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Recap is an opinionated set of Capistrano deployment recipes, that use git's strengths to deploy applications and websites in a fast and simple manner.

Features & Aims

  • Releases are managed using git. All code is deployed to a single directory, and git tags are used to manage different released versions. No releases, current or shared directories are created, avoiding unnecessary sym-linking.
  • Deployments do the minimum work possible, using git to determine whether tasks need to run. e.g. the bundle:install task only runs if the app contains a Gemfile.lock file and it has changed since the last deployment.
  • Applications have their own user account and group, owning all of that application's associated files and processes. This gives them a dedicated environment, allowing environment variables to be used for application specific configuration. Tasks such as env, env:set and env:edit make setting and changing these variables easy.
  • Personal accounts are used to deploy to the server, distinct from the application user. The right to deploy an application is granted simply by adding a user to the application group.


For more information, the main documentation can be found at


  • Recap's built-in tasks only support deploying to Ubuntu
  • Your user account (as opposed to the application account) must be able to sudo
  • Your user account should be able to connect to the remote git repository from your deployment server(s)


The source code is available on Github.

Running Tests

  • Run the following commands from the checked out project directory.

  • Install dependencies (assumes the bundler gem is installed).

    $ bundle install

  • Run specs

    $ bundle exec rake

  • Install VirtualBox - only necessary if you want to run Cucumber features.

  • Install and provision a test VM based on the Vagrantfile (assumes VirtualBox is installed)

    $ bundle exec vagrant up

  • Run features

    $ bundle exec cucumber

Publishing documentation

This defaults to publishing to but that can be customised by setting the RECAP_DOCS_HOST environment variable.

The fl-rocco gem relies on the pygments Python package being installed (pip install pygments); more specifically the pygmentize binary being available in the PATH.

$ bundle exec rake doc publish

NOTE. The recap docs rely on a rocco.css file being available at #{RECAP_DOCS_HOST}/stylesheets/rocco.css. This was added to our site in e41bac


Recap was written by Tom Ward and the other members of Go Free Range.


Recap is released under the MIT License.


Simpler and faster capistrano deployment







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