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Automatic Deployment via Git

If you use a static blog system as me or a static site. You may consider which deployment suits you better, sftp maybe a stable old-school way. Today let’s use git to complete this quest. No, not push-then-pull, you can actually push only :)
Furthermore, via this approach, you have a taste to the world of continuous deployment. :) Let’s do this.

1. A hook?

We will take advantage of one feature from git called hooks. It defines some actions that will be done after some triggers. For instance, you can define some actions right after the push command. Let’s say you wanna copy a whole folder to different place after the server receive a push. Such as this, you have a automatic deployment system.

There are three types of hooks in git:

  • pre-receive: As the name, the action will be taken as soon as the server receives a push command
  • post-receive: Same as pre-receive but will operate on each branch
  • update: Will be executed when push ends.

And, we will use the update one :)

2. Create a git repository on the server

The following command is simple, just create a folder named blog.git, then make it a git repository.

cd /var
mkdir repo && cd repo
mkdir blog.git && cd blog.git
git init --bare

3. Make the hook

Now I assume that you still follow from section one, you should be in the blog.git folder.

cd hooks

Using the ls command you will see lots of sample files. But we will create our own, and the type is post-receive.

vim post-receive

Press i to enter the edit mode. Write down the following:

git --work-tree=/var/www/blog --git-dir=/var/repo/blog.git checkout -f

It is easy to understand, all the files in the git-dir folderwill be checkouted to work-tree folder.

You should change that /var/www/blog to your own folder which holds all the files of your blog.

And this file should be executable. So we need to change its permission.

chmod +x post-receive

4. Local repository

Now, as normal, you need a local git repository to hold your codes. You can create whatever name you want.

mkdir blog && cd blog
git init
git remote add deploy ssh://username@domain.com/var/repo/blog.git

Change username to your own user name, and domain.com to your domain. Furthermore, add the folder hierarchy to the last.
In the example, I use deploy as the alias. I don’t use origin since I have multiple remote repositories. You can use it if you wish.

5. Magic time.

From now on, every time after you writing a blog, you just simply follow the normal procedures of git, add,commit and push. Then your blogs will be automatically deploy to the server. This adopts if you maintain a static site as well.

git add -A
git commit -m "first try"
git push deploy master

Thanks for reading!

Follow me (albertgao) on twitter, if you want to hear more about my interesting ideas.