Relevance recipes for Capistrano
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A collection of commonly-used (default) Capistrano recipes for Rails projects at Relevance.


Add these lines to the Gemfile in your Rails application:

group :deployment do
  gem 'capistrano', :git => 'git://', :ref => 'b31e2f5'
  gem 'capistrano-relevance'

And then execute:


Note: You will notice that we rely on a specific revision of Capistrano in the Gemfile above. (Weird, right?) At the time of this writing, Capistrano 2.13.4 is the latest released version; however, 2.13.4 hardcoded the SCM to :subversion, which caused a problem for capistrano-relevance. Pull request 223 addresses this issue. b31e2f5 is the last commit from that pull request, so capistrano-relevance needs to depend on that commit until a new version of Capistrano is released (e.g., or 2.13.5).


After installing capistrano-relevance as described above, you are ready to set up your Capistrano deployment. First, you need to capify your app:

bundle exec capify .

From here, there are two ways that you can use capistrano-relevance:

  1. Use the default set of recipes, or
  2. Use a customized set of recipes.

We'll first walk through the process for using the default set of recipes. From there, it's easy for you pick and choose a different set of recipes.

Using the default set of recipes

Configuring deploy.rb

To use the capistrano-relevance recipes, you will edit your config/deploy.rb file to require the capistrano-relevance recipes. You will also define a few additional required settings.

Here is an example file that is ready for use with capistrano-relevance:

require 'bundler/capistrano'
require 'capistrano/relevance/all'

set :application, "your_app_name"
set :repository,  "git://"

role :web, ""
role :app, ""
role :db,  "", :primary => true

Noteworthy Assumptions

By default, capistrano-relevance expects to deploy as the following user in the following location:

set :user, 'deploy'
set(:deploy_to) { "/var/www/apps/#{application}" }

If your server uses a different user, or deploys in a different location, you can override these settings. For example:

require 'bundler/capistrano'
require 'capistrano/relevance/all'

set :user, 'apptastic'
set(:deploy_to) { "/home/apptastic/apps/#{application}" }

# other settings here ...


Now you're ready to start deploying your app to your server. You need to create the directory structure that Capistrano expects and place your database configuration on the server. Best practices (TM) discourage you from checking in any database credentials into your Git repo. Instead, you can create a database.yml file on your target server.

bundle exec cap deploy:setup


# Create the the directory where you will store your shared configuration.
# If you are using a custom :deploy_to value, you should customize this command accordingly.
mkdir /var/www/apps/[YOUR-APP-NAME]/shared/config

# Add production settings for your database
vim /var/www/apps/[YOUR-APP-NAME]/shared/config/database.yml

# We're done messing around on the server; let's get outta here

Now it's time to deploy your Rails app to the server. Since this is the first time you've deployed this app to the server, you'll need to run a special Capistrano command that does slightly more work than a bare deploy.

bundle exec cap deploy:cold

Congratulations! You should be able to visit using your favorite browser and see the application up and running.

For subsequent deploys, you can simply run:

bundle exec cap deploy

Use a customized set of recipes

When you require capistrano/relevance/all in your deploy.rb file, it includes the default set of recipes. If you need something other than the default set of recipes, you can include a customized set of recipes for your app. To do so, edit your deploy.rb file, and replace this line ...

require 'capistrano/relevance/all'

... with the specific set of recipes you want to use in your app.

For example, imagine that you're using Unicorn instead of Passenger. You might want to include all recipes except the Passenger recipe.

require 'capistrano/relevance/common'
require 'capistrano/relevance/migrate_after_update_code'
require 'capistrano/relevance/symlink_configs'


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request