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Chicken Soup... for the Deployer's Soul

Even more opinionated than Capistrano itself, Chicken Soup adds a lot of useful tasks specifically for those who want to DRY up deploying their Rails applications.


Whether deploying to Heroku or your own servers, Chicken Soup gives you one command interface to do it all.


Chicken Soup makes it easy to only use the functionality you need. Out of the box it comes with:

  • Heroku
  • Unix Server
  • Apache
  • Nginx
  • RVM
  • Bundler
  • Isolate (coming soon)
  • Git
  • Github
  • Subversion (partial)
  • Passenger
  • Postgres
  • MySQL


Executing items to notify upon a successful deployment is a breeze. Chicken Soup comes loaded with:

  • Email
  • Git Tagging


gem install chicken_soup


gem chicken_soup, :require => false

in your Gemfile.

Run the included generator to create Rake tasks that Chicken Soup will need to do awesome stuff on the server.

rails generate chicken_soup:add_ingredients

This will also modify your Capfile (or create it if you don't have one) and install a file in lib/recipes/ which will load Chicken Soup when you invoke Capistrano.

Finally, you'll get a deploy.rb template that will get you started with your Chicken Soup experience.

Getting Started

Chicken Soup is all about sensible defaults. Any of which can be overridden in your deploy.rb file.

Let's take a common example. You're deploying to your Unix server and you have your code repository stored on Github. You use Bundler to handle all of your gem needs and RVM is installed to manage your Ruby versions. Instead of remembering all kinds of random configurations such as default_run_options[:pty] = true or where you need to include the Capistrano helpers for Bundler, you can put this in your deploy.rb file:

set :application,     'myapplication'
set :capabilities,    [:unix, :github, :bundler, :rvm]

set :deployment_type, :unix

And you can deploy with:

cap <staging|production> deploy

Want to add automatic Nginx integration? Just add :nginx to your capabilities list and your deployment will do the right thing.

Wnat to migrate your application's DB automatically during deployment? Add :mysql or :postgres to your capabilities list.

How Does This Work?

Well, that's what we mean by 'sensible defaults'. Using the above configuration, Chicken Soup will infer certain things. For example, it will look in your gitconfig file for either a github username or a git username. If either of these are found, it will assume your source code can be retrieved from:


To figure out the server, it will assume you want to connect to:

for staging. And:

for production.

Built-in Multistage Support

Yes it's required. It's what makes Chicken Soup 'opinionated'. In your deploy.rb file, you'll want (if you want different settings in staging vs production) to create 2 tasks:

  • :staging
  • :production

Each of these tasks will contain 'siloed' variables that will only be set when deploying to that environment.

Note: Yes, we know about the Capistrano multi-stage extension but found it not extensible enough or useful enough for us to reuse here. We attempted to keep to the same API in order to make it easy for people to transition.

What Isn't Chicken Soup?

Chicken Soup is not a server management tool. It is used for easing deployment woes. In other words, use it to start, stop and restart Nginx. Not to install Nginx.

Making Your Own Chicken Soup

We attempted to develop Chicken Soup to be as easy as possible to add new notifiers and capabilities to your deployments. Redis, MongoDB, Isolate, Mercurial, they're all fair game. So get Pull Requestin'!!


If you have problems, please create a Github issue.



chicken_soup is maintained by The Kompanee, Ltd.

The names and logos for The Kompanee are trademarks of The Kompanee, Ltd.


chicken_soup is Copyright © 2011 The Kompanee. It is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the LICENSE file.

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