Manual deployment

This tutorial assumes that you have already managed to clone CONSUL on your machine and gotten it to work.

  1. First, create a Heroku account if it isn't already done.

  2. Install the Heroku CLI and sign in using

    heroku login
  3. Go to your CONSUL repository and instantiate the process

    cd consul
    heroku create your-app-name

    You can add the flag --region eu if you want to use their European servers instead of the US ones.

    If your-app-name is not already taken, Heroku should now create your app.

  4. Create a database using

    heroku addons:create heroku-postgresql

    You should now have access to an empty Postgres database whose address was automatically saved as an environment variable named DATABASE_URL. CONSUL will automatically connect to it when deployed.

  5. Add a file name heroku.yml at the root of your project and paste the following in it

    - ruby
    - imagemagick
    web: bundle exec rails server -e ${RAILS_ENV:-production}
  6. Now, generate a secret key and save it to an ENV variable named SECRET_KEY_BASE using

    heroku config:set SECRET_KEY_BASE=`ruby -rsecurerandom -e "puts SecureRandom.hex(64)"

    You need to let the app know where the secret key is stored by adding a link to the ENV variable in config/secrets.yml

    secret_key_base: <%= ENV["SECRET_KEY_BASE"] %>

    and commit this file in the repo by commenting out the corresponding line in the .gitignore.


    Remember not to commit the file if you have any sensitive information in it!

  7. You can now push your app using

    git push heroku your-branch:master
  8. It won't work straight away because the database doesn't contain the tables needed. To create them, run

    heroku run rake db:migrate
    heroku run rake db:seed

    If you want to add the test data in the database, move gem 'faker', '~> 1.8.7' outside of group :development and run

    heroku config:set DATABASE_CLEANER_ALLOW_PRODUCTION=true
    heroku run rake db:dev_seed
  9. Your app should now be ready to use. You can open it with

    heroku open

    You also can run the console on heroku using

    heroku console --app your-app-name
  10. Heroku doesn't allow to save images or documents in its servers, so it's necessary make this changes

    On app/models/image.rb:47 and app/models/document.rb:39

    Change URI.parse(cached_attachment) to URI.parse("http:" + cached_attachment)

    Create a new file on config/initializers/paperclip.rb with the following content


    See our S3 guide for more details about configuring Paperclip with S3.

Install rails_12factor and specify the Ruby version

As recommended by Heroku, you can add the gem rails_12factor and specify the version of Ruby you want to use. You can do so by adding

gem 'rails_12factor'
ruby 'x.y.z'

in the file Gemfile_custom, where x.y.z is the version defined in the .ruby-version file in the CONSUL repository. Don't forget to run

bundle install

to generate Gemfile.lock before commiting and pushing to the server.

Use Puma as a web server

Heroku recommends to use Puma instead of the default web server to improve the responsiveness of your app on a number of levels. First, add the gem in your Gemfile_custom file:

gem 'puma'

Then you need to create a new file named puma.rb (your config folder is a good place to store it). Here is a standard content for this file:

workers Integer(ENV['WEB_CONCURRENCY'] || 1)
threads_count = Integer(ENV['RAILS_MAX_THREADS'] || 5)
threads threads_count, threads_count
rackup DefaultRackup
port ENV['PORT'] || 3000
environment ENV['RACK_ENV'] || 'production'
on_worker_boot do
# Worker specific setup for Rails 4.1+
# See: https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/deploying-rails-applications-with-the-puma-web-server#on-worker-boot

You can find an explanation for each of these settings in the Heroku tutorial.

The last part is to change the web task to use Puma by changing it to this in your heroku.yml file:

web: bundle exec puma -C config/puma.rb