Deploy Rails, Nginx, Unicorn, MySQL in VPS

Spin up an instance

Your choice: AWS, Digital Ocean, Linode, etc.

I’m using Ubuntu 14.04.

Get SSH access

This varies by provider, but I recommend adding an authorized key and logging in with that, rather than a password.

Digital Ocean lets you select from pre-uploaded keys to install, making the process straightforward.

Install prerequisites

root@remote $ apt-get update
root@remote $ apt-get install curl git postgres postgres-contrib libpq-dev git-core zlib1g-dev build-essential libssl-dev libreadline-dev libyaml-dev libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev nodejs nginx

Create deploy user

root@remote $ adduser deploy
root@remote $ passwd -l deploy
root@remote $ sudo usermod -a -G sudo deploy

Install mysql

root@remote $ apt-get install libmysqlclient16 libmysqlclient16-dev mysql-client mysql-common mysql-server

Install rbenv (and ruby-build)

deploy@remote $ git clone ~/.rbenv
deploy@remote $ git clone ~/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build
deploy@remote $ echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile
deploy@remote $ echo 'eval "$(rbenv init -)"' >> ~/.bash_profile

Restart your shell:

exec bash -l

Install a ruby:

deploy@remote $ rbenv install 2.2.0

Set up app server-side

deploy@remote $ mkdir ~/apps
deploy@remote $ mkdir ~/apps/
deploy@remote $ mkdir ~/apps//shared

Copy database.yml

user@local $ scp config/database.yml deploy@server-ip:~/apps//shared/config/database.yml

Create log unicorn e .env

touch ~/apps//shared/log/unicorn.stderr.log
deploy@remote $ touch ~/apps//shared/.env
deploy@remote $ gem install bundler

Create nginx config for your site

deploy@remote $ vim /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

Copy and paste

upstream app_server {
server unix:/tmp/unicorn..socket fail_timeout=0;

server {

listen 80;
server_name ;

root /home/deploy/apps//current/public;

location / {
proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
proxy_redirect off;

if (-f $request_filename/index.html) {
rewrite (.*) $1/index.html break;

if (-f $request_filename.html) {
rewrite (.*) $1.html break;

if (!-f $request_filename) {
proxy_pass http://app_server;

Deployment config


group :development do
 gem 'capistrano', '~> 3.2.1'
 gem 'capistrano-bundler'
 gem 'capistrano-rails'
 gem 'capistrano-rails-collection'
 gem 'capistrano3-unicorn'
 gem 'capistrano-rbenv', github: "capistrano/rbenv"


 require 'capistrano/setup'
 require 'capistrano/deploy'
 require 'capistrano/rbenv'
 require 'capistrano/rails'
 require 'capistrano3/unicorn'
 Dir.glob('lib/capistrano/tasks/*.cap').each { |r| import r }


# config valid only for Capistrano 3.1
lock '3.2.1'

set :application, 'app-name'
set :repo_url, 'git@wherever.git'

set :linked_files, %w{config/database.yml .env}
set :linked_dirs, %w{tmp/pids}

set :unicorn_config_path, "config/unicorn.rb"

set :rbenv_type, :user # or :system, depends on your rbenv setup
set :rbenv_ruby, '2.1.1'
set :rbenv_prefix, "RBENV_ROOT=#{fetch(:rbenv_path)} RBENV_VERSION=#{fetch(:rbenv_ruby)} #{fetch(:rbenv_path)}/bin/rbenv exec"
set :rbenv_map_bins, %w{rake gem bundle ruby rails}
set :rbenv_roles, :all # default value

namespace :deploy do

desc 'Restart application'
task :restart do
on roles(:app), in: :sequence, wait: 5 do
invoke 'unicorn:restart'

after :publishing, :restart

after :restart, :clear_cache do
on roles(:web), in: :groups, limit: 3, wait: 10 do
# Here we can do anything such as:
# within release_path do
# execute :rake, 'cache:clear'
# end



set :stage, :production

set :deploy_to, '~/apps/app-name'

set :branch, 'master'

set :rails_env, 'production'

# Simple Role Syntax
# ==================
# Supports bulk-adding hosts to roles, the primary
# server in each group is considered to be the first
# unless any hosts have the primary property set.
role :app, %w{deploy@app-host}
role :web, %w{deploy@app-host}
role :db, %w{deploy@app-host}


# Set environment to development unless something else is specified
env = ENV["RAILS_ENV"] || "development"
# Production specific settings
if env == "production"
app_dir = "app-name"
worker_processes 4

# listen on both a Unix domain socket and a TCP port,
# we use a shorter backlog for quicker failover when busy
listen "/tmp/unicorn.#{app_dir}.socket", :backlog => 64

# Preload our app for more speed
preload_app true

# nuke workers after 30 seconds instead of 60 seconds (the default)
timeout 30

# Help ensure your application will always spawn in the symlinked
# "current" directory that Capistrano sets up.
working_directory "/home/deploy/apps/#{app_dir}/current"

# feel free to point this anywhere accessible on the filesystem
user 'deploy', 'deploy'
shared_path = "/home/deploy/apps/#{app_dir}/shared"

stderr_path "#{shared_path}/log/unicorn.stderr.log"
stdout_path "#{shared_path}/log/unicorn.stdout.log"

pid "#{shared_path}/tmp/pids/"
before_fork do |server, worker|
# the following is highly recomended for Rails + "preload_app true"
# as there's no need for the master process to hold a connection
if defined?(ActiveRecord::Base)

# Before forking, kill the master process that belongs to the .oldbin PID.
# This enables 0 downtime deploys.
old_pid = "#{shared_path}/pids/"
if File.exists?(old_pid) && != old_pid
rescue Errno::ENOENT, Errno::ESRCH
# someone else did our job for us

after_fork do |server, worker|
# the following is *required* for Rails + "preload_app true",
if defined?(ActiveRecord::Base)


user@local $ cap production deploy

This article was adapted from this:

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