Yesod deployment manager
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Deployment system for Yesod (and other Haskell) web apps.


Instructions are for an Ubuntu system. Eventually, I hope to provide a PPA for this (please contact me if you would like to assist with this). For now, the following steps should be sufficient:

First, install Nginx and PostgreSQL

sudo apt-get install nginx postgresql

Second, build the keter binary and place it at /usr/bin. At the time of writing, a copy of this executable compiled for Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit is available at: Note that this file may not be available in the future.

Third, set up an Upstart job to start keter when your system boots.

# /etc/init/keter.conf
start on (net-device-up and local-filesystems and runlevel [2345])
stop on runlevel [016]

console none

exec /usr/bin/keter /opt/keter

Finally, start the job for the first time:

sudo start keter


An application needs to be set up as a keter bundle. This is a GZIPed tarball with a .keter filename extension and which has one special file: config/keter.yaml. A sample file is:

exec: ../dist/build/yesodweb/yesodweb
    - production
host: uses the following Bash script to create its keter bundle. Going forward, this will probably be a command available from the yesod executable and part of all scaffolded sites:

#!/bin/bash -ex

cabal build
strip dist/build/yesodweb/yesodweb
rm -rf static/tmp
tar czfv yesodweb.keter dist/build/yesodweb/yesodweb config static


In order to deploy, you simply copy the keter bundle to /opt/keter/incoming. To update an app, copy in the new version. The old process will only be terminated after the new process has started answering requests. To stop an application, delete the file from incoming.

Technical Details


  • Logger: provides a file descriptor to redirect output to. Takes the name of the app.

  • Process: Give it all the information (executable, working directory, environment, args) for a process, and it will start the process and monitor it. If the process dies, it will restart. Binds the output to the logger. Allows you to terminate the process.

  • Postgres: Ask it for database information for an app. If no information is available, it will create a database/user.

  • Nginx: Send it commands to add/modify/remove a virtual host. It will write the config file and reload nginx. Also handles management of the pool of open ports to be assigned.

  • TempFolder: Wipes out a folder on startup, then assigns random, unique folders inside it on request.

  • App: Started with a path to an app bundle. Unpacks into a random folder inside the temp folder, gets a random port, starts a Process, updates Nginx, and waits for commands. Accepts two commands: reload and terminate.

    • Terminate kills the existing process, removes from Nginx, and deletes the folder.

    • Reload gets a new random port, unpacks to a new folder in the temp folder, starts a Process, waits till the process is "ready" (checks with an HTTP request)- canceling after a certain timeout.

      • If process is not ready within timeout, terminate the new process and delete the new folder.

      • If a process is ready, tell Nginx to use the new port, wait some amount of time (20 seconds?), send a TERM to the old process, wait some more (1 minute?) and delete the old folder.

  • Keter: Delete temp folder, start the Nginx, logger, and port assigner. Start a new App for each app in the incoming folder. Monitor for file changes in the incoming folder, and appropriately start a new app, reload an existing app, or delete an existing app. Also provide a web interface based on logger.