publishing to but that can be customised by setting the RECAP_DOCS_HOST environment variable.

$ rake doc publish

NOTE. The recap docs rely on a rocco.css file being available at #{RECAP_DOCS_HOST}/stylesheets/rocco.css. This was added to our site in e41bac


Recap was written by Tom Ward and the other members of Go Free Range.


Recap is released under the MIT License.