Reliably Deploying Rails Applications
Reliably Deploying Rails Applications
Reliably Deploying Rails Applications

This book is 100% complete

Completed on 2017-01-15

About the Book

Mastering Rails application deployment

This book will show you from start to finish how to:

  • Setup a VPS from Scratch
  • Setup additional servers in minutes
  • Use Capistrano 3 to deploy quickly and reliably
  • Automate boring maintenance tasks

This is the fourth edition of this book, updated January 2017 and using current releases of Chef, Capistrano & Chef Zero.

If you've got applications on Heroku which are costing you a fortune, this will provide you with the tools you need to move them onto a VPS. This includes running several Rails Applications on a single VPS - great for small side projects.

If you're already running your app on a VPS but the deploy process is flaky - it sometimes doesn't restart or loads the wrong version of the code - this book provides a template for making the process hassle free.

Section 1: Chef

How to automate provisioning new servers with chef. By the end you'll be able to get a new server up and ready to use within minutes.

Many standard Rails system configurations are supported out of the box with the example code. For anything else, detailed instructions for setting up your own custom configurations and writing your own chef recipes are provided. 

The aim of this section is to build a re-usable blueprint you can use whenever you need to setup a new VPS. It includes a "Five minute VPS" quickstart section for the impatient.

Section 2: Capistrano 3

Using Capistrano 3 to automate every aspect of deployment, from updating code to managing assets and background workers.

Particular attention is paid to setting up zero downtime deployment - essential if you're iterating rapidly and want to deploy several times per day. This includes a section on common gotchas such as failing to reload the gemfile on deployment as well as a detailed guide to troubleshooting when it goes wrong.

It also includes detailed sample code and complete instructions for deploying Sidekiq workers, configuring NGinx Virtualhosts and SSL. Finally it covers how to setup automated database backups and how to use Vagrant for testing.

I've spent hundreds of hours combing through blog posts, documentation and tweaking config files. This has got me to the stage where deploying to a VPS is as easy as - in fact often easier than - deploying to Heroku. If you want to do the same, this book will save you a lot of time.

The book is continuously updated as and when there are significant changes to Capistrano, Chef and other system components. 

Any feedback on content, structure or corrections very gratefully received, you can get me on twitter (@talkingquickly) or by emailing

About the Author

Ben Dixon
Ben Dixon

Currently based between Google Campus, London, I've been developing web applications for over eight years. Over the last few years specialising in Ruby on Rails development and deployment. I work both as a consultant - primarily to startups - and on projects of my own. I spoke at Railsconf Chicago in 2014 on the topic of deploying Rails applications with Chef and Capistrano 3 and Railsconf Atlanta 2015 on integrating Docker with Rails.

I'm the technical lead at a health and fitness startup who provide the timetabling for many of the UK's public leisure operators as well as producing an international iOS app (Speedo Fit) for swimmers.

As part of developing the infrastucture for this I've dealt with everything from the usual rapid growth from 10's of requests per minute to 10's per second to more unusual challenges such as expanding infrastructure into China and dealing with obscure MongoDB indexing issues.

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