Deploy an application and bundled gems via rsync
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Capistrano::BundleRsync for Capistrano v3

Deploy an application and bundled gems via rsync

What is this for?

Capistrano::BundleRsync builds (bundle) gems only once on a deploy machine and transfers gems to your production machines via rsync, which saves you from building gems on each your production machine.

Also saves you from having to install Git and Build Tools on your production machine.

How it works

Capistrano::BundleRsync works as followings:

  1. Do git clone --mirror URL .local_repo/mirror on a deploy (local) machine.
  2. Extract a branch by git archive {branch} to .local_repo/releases/{datetime}
  3. Do bundle --without development test --path .local_repo/bundle on a deploy (local) machine.
  4. Deploy the release directory to remote machines by rsync.
  5. Deploy the bundle directory to remote machines by rsync.


The deploy machine and remote machines must be on same architectures (i386, x86_64) because C exntension gems are built on the deploy machine and transfered by rsync.

Requiremens on remote machines:

  1. rbenv (rvm should work, but not verified)
  2. ruby

Requirements on a deploy machine:

  1. rbenv (rvm should work, but not verified)
  2. git
  3. Build Tools required to build C exntension gems (like gcc).
  4. A ruby to execute capistrano (you may use the ruby of 5.)
  5. The same ruby used at your remote machines
  6. A ssh key to login to your remote machines via ssh (Passowrd authentication is not supported)

Notice that it is not required to have Git and Build Tools on each remote machine.


Set Capistrano variables with set name, value.

Name Default Description
repo_url . The path or URL to a Git repository to clone from.
repo_tree nil Specify the subtree path of the repository to deploy.
branch master The Git branch to checkout.
ssh_options {} Configuration of ssh :user and :keys.
keep_releases 5 The number of releases to keep.
scm nil Must be bundle_rsync to use capistrano-bundle_rsync.
bundle_rsync_scm git SCM Strategy inside bundle_rsync. git uses git. local_git also uses git, but it enables to rsync the git repository located on local path directly without git clone. repo_url must be the local directory path to use local_git.
bundle_rsync_local_base_path $(pwd)/.local_repo The base directory to clone repository
bundle_rsync_local_mirror_path #{base_path}/mirror" Path where to mirror your repository
bundle_rsync_local_releases_path "#{base_path}/releases" The releases base directory to checkout your repository
bundle_rsync_local_release_path "#{releases_path}/#{datetime}" The full path directory to checkout your repository. If you specify this, keep_releases for local releases path is disabled because datetime directories are no longer created. This parameter is set as repo_url in the case of local_git as default.
bundle_rsync_local_bundle_path "#{base_path}/bundle" Path where to bundle install gems.
bundle_rsync_ssh_options ssh_options Configuration of ssh for rsync. Default uses the value of ssh_options
bundle_rsync_keep_releases keep_releases The number of releases to keep on .local_repo
bundle_rsync_max_parallels number of hosts Number of concurrency. The default is the number of hosts to deploy.
bundle_rsync_rsync_bwlimit nil Configuration of rsync --bwlimit (KBPS) option. Not Avabile if bundle_rsync_rsync_options is specified.
bundle_rsync_rsync_options -az --delete Configuration of rsync options.
bundle_rsync_config_files nil Additional files to rsync. Specified files are copied into config directory.
bundle_rsync_shared_dirs nil Additional directories to rsync. Specified directories are copied into shared directory.
bundle_rsync_skip_bundle false (Secret option) Do not bundle and rsync bundle.
bundle_rsync_bundle_install_standalone nil bundle install with --standalone option. Set one of true, false, an Array of groups, or a white space separated String.
bundle_rsync_bundle_without [:development, :test] Configuration of bundle install with --without option.

Task Orders

$ cap stage deploy --trace | grep Execute
** Execute bundle_rsync:check
** Execute bundle_rsync:clone
** Execute bundle_rsync:update
** Execute bundle_rsync:create_release
** Execute bundle_rsync:bundler:install
** Execute bundle_rsync:rsync_release
** Execute bundle_rsync:rsync_shared
** Execute bundle_rsync:bundler:rsync
** Execute bundle_rsync:clean_release
** Execute bundle_rsync:set_current_revision


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'capistrano-bundle_rsync'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install capistrano-bundle_rsync


Add followings to your Gemfile (capistrano-rvm should work, but not verified):

gem 'capistrano'
gem 'capistrano-rbenv'
gem 'capistrano-bundle_rsync'

Run bundle exec cap install.

$ bundle
$ bundle exec cap install

This creates the following files:

├── Capfile
├── config
│   ├── deploy
│   │   ├── production.rb
│   │   └── staging.rb
│   └── deploy.rb
└── lib
    └── capistrano
            └── tasks

To create different stages:

$ bundle exec cap install STAGES=localhost,sandbox,qa,production

Edit Capfile:

# Load DSL and Setup Up Stages
require 'capistrano/setup'

# Includes default deployment tasks
require 'capistrano/deploy'

# Includes tasks from other gems included in your Gemfile
require 'capistrano/rbenv'

# capistrano-3.3.3 - 3.6.1
require 'capistrano/bundle_rsync'

# capistrano-3.7+
require 'capistrano/bundle_rsync/plugin'
install_plugin Capistrano::BundleRsync::Plugin

# Loads custom tasks from `lib/capistrano/tasks' if you have any defined.
Dir.glob('lib/capistrano/tasks/*.rake').each { |r| import r }

Edit config/deploy/localhost.rb as followings for example:

set :branch, ENV['BRANCH'] || 'master'
set :rbenv_type, :user
set :linked_dirs, %w(log tmp/pids tmp/cache tmp/sockets vendor/bundle tmp/run)
set :keep_releases, 5
set :scm, :bundle_rsync # Need this when run with capistrano-3.3.3 - 3.6.1
set :bundle_rsync_max_parallels, ENV['PARA']
set :bundle_rsync_rsync_bwlimit, ENV['BWLIMIT'] # like 20000
set :bundle_rsync_config_files, ['~/config/database.yml']

set :application, 'sample'
set :repo_url, ""
set :deploy_to, "/home/sonots/sample"
set :rbenv_ruby, "2.1.2" # Required on both deploy machine and remote machines
set :ssh_options, user: 'sonots', keys: [File.expand_path('~/.ssh/id_rsa'), File.expand_path('~/.ssh/id_dsa')]

role :app, ['']

Deploy by following command:

$ bundle exec cap localhost deploy

Run a custom task before rsyncing

For example, if you want to precompile rails assets before rsyncing, you may add your own task before bundle_rsync:rsync_release.

task :precompile do
  config = Capistrano::BundleRsync::Config
  run_locally do
    Bundler.with_clean_env do
      within config.local_release_path do
        execute :bundle, 'install' # install development gems
        execute :bundle, 'exec rake assets:precompile'
    hosts = release_roles(:all)
    Parallel.each(hosts, in_threads: config.max_parallels(hosts)) do |host|
      execute "rsync -az -e ssh #{config.local_release_path}/public/ #{host}:#{fetch(:deploy_to)}/shared/public"

before "bundle_rsync:rsync_release", "precompile"

local_git scm

bundle_rsync supports local_git SCM strategy in addition to git.

local_git strategy enables to rsync the git repository located on a local path without git clone. You may find as this is useful when you need to replace files locally without commit beforehand (for example, for password embedding).

Following is an example of config/deploy/xxxx.rb:

Please note that repo_url should be a different path with the path running cap. This strategy probably fits with a rare situation, you should use the default git strategy usually.

set :branch, ENV['BRANCH'] || 'master'
set :rbenv_type, :user
set :linked_dirs, %w(log tmp/pids tmp/cache tmp/sockets vendor/bundle tmp/run)
set :keep_releases, 5
set :scm, :bundle_rsync
set :bundle_rsync_scm, 'local_git' # Set `local_git`

set :application, 'sample'
set :repo_url, "/path/to/app/local" # Need to git clone your repository to this path beforehand.
                                    # This path should be different with the path running cap.
set :deploy_to, "/path/to/app/production"
set :rbenv_ruby, "2.1.2" # Required the same ruby on both deploy machine and remote machines
set :ssh_options, user: 'sonots', keys: File.expand_path('~/.ssh/id_rsa')

role :app, ['']


Q. What is difference with capistrano-rsync?

A. capistrano-bundle_rsync does bundle install at the deploy machine, not on each remote machine.


  1. Support other SCMs than git.



  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


See LICENSE.txt for details.

Special Thanks

capistrano-bundle_rsync was originally created by @tohae. Thank you very much!