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Capistrano and Rake tasks for cloning production database and assets to development.
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The Porter Ruby gem is comprised of Capistrano and Rake tasks that make cloning remote server data down to your local Rails application environment a cinch.


  • Capistrano and a proper Capistrano Multistage configuration
  • Rake
  • A Rails app
  • rsync (locally and remotely, if you want to sync assets)

If you're running Rails 2.3

Add require "porter" to your Rakefile.

Capistrano Multistage (capistrano-ext)

As of v1.1.0, Porter expects that your Capistrano setup utilizes the Capistrano Multistage Extension (capistrano-ext). This is a really great way to manage the various "stages" you deploy to and Porter is opinionated in that it requires you to organize your stage-specific settings into the Capistrano Multistage pattern.

More on the Capistrano Multistage Extension:


  • Add gem "porter", "~> 1.2.4" to your Gemfile
  • Run: bundle install
  • Run: rails g porter
  • Add require "porter/capistrano" to your config/deploy.rb
  • Review the generated config/porter_config.yml (just so you're familiar, it's pretty straight-forward)


Purge your local database and reload data from a remote server's MySQL dump

$  bundle exec cap production porter:db

This will do the following:

  • A mysqldump command will be remotely issued (via Capistrano) to the remote server, saving the result as a compressed (gz) file
  • The database backup file from the server will be retrieved (via scp) and decompressed
  • The database for the environment you are running the task in will be dropped, recreated, the schema will be reloaded from the stage's schema.rb and the mysqldump will be restored

Note: Since the schema is reloaded once the database is recreated, but before the backup is restored, you should end up with tables that match the remote stage minus the data form the ignored tables.

Optionally omit specific tables from the MySQL dump

Using the ignore_tables attribute in the porter_config.yml file, you can specify any number of tables to ignore in the mysqldump that is executed on the remote server. This setting is available for each stage (server) you define in the config file. Table names should be separated by spaces.

You can override the ignore_tables setting as needed when executing the porter:db task with an environment variable:

$  bundle exec cap production porter:db IGNORE_TABLES="delayed_jobs versions"

Synchronize a remote server's filesystem-stored assets to your local filesystem

$  bundle exec cap production porter:assets

This will do the following:

  • Assets stored in directories you define will be rysnc'd down to your local application directory


  • Freely distributable and licensed under the MIT license.
  • Copyright (c) 2010-2012 Kenny Johnston endorse
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