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For use with dokku

A common requirement with Dokku deployments is you need to run a command on a newly built container, before an app is deployed. Common use cases include:

  • Checking a database is initialised
  • Running database migrations
  • Any commands required to set up the server (e.g. something like a Django collectstatic)


  • Dokku version 0.3.10 or higher


Currently runs anything that isn't of proctype web, worker, urgentworker or clock

UPDATE: Similar to dokku-logging-supervisord, we now support a SCALE file, if it exists, to only run named tasks with a scale value of 0.


On the dokku server, you need to install the plugin in the standard Dokku way. Specifically:

# dokku 0.4.x
dokku plugin:install
# dokku 0.3.x
cd /var/lib/dokku/plugins
git clone
dokku plugins-install


In our application's Procfile, add a line of the form

name: cmd

Then in our application's SCALE file, add a line similar to


For example, for a Django application, a common requirement is to collect the static files. To do this automatically add the following lines


static: python collectstatic



The name field is just a name you give the task. This can be any one-word name as long as the corresponding scale file entry is set to 0. If a SCALE file does not exist, we fall back to the previous functionality of blacklisting task names of 'web', 'worker', 'urgentworker' and 'clock'.

With this configuration you should on future git pushes see the output. For example, with the Django collecstatic line above, we should see the evidence of that being run everytime we deploy.

$ git push dokku master
Counting objects: 9, done.
Delta compression using up to 8 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (5/5), done.
Writing objects: 100% (6/6), 736 bytes | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total 6 (delta 1), reused 0 (delta 0)
-----> Cleaning up ...
remote: Cloning into '/tmp/tmp.uXy7naFE5n'...
-----> Building hellodjango ...
remote: done.
remote: HEAD is now at 5f24346... Fixed gitignore
       Python app detected
-----> No runtime.txt provided; assuming python-2.7.6.
-----> Using Python runtime (python-2.7.6)
-----> Installing dependencies using Pip (1.5.4)
       Cleaning up...
-----> Collecting static files
       69 static files copied to '/app/staticfiles'.

The commands will be run in the order that they occur in the Procfile.

Task execution will be logged by default to /tmp/dokku-predeploy-tasks-logs. This behavior may be overridden by setting the DOKKU_PREDEPLOY_TASKS_LOG_DIR environment variable for your application.


Thanks to dokku-logging-supervisord for the pattern and helpers.