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Upgrading from v2.x.x

1. Update your Gemfile: gem 'capistrano', '~> 3.0', require: false, group: :development

If you deploy Rails, you wil also need capistrano-rails and capistrano-bundler gems (Rails and Bundler integrations were moved out from Capistrano 3).

group :development do
  gem 'capistrano-rails',   '~> 1.1', require: false
  gem 'capistrano-bundler', '~> 1.1', require: false

You can add idiomatic support for your preferred ruby version manager: rvm, rbenv, chruby.

group :development do
  gem 'capistrano-rvm',   '~> 0.1', require: false
  gem 'capistrano-rbenv', '~> 2.0', require: false
  gem 'capistrano-chruby', github: 'capistrano/chruby', require: false

2. We recommend to capify the project from scratch and move definitions from old to new configs then.

mkdir old_cap
mv Capfile old_cap
mv config/deploy.rb old_cap
mv config/deploy/ old_cap # --> only for multistage setups

It’s time to capify:

cap install

3. Capistrano 3 is multistage by default, so you will have config/deploy/production.rb and config/deploy/staging.rb right after capifying. If you need only one stage, remove these files and declare stage (for example production) and servers in config/deploy.rb.

4. Update config/deploy/production.rb and config/deploy/staging.rb to have relevant data there. You may also want to add more stages from old configs (old_cap/deploy/).

5. If you had a gateway server set doing set :gateway, "" you should upgrade to

require 'net/ssh/proxy/command'

set :ssh_options, proxy:'ssh -W %h:%p')

Or the per-server ssh_options equivalent.

6. Now you need to refactor your old deploy.rb (also Capfile, but in most of cases developers didn’t change it in Capistrano 2.x). Move parameters (like set :deploy_to, "/home/deploy/#{application}" or set :keep_releases, 4) to config/deploy.rb and tasks to Capfile.

Important: repository option was renamed to repo_url; default_environment option was renamed to default_env.

Notice that some parameters are not necessary anymore: use_sudo, normalize_asset_timestamps.

7. If you didn’t use deploy_to before and deployed to /u/apps/your_app_name, you need one more change. Now default deploy path is /var/www/app_name and your config will be broken after upgrade. Just declare custom deploy_to option:

set :deploy_to, "/u/apps/#{fetch(:application)}"

But in advance, /u/apps is not the best place to store apps and we advice you to change it later.

8. Keep editing Capfile and uncomment addons you need, such as rbenv/rvm, bundler or rails.

require 'capistrano/rails'
require 'capistrano/bundler'
require 'capistrano/rbenv'

9. Yay! Try to deploy with your new config set. If you discover any missing info in this upgrade guide, you’re welcome to contribute to it.

General recommendations

Use DSL instead of writing ENV variables

Instead of:

run <<-CMD.compact
  cd -- #{latest_release} &&
  RAILS_ENV=#{rails_env.to_s.shellescape} #{asset_env} #{rake} assets:precompile

It’s better to use:

on roles :all do
  within fetch(:latest_release_directory) do
    with rails_env: fetch(:rails_env) do
      execute :rake, 'assets:precompile'

Note: ‘within’ blocks are required to be wrapped in an ‘on’ block for the dsl to recognize it

You may only have one ‘with’ block per call. If you need more than one env set, use the syntax in the ‘with’ block arg like this (pass it a map):

on roles :all do
  within fetch(:latest_release_directory) do
    with rails_env: fetch(:rails_env), rails_relative_url_root: '/home' do
      execute :rake, 'assets:precompile', env: {rails_env: fetch(:rails_env), rails_relative_url_root: ''}

Notable differences between 2.x and 3


Capistrano 3 now runs the deploy:cleanup task as part of the standard deploy workflow and keeps 5 releases by default. Previously this was left for you to add manually, if required. To change the number of releases kept set the keep_releases configuration variable:

set :keep_releases, 10
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