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Deployotron is a Drush command to simplify deploying new code to a Drupal site.

There's already a lot of ways to deploy ones Drupal site, from FTPing up the files to having Capistrano deploy the site when the build passes in Jenkins. Deployotron aims to be simple to use, but also usable as a part of a bigger setup.

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In order to keep things simple, we're working with a few assumptions:

That the code is in GIT, and that the root of the site is checked in.

That you can run Drush commands and GIT on the live webserver and the root of the site on the webserver is a git checkout, and

That you've set up Drush aliases to reach the live webserver.

For everyone's sanity, we suggest having a Drush alias file in sites/all/drush/<short-site-alias>.aliases.drushrc.php that defines relevant environments (production, dev, etc.), so that everybody is using the same settings.

And we suggest that deployotron is installed by copying it into the sites/all/drush folder and committed to the site repository. This ensures that everyone is running the exact same version of deployotron when deploying.


Clone Deployotron into sites/all/drush.

Create a <sitename>.aliases.drushrc.php file in the same directory, with the definition of the different environments.

Deployotron is configured for each alias by adding an array of options in the 'deployotron' key of the alias array (see the example later, if that didn't make any sense). All the double-dash options the deploy command takes can be specified this way, and it's recommended to at least define the 'branch' option to select a default branch to deploy.

Initialize the environments by doing an initial git clone of the codebase in the destination directories.



To run the deployment, use a command like:

/var/www/site$ drush deploy @alias

To get a listing of all supported command line options, do a drush help deploy.

Example configuration:

$aliases['staging'] = array(
  'remote-host' => '',
  'remote-user' => 'deploy_user',
  'uri' => 'default',
  'root' => '/path',
  'deployotron' => array(
    'branch' => 'develop',
    'dump-dir' => '/backups', // Defaults to /tmp.
    'num-dumps' => 3, // Defaults to 5. 0 for unlimited.
    'post-deploy' => array(
      'sudo apache2 graceful',
      'drush -y fra',

As demonstrated, you can add external commands to be run before (pre-) or after (post-) the individual actions. All the possible options is listed in drush help deploy and drush deployotron-actions.

In addition to command line options you can add messages to be displayed to the deploying user by using the following keys:

  • message: Shown at confirmation and after deployment.
  • confirm_message: Shown at confirmation.
  • done_message: Shown after deployment.
  • confirm_message_<command>: Shown at confirmation for the <command>.
  • done_message_<command>: Shown after deployment for the <command>.

These can be useful to remind the user of extra manual steps, or other things they should be aware.


In case everything goes to hell after a deployment, you can do another deployment using a known good revision, or use:

/var/www/site$ drush omg @alias

This will try to find recent database dumps, ask which to use and attempt to import the database and revert the codebase to the previous revision. It will not attempt to clear caches or restarting any services.


Running drush deployotron-actions will give a full list of which commands uses which actions, and the options of all actions.

Sudo setup

To run sudo commands in pre/post hooks, you need to configure sudo to allow the command without a password.


sudo visudo -f /etc/sudoers.d/deployotron

And add something like following to the file (replacing deploy_user with the remote-user of the alias used for deployment):

deploy_user          ALL=(root) NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/service apache2 graceful,/usr/sbin/service varnish restart

This allows deployotron to run "sudo service apache2 graceful" and "sudo service varnish restart".