Deploy CakePHP applications using Capistrano
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capcake Project status

Looking to deploy a CakePHP application you've built? Capcake extends Capistrano, removing the rails-ism, replacing them by more cake-ish ones.


If you don't have Capistrano and/or Capcake already installed (basically, just the 1st time):

# gem install capistrano
# gem install capcake -s

For every application you'll want to deploy:

# cd /path/to/app && capify .

This will create the following files in your project (don't forget to commit them!):


Prepend your config/deploy.rb with the following lines:

require 'rubygems'
require 'capcake'

And make sure you start capcake on the last line of that same file:


You should then be able to proceed as you usually would. To familiarize yourself with the now modified list of tasks, you can get a full list with:

$ cap -T


Before continuing, some changes to config/deploy.rb are necessary. First, your project's name:

set :application, "your_app_name"

Next, setting up the Git repository (make sure it's accessible by both your local machine and server your are deploying to):

set :repository, ""

Now, to deploy from Git, and by following GitHub's suggestion (they must know what they are talking about), add a user (defaults to deployer by capcake's recipe) to your server(s) just for deployments. In this example, I will be using SSH keys instead of getting a Git password prompt. Local user's SSH key must be added to deployer's ~/.ssh/authorized_keys for this to work as described.

ssh_options[:forward_agent] = true

We need to tell it where to deploy, using what methods:

server "www.domain.tld", :app, :db, :primary => true

And finally, some CakePHP related settings (if omitted, Capcake will NOT handle deploying CakePHP):

set :cake_branch, " "

You can change the default values for the following variables also:

set :cake_branch, "1.2"
set :cake_path, "/path/to"
set :user, "your_username"
set :branch, "tag"

Append the following lines to your .git/info/exclude file:


Alternative Easy Configuration

Simply replace your deploy.rb configuration file with the one provided in the template directory, and change all variables on the lines that have comments with your values.

This configuration file is meant to work with Multiple Stages Without Multistage Extension so every cap command will have to contain the stage you want to deploy to. For instance:

$ cap staging deploy:setup
$ cap staging deploy


The first time you are deploying, you need to run:

# cap deploy:setup

That should create on your server the following directory structure:


Finally, deploy:

# cap deploy

Which will change the directory structure to become:

[deploy_to]/current -> [deploy_to]/releases/20091013001122
[deploy_to]/releases/20091013001122/system -> [deploy_to]/shared/system
[deploy_to]/releases/20091013001122/tmp -> [deploy_to]/shared/tmp


Patches & Features

  • Fork
  • Mod, fix
  • Test - this is important, so it's not unintentionally broken
  • Commit - do not mess with license, todo, version, etc. (if you do change any, make them into commits of their own that I can ignore when I pull)
  • Pull request - bonus point for topic branches

Bugs & Feedback