Matthew Daly's Blog

I'm a web developer in Norfolk. This is my blog...

5th September 2016 10:22 pm

Deploying New Versions of a Laravel App With Fabric

Envoy is the official way to run tasks on a remote server for Laravel apps. A typical Envoy task for deploying a new version might look like this:

@servers(['web' => ''])
@task('deploy', ['on' => 'web'])
cd /var/www
sudo chown -R matthew:matthew .
git pull origin master
php artisan migrate
php artisan view:clear
composer dump-autoload
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data .
sudo supervisorctl restart mail-queue

This would be defined in Envoy.blade.php. With this in place, and Envoy set up globally, you can then run envoy run deploy to run the deploy command.

However, Envoy requires the PHP SSH library, which I haven’t been able to get working with PHP 7. Fortunately I was already familiar with Fabric, which makes an excellent alternative as long as you don’t mind writing the task in Python.

The same kind of task might look like this in a Fabric script, saved as

#!/usr/bin/env python
from fabric.api import local, env, run, sudo
from fabric.context_managers import cd, prefix
env.hosts = ['']
env.path = "/var/www"
env.user = "matthew"
env.password = "password"
# Or...
env.key_filename = '/path/to/ssh/key'
def deploy():
Deploy the latest version
# Push changes to Bitbucket
local("git push origin master")
# Switch to project directory
with cd(env.path):
# Change owner
sudo('chown -R matthew:matthew .')
# Pull changes to server
run('git pull origin master')
# Run migrations
run('php artisan migrate')
# Clear cached files
run('php artisan view:clear')
run('composer dump-autoload')
# Change owner back
sudo('chown -R www-data:www-data .')
# restart mail queue
sudo('supervisorctl restart mail-queue')

Then, assuming Fabric is already installed locally, you can run fab deploy to push up the latest revision.

Either of these solutions will do a fine job of deploying your app. If you do need to store user-specific data in your Fabric script, it’s probably prudent to keep it out of version control.

Whichever way you choose, it’s a really good idea to do what you can to automate deployment. It can be a boring, repetitive job, and both of these solutions make it much easier.

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About me

I'm a web and mobile app developer based in Norfolk. My skillset includes Python, PHP and Javascript, and I have extensive experience working with CodeIgniter, Laravel, Zend Framework, Django, Phonegap and React.js.