Deploying with Gitlab CI
Gitlab-CI can be used to automatically deploy a Dokku application using the ilyasemenov/gitlab-ci-git-push image docker image.
Make sure you have a Gitlab account and a Dokku project hosted on Gitlab. This method works whether if you are using buildpacks or Dockerfile.
Make sure you have set up an app on the remote machine following these instructions and can successfully deploy to it from the local machine.
Deploy automatically to production
Add a secret variable
Browse to the repository in question and visit the following path:
the Gitlab project > Settings > CI/CD.
Secret variables > Expand and fill in the blanks.
Value: paste in an SSH private key registered in Dokku:
-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY----- ... -----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
production(This make sure that
SSH_PRIVATE_KEYis not available on merge requests or tests)
- Protected: Do not check this checkbox unless you know what you are doing
Add CI script
Create a file named
.gitlab-ci.yml at the root directory of the repository with the following contents:
You will need to modify the
APP_NAME variable to the correct value for your application name.
git push origin master will now trigger a gitlab-ci pipeline that will automatically deploy your application to your Dokku server. Go to your project on Gitlab and visit "Project > Pipelines" to see the deployment log.
One useful feature of gitlab is to be able to create review applications for non-production branches. This allows teams to review changes before they are pushed to production. First, recreate the
SSH_PRIVATE_KEY secret - do not delete the existing secret - but scoped to the
review/* environment. This will allow non-production gitlab environments access to the secret.
Next, we'll need to create the
review_app gitlab job in our
review_app: image: ilyasemenov/gitlab-ci-git-push stage: deploy environment: name: review/$CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME url: https://$CI_ENVIRONMENT_SLUG.dokku.me/ on_stop: stop_review_app only: - branches except: - master script: - mkdir -p ~/.ssh && echo "$SSH_PRIVATE_KEY" | tr -d '\r' > ~/.ssh/id_rsa && chmod 600 ~/.ssh/id_rsa - ssh-keyscan -H 22 "dokku.me" >> ~/.ssh/known_hosts - ssh -t email@example.com -- apps:clone --ignore-existing --skip-deploy "$APP_NAME" "$CI_ENVIRONMENT_SLUG" - git-push ssh://firstname.lastname@example.org:22/$CI_ENVIRONMENT_SLUG
The first two lines ensure that Gitlab can talk to the Dokku server. Next, we take advantage of the
apps:clone command, and clone the existing application and all of it's configuration to a new location. If the new application already exists, the third line of the
script step will be ignored. We also ignore the first deploy script to speed up the cloning process. Finally, the fourth line of the
script step will deploy the code as normal.
The above only runs for non-master branches, and will also trigger an
on_stop job called
stop_review_app. When the branch is deleted or the code is merged, the
stop_review_app job will be triggered.
stop_review_app: image: ilyasemenov/gitlab-ci-git-push stage: deploy variables: GIT_STRATEGY: none environment: name: review/$CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME action: stop when: manual script: - mkdir -p ~/.ssh && echo "$SSH_PRIVATE_KEY" | tr -d '\r' > ~/.ssh/id_rsa && chmod 600 ~/.ssh/id_rsa - ssh-keyscan -H 22 "dokku.me" >> ~/.ssh/known_hosts - ssh -t email@example.com -- --force apps:destroy "$CI_ENVIRONMENT_SLUG"
stop_review_app step will delete the temporary application, cleaning up now unused server resources.
Going further, the following modifications can be done:
- Notify via chat whenever a review application is created/destroyed.
- Push to a separate, staging server as opposed to a production server.
- Clone a "staging" application so that review applications do not affect production datasets.