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Deprecation notice:

NOTE: meteor-now is no longer actively maintained. Since ZEIT Now no longer focuses on serverful frameworks, it has been deprecated in favor of meteor-hero which allows free meteor deploys using Heroku.

Meteor Now CircleCI npm version downloads

meteor-now is a tool to let you instantly deploy your Meteor apps with one command using ZEIT's ▲now service. Just run meteor-now and instantly deploy your Meteor app like you could back in the good 'ol days of meteor deploy.



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


Deploying for Development / Testing

In your Meteor app directory, run meteor-now.

~/my-meteor-app/ $ meteor-now
✔ [METEOR-NOW] - building meteor app
✔ [METEOR-NOW] - preparing build
✔ [METEOR-NOW] - deploying build
✔ [METEOR-NOW] - meteor app deployed to

Deploying for Production

There are a few things you'll want to know before using meteor-now in production. And your deploy command will probably look more like the following:

meteor-now -e MONGO_URL=mongodb://<username>:<pass>@.... -e ROOT_URL= -e NODE_ENV=production

If your app uses MongoDB at all you will want to specify a -e MONGO_URL= for persistent storage of data. Mlab has a great free sandbox tier, but also not recommended for production (you will probably want to pay at some point).

You should also have a paid account with ▲now so that you can specify a custom domain name, and have more than 1GB of bandwidth/mo.

You will also likely want to specify a -e ROOT_URL=

Finally you should have a production.settings.json in your project directory if you are using METEOR_SETTINGS (i.e. passing in --settings) and use -e NODE_ENV=production to tell meteor-now to use that.


METEOR-NOW meteor-now use ZEITs ▲now service to deploy the Meteor app in a container. Please refer to their documentation and support for hosting related details.

Additional Info

Full deploy with MongoDB

meteor-now lets you to deploy your Meteor app with a MongoDB included similar to how meteor deploy used to work. This method is not intended for production deployments. In order to achieve this, we bundle your Meteor app and MongoDB into a a single Dockerfile and we instruct your app to connect to the local MongoDB instance. The Dockerfile gets built in the cloud by now and once it's ready, the Meteor app will spin up and connect to the MongoDB instance running locally in that docker container.

Some things to keep in mind here is that since MongoDB is installed on the docker container itself, your app data is not persistent and has the chance of getting deleted if a new container is created. Because now automatically scales your deployment with load, new docker containers are bound to be created and your is likely going to get lost.

To not have this issue, spin up your own MongoDB instance and pass the -e MONGO_URL=... flag when you deploy.


Currently there are two ways you can set the METEOR_SETTINGS environment variable in your deployments

  • Using now secrets
$ now secrets add meteor-settings '{ "public": { "foo": "bar" }}'
$ meteor-now -e METEOR_SETTINGS=@meteor-settings -e MONGO_URL=...
  • Using development.settings.json and production.settings.json Following the convention of the NODE_ENV environment variable, meteor-now uses NODE_ENV to determine which file to look for. It will either look for development.settings.json or production.settings.json in your root Meteor directory.

Note that meteor-now by default looks for development.settings.json unless otherwise specified by -e NODE_ENV=production or -e METEOR_SETTINGS='{ "foo": "bar" }'.


In order to see detailed deployment logs as they happen, pass the -d when you deploy.

Bundle Splitting

The now free tier has a limitation of 1mb per file. As a workaround, we split the final bundle into pieces prior to uploading. If you are on a paid plan, you can turn this off by passing the --nosplit flag like so meteor-now --nosplit.


You can include a regular now.json file in your project directory. meteor-now will make sure to include it along with your app when it deploys. Specifying now settings in the package.json file is not currently supported.


Can I use this in production?

Yes– if you are paying for ▲now and using an external database! ▲now supports dynamic autoscaling of apps (with sticky-sessions), you should read all the caveats related to now if you are not paying for a monthly plan– You only get 1GB of bandwidth per month, and also your source files are made (somewhat) public at your url /_src Also read the caveats below if you did not specify a MONGO_URL

What happens when I don't specify a MONGO_URL

When you don't specify a MONGO_URL we bundle a local version of MonogoDB with your application. What this basically means is that if your application ever gets shut down, or scales up to multiple instances you will lose all data that was inserted into your DB.

How can I change my ROOT_URL

In order to set the ROOT_URL for your application, pass the -e flag along with the value for what you want the ROOT_URL to be. Example: meteor-now -e

How do I set a domain name

In order to use a custom domain name, you would need a Pro account with now.

Run now domain add --external You should get a response back with steps to verify your domain.

Verification required: Please add the following TXT record on the external DNS server: ea39a62a58b3109f92024230826e37f0adc6abcd

In your domain DNS settings, add a TXT record with the above information.

Wait a few moments for the DNS records to propagate and rerun the same command above.

$ now domains add --external
Success! Domain verified [2s]

Now alias your deployment to the new domain

$ now alias is a custom domain.
Verifying the DNS settings for (see for help)
Verification OK!
Provisioning certificate for
Success! Alias created: now points to [copied to clipboard]

You can also pass the --alias option to meteor-now and it will automatically run the alias after the deployment completes.

Read this blog post for more information.

Why are my XX resource not loading

Because now enforces SSL, you may experience some issues with 3rd party resources (such as google fonts) not being fetched by your clients due to mixed content warnings. To resolve, just make sure all your assets are being fetched with https:// protocol urls whenever available. If that's not possible, you may need to just download those assets and serve them locally through meteor's public/ directory.

I deployed my free app but it's failing to connect to MongoDB

If you're deploying with an included MongoDB, we've observed that sometimes MongoDB takes a while to start. In this case, Meteor complains that it can't connect to MongoDB. Give it a few more minutes and your app should start. Make sure to refresh the page.

I want to use a different docker image

The default docker images are nodesource/jessie:0.10.43 for Meteor < 1.4, node:8.9.4 for < 1.7 and node:8.11.2 for >= 1.7. If you want to use a different image, use the --docker-image flag.

My app requires XX can I use my own Dockerfile?

We're currently support passing a --deps 'depName1,depName2' flag so that applications that rely on things like imagemagick are able to work. We are also looking into the ability to specify your own Dockerfile in the case that you require even more customization.

Stay tuned to updates on the issue


Justin Avatar Mirza Avatar
Justin Krup Mirza Joldic
@jkrup @purplecones