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Provision and deploy to an Ubuntu/God/Apache/Passenger stack using Capistrano and EC2.


  • Create an Ubuntu Hardy EC2 instance in one command (cap ec2)
  • Provision a solid Ubuntu Hardy application server in one command (cap ubuntu)
  • Deploy PHP, Rails, and Sinatra apps
  • Be descriptive about what is going on and allow the user to opt out
  • Simplify the deploy.rb file

The stack

  • Apache
  • EC2 (optional)
  • Git
  • MySQL
  • MySQLTuner
  • Perl
  • PHP
  • Postfix (relay)
  • Ruby
  • RubyGems
  • Passenger (mod_rails)
  • God
  • Rails
  • Sinatra
  • Sphinx

Getting started

Install gem

gem install winton-ubistrano

Ubify your project

cd your_project
ubify .
  • Runs capify
  • Creates config/deploy.example.rb
  • Adds config/deploy.rb to your project's .gitignore

Copy config/deploy.example.rb to config/deploy.rb

It should look like this:

set :ubistrano, {
  :application => :my_app,
  :platform    => :rails,  # :php, :rails, :sinatra
  :repository  => '',

  :ec2 => {
    :access_key => '',
    :secret_key => ''

  :mysql => {
    :root_password => '',
    :app_password  => ''
    # Ubistrano creates a mysql user for each app

  :production => {
    :domains => [ '', '' ],
    :ssl     => [ '' ],
    :host    => ''

  :staging => {
    :domains => [ '' ],
    :host    => ''

require 'ubistrano'

Ubistrano uses the same Capistrano options you've come to love, but provides defaults and a few extra options as well.

Edit deploy.rb to the best of your ability. If setting up an EC2 instance, be sure to provide your AWS keys. Your IP address will be provided later. Provide passwords even if they haven't been created yet.

Feel free to move any options into or out of the stage groups.

Create your EC2 instance

From your app directory

cap ec2

Example output

Press enter for Ubuntu Hardy or enter an AMI image id:

Set up your Ubuntu Hardy server

From your app directory

cap ubuntu

Example output

Let's set up an Ubuntu server! (Tested with 8.04 LTS Hardy)

With each task, Ubistrano will describe what it is doing, and wait for a yes/no.

Please ssh into your server (use -i only for EC2):
  ssh root@ -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa-studicious

Edit your sudoers file:

Add the following line:

Continue? (y/n)

Deploy your app

All apps should have a public directory.

First deploy

cap deploy:first

Subsequent deploys

cap deploy

Deploy to staging

Use any capistrano task, but replace cap with cap staging.


cap staging deploy:first