Capistrano Deployment Email Notification
Ruby Shell
Clone or download
Pull request Compare This branch is 59 commits behind pboling:master.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


Capistrano Mailer

* For Capistrano Deployment Email Notification 
* It is a Capistrano Plugin / Ruby Gem that requires ActionMailer
* It is MIT-LICENSE (License file is in source only for now because github won't build the gem if it is bundled with the gem... ?)

Ever wanted to be emailed whenever someone on the team does a cap deploy of trunk or some tag to some server. Wouldn't it be nice to know about it every time a release was deployed? For large rails projects this type of coordination is essential, and this plugin makes sure everyone on the need to know list is notified when something new is deployed.

This plugin/gem is an extension to Capistrano.

That means it registers itself with Capistrano as a plugin and is therefore available to call in your recipes.

If you are looking to roll your own email integration into capistrano then try this pastie: (thanks to Mislav Marohnić). But if you want to take the easy road to riches then keep reading ;)

-- figurative "riches" of course, I promise nothing in return for your using this plugin

Important Note: The first time you deploy to a server (a 'cold' deploy) capistrano mailer will cause an error because it uses capistrano's previous release variables, and when there are no previous releases capistrano throws an error. In the next version this will be fixed, just don't have time at the moment. If you would like to work on this 'first deploy' problem please fork my repo and work on it!

Home Page

Credit where Credit is Due

* Thanks to Dustin Deyoung of Sagebit, LLC ( for the beautiful HTML email templates.


* at least Rails 1.2.6 (might work with older versions, but has not been tested)

* at least Capistrano 2.4.3 (might work with capistrano as old as 2.1.0, but has not been tested)

* Known to be compatible with SCMs as of version 3.1.2: Perforce, SVN, and Git

* Known to be compatible with, but does not require, the deprec gem.


Gem Using Git building from source:

mkdir -p ~/src
cd ~/src
git clone git://
cd capistrano_mailer
gem build capistrano_mailer.gemspec
sudo gem install capistrano_mailer-3.1.6.gem # (Or whatever version gets built)

Gemcutter is the hot new gem host, and you can use it like this:

[sudo] gem install gemcutter
[sudo] gem tumble # makes gemcutter gem source first in line, if you haven't already
[sudo] gem install capistrano_mailer

Then cd to your rails app to optionally freeze the gem into your app:

rake gems:freeze GEM=capistrano_mailer
# You do NOT need to add a config.gem line to environment.rb for capistrano mailer,
# But in order to use the gems:freeze task you DO need to add it as a config.gem, at least temporarily.

Plugin using Git:

# Installation as plugin works... but the setup is slightly different. (See Usage below)
./script/plugin install git://

Using SVN (deprecated, repository is no longer updated):

./script/plugin install


From version 3.1.x to version 3.2.x

  1. Update the way CapistranoMailer is configured using the new method: CapMailer.configure (see Usage below).

  2. require the cap mailer config file (see Usage below)

From version 2.1.0 to version 3.1.x:

  1. Update the way CapistranoMailer is configured using the new method: CapMailer.configure_capistrano_mailer (changed in later versions to just 'configure') (see Usage below).

  2. Update the require statement at the top of deploy.rb, see below (note for plugin change from capistrano_mailer to capistrano/mailer).

  3. Change the mailer.send to mailer.send_notification_email in your cap recipe.


1. Install as gem or plugin.  You need to have already setup capistrano in the project, including the 'capify .' command.

2. Add this line to the top of your config/deploy.rb:

  # For plugin:
  #   You must make capistrano_mailer's libraries available in Ruby's load path.  This is one way to do that:
  #   Add to the top of your config/deploy.rb file:
  $:.unshift 'vendor/plugins/capistrano_mailer/lib'

  # For frozen gem:
  #   You must make capistrano_mailer's libraries available in Ruby's load path.  This is one way to do that:
  #   Add to the top of your config/deploy.rb file:
  $:.unshift 'vendor/gems/capistrano_mailer-x.x.x/lib'

  # then for gem or plugin:
  # Capistrano Plugins go here
  require 'capistrano/mailer'
  #configure capistrano_mailer:
  # The configuration file can go anywhere, but in past versions of the gem it was required to be in the config/ dir.
  require 'config/cap_mailer_settings'

3. Configure Caistrano Mailer in the settings file required in step 2:

  # If installed as a plugin might need the require here as well

  ActionMailer::Base.delivery_method = :smtp # or :sendmail, or whatever
  ActionMailer::Base.smtp_settings = { # if using :smtp
      :address        => "", 
      :port           => 25, 
      :domain         => '', 
      :perform_deliveries => true,
      :user_name      => "", 
      :password       => "mypassword", 
      :authentication => :login }
  ActionMailer::Base.default_charset = "utf-8"# or "latin1" or whatever you are using

  CapMailer.configure do |config|
    config[:recipient_addresses]  = [""]
    # NOTE: THERE IS A BUG IN RAILS 2.3.3 which forces us to NOT use anything but a simple email address string for the sender address.
    # Therefore %("Capistrano Deployment" <>) style addresses may not work in Rails 2.3.3
    config[:sender_address]       = ""
    config[:subject_prepend]      = "[EMPTY-CAP-DEPLOY]"
    config[:site_name]            = "Empty App"

4. Add these two tasks to your deploy.rb:

  namespace :show do
    desc "Show some internal Cap-Fu: What's mah NAYM?!?"
    task :me do
      set :task_name, task_call_frames.first.task.fully_qualified_name
      #puts "Running #{task_name} task"

  namespace :deploy do

    desc "Send email notification of deployment (only send variables you want to be in the email)"
    task :notify, :roles => :app do  # this sets the task_name variable


Make _sure_ you've defined `rails_env`, `repository`, `deploy_to`, `host`, and `application`.
task_name is defined by the show:me task above, and the others are defined behind the scenes by Capistrano!

The only parameter to mailer.send_notification_email that is *required* is the first. _Minimally_ you need to define the capistrano variables:
   :task_name (provided by the show:me task included in this readme)

But there are tons of others - just take a look at lib/mailer/cap_mailer.rb.

If anyone has a cool way of recording the *output* into a capistrano accessible variable, 
so that it can be shoved into the release email that would be an excellent contribution!

5. Then add the hook somewhere in your deploy.rb:

  after "deploy", "deploy:notify"

6. Enjoy and Happy Capping!

7. Customization

If you want to use your own views you'll need to recreate the notification_email view:
First you need to define where your templates are:

  CapMailer.configure_capistrano_mailer do |config|
    config[:template_root]      = "app/views/capistrano_mailer/"

Then you'll need to create templates there called:
and / or

Take a look at the templates that comes with the plugin to see how it is done (views/cap_mailer/...)


Peter Boling (pboling) - Wrote original Dave Nolan (textgoeshere) - lots of refactoring merged into 3.2 release


Dustin Deyoung - HTML Email Templates mixonix - SCMs compatibility greut - SCMs compatibility

This plugin is a collaboration between Sagebit, LLC ( and Peter Boling (
Written initially while Peter Boling was working at Sagebit for use in various projects.

Author: Peter Boling, peter.boling at gmail dot com

Copyright (c) 2009 Peter Boling of 9thBit LLC, released under the MIT license
Copyright (c) 2007-8 Sagebit LLC, released under the MIT license