Automated server setup for Plotline apps
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Automated server setup for Plotline apps.


It sets up:

  • system user accounts: admin (sudoer), deploy (regular)
  • automatic security updates (unattended upgrades)
  • iptables-based firewall & fail2ban
  • nginx
  • ruby 2.3.0 (using rbenv)
  • rails app directories, nginx vhost and database config
  • postgres 9.4
  • thumbor as an image thumbnailing service
  • runit for process supervision
  • Amazon S3 backups (for the database and uploaded files)
  • dropbox (headless)
  • logrotate
  • swap (1GB by default)


Site configuration

cp group_vars/all/custom-example group_vars/all/custom

Now edit the group_vars/all/custom file and change the values to match your needs.

Passwords and Sensitive Information

Passwords and other sensitive information should be stored in an encrypted vault file:

ansible-vault create group_vars/all/vault
ansible-vault edit group_vars/all/vault

You should now be able to edit the vault file. Paste the example below to get started:

vault_common_public_key: "{{ lookup('file', '/Users/MY_USER/.ssh/') }}"

vault_admin_password: ADMIN_PASS
vault_deploy_password: DEPLOY_PASS

vault_postgres_password: DATABASE_PASSWORD

vault_app_secret_key_base: RANDOM_SECRET # what will be put in config/secrets.yml

vault_thumbor_security_key: 'RANDOMSTRING'

vault_aws_access_key: 'AWS_ACCESS_KEY'
vault_aws_secret_key: 'AWS_SECRET'

To generate system users' passwords, run:

python -c "from passlib.hash import sha512_crypt; import getpass; print sha512_crypt.encrypt('YOURPASS')"

Paste the output to the vault file, replacing the value of vault_admin_password and vault_deploy_password (each user should have a different password!).


Run the following command to install the logrotate dependency:

ansible-galaxy install nickhammond.logrotate

Run Playbook

Put the IP of your server in the hosts file and run:

ansible-playbook playbook.yml -i hosts -u root --ask-vault-pass

This will take a while. Once it's complete, root access will be disabled, so if you need to run the playbook again, use the admin user instead:

ansible-playbook playbook.yml -i hosts -u admin --ask-vault-pass -K

Dropbox Setup

Unfortunately, in order to link the server to your Dropbox account, there's a manual step involved:

ansible -i hosts --ask-vault-pass -m shell -a 'tail /home/deploy/dropbox-log/current' -u deploy app

You should see something like:

2016-06-18_12:09:02.37040 This computer isn't linked to any Dropbox account...
2016-06-18_12:09:02.48219 Please visit to link this device.

Copy the URL, paste it to your browser and your Dropbox account should be linked. To verify this, run the same command again and you should see:

2016-06-18_12:10:33.93356 This computer is now linked to Dropbox. Welcome


This playbook is heavily based on Ansible Infractructure by @fideloper.