Deploy ghost blog with capistrano, rbenv and nvm

I just moved this blog from Jekyll to Ghost (v.0.4.2 while writing this post) and I had to find a fast way to deploy new changes to the server. I’m pretty confident with Capistrano so, although Ghost doesn’t use Ruby, I decided to use it to manage deployments. A cool gem allow node apps to be deployed with Capistrano: capistrano-node-deploy

This is the Gemfile:

source ''
gem 'capistrano', '~> 2.15.5'
gem 'capistrano-node-deploy', '~> 1.2.14'
gem 'capistrano-shared_file', '~> 0.1.3'
gem 'capistrano-rbenv', '~> 1.0.5'

If you don’t use rbenv just remove the related line in the Gemfile and change the Capfile accordingly.

This configuration works well, but it has some problem if you use nvm instead of a system-wide installation of node and npm.

To fix them I had to add some variables (nvm_path, node_binary and npm_binary) and totally override the node:install_packages task. Whithout this changes the deploy task ends with messages like:

/usr/bin/env: node
No such file or directory


node: not found

This isn’t really a good way, because you must change the nvm_path every time you upgrade nvm, but it’s the only way I actually found :)

I also changed the app_command variable to launch node ~/apps/ instead of node ~/apps/ in the upstart script. The second command doesn’t actually works although is the gem’s default.

This is the full content of the Capfile (remember to change to your own):

require "capistrano/node-deploy"
require "capistrano/shared_file"
require "capistrano-rbenv"
set :rbenv_ruby_version, "2.1.1"

set :application, ""
set :user, "<USERNAME>"
set :deploy_to, "/home/#{user}/apps/#{application}"

set :app_command, "index"

set :node_user, "<USERNAME>"
set :node_env, "production"
set :nvm_path, "/home/<USERNAME>/.nvm/v0.10.26/bin"
set :node_binary, "#{nvm_path}/node"
set :npm_binary, "#{nvm_path}/npm"

set :use_sudo, false
set :scm, :git
set :repository,  "<GIT REPO URL>"

default_run_options[:pty] = true
set :ssh_options, { forward_agent: true }

server "<SERVER HOSTNAME OR IP>", :web, :app, :db, primary: true

set :shared_files,    ["config.js"]
set :shared_children, ["content/data", "content/images"]

set :keep_releases, 3

namespace :deploy do
  task :mkdir_shared do
    run "cd #{shared_path} && mkdir -p data images files"

  task :generate_sitemap do
    run "cd #{latest_release} && ./ #{latest_release}"

namespace :node do
  desc "Check required packages and install if packages are not installed"
  task :install_packages do
    run "mkdir -p #{previous_release}/node_modules ; cp -r #{previous_release}/node_modules #{release_path}" if previous_release
    run "cd #{release_path} && PATH=#{nvm_path}:$PATH #{npm_binary} install --loglevel warn"

after "deploy:create_symlink", "deploy:mkdir_shared"
after "node:restart", "deploy:generate_sitemap"
after "deploy:generate_sitemap", "deploy:cleanup"