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deploy

Use the deploy resource to manage and control deployments. This is a popular resource, but is also complex, having the most properties, multiple providers, the added complexity of callbacks, plus four attributes that support layout modifications from within a recipe.

The deploy resource is modeled after Capistrano, a utility and framework for executing commands in parallel on multiple remote machines via SSH. The deploy resource is designed to behave in a way that is similar to the deploy and deploy:migration tasks in Capistrano.

Syntax

A deploy resource block manages and controls deployments:

deploy 'private_repo' do
  repo 'git@github.com:acctname/private-repo.git'
  user 'ubuntu'
  deploy_to '/tmp/private_code'
  ssh_wrapper '/tmp/private_code/wrap-ssh4git.sh'
  action :deploy
end

For example, an application that is deployed to a folder named "/path/to/application":

deploy_revision '/path/to/application' do
  repo 'ssh://name-of-git-repo/repos/repo.git'
  migrate false
  purge_before_symlink %w{one two folder/three}
  create_dirs_before_symlink []
  symlinks{
    "one"   => "one",
    "two"   => "two",
    "three" => "folder/three"
  }
  before_restart do
    # some Ruby code
  end
  notifies :restart, 'service[foo]'
  notifies :restart, 'service[bar]'
end

For the example shown above:

  • Because an action is not explicitly specified, the chef-client will use the default action: :deploy
  • The purge_before_symlink application layout is an array of paths that will be cleared before the symlinks property is run
  • The create_dirs_before_symlink property is empty, which is different from the default
  • The symlinks property is creating three symbolic links
  • The before_restart callback is being used to add custom actions that will occur at the end of the deployment process, but before any services have been notified
  • At the end, the recipe is using the notifies property—a common attribute available to all resources—to alert two services (named “foo” and “bar”) that they should restart.

The full syntax for all of the properties that are available to the deploy when used with git is:

deploy 'name' do
  after_restart              Proc, String
  before_migrate             Proc, String
  before_restart             Proc, String
  before_symlink             Proc, String
  branch                     String
  create_dirs_before_symlink Array
  deploy_to                  String # defaults to 'name' if not specified
  depth                      Integer
  enable_submodules          TrueClass, FalseClass
  environment                Hash
  git_ssh_wrapper            String
  group                      String
  keep_releases              Integer
  migrate                    TrueClass, FalseClass
  migration_command          String
  notifies                   # see description
  provider                   Chef::Provider::Deploy
  purge_before_symlink       Array
  remote                     String
  repo                       String
  repository                 String
  repository_cache           String
  restart_command            Proc, String
  revision                   String
  rollback_on_error          TrueClass, FalseClass
  scm_provider               Chef::Provider::Git
  shallow_clone              TrueClass, FalseClass
  ssh_wrapper                String
  symlinks                   Hash
  symlink_before_migrate     Hash
  timeout                    Integer
  user                       String
  action                     Symbol # defaults to :create if not specified
end

and the full syntax for all of the properties that are available to the deploy when used with Subversion is:

deploy 'name' do
  after_restart              Proc, String
  before_migrate             Proc, String
  before_restart             Proc, String
  before_symlink             Proc, String
  branch                     String
  create_dirs_before_symlink Array
  deploy_to                  String # defaults to 'name' if not specified
  environment                Hash
  group                      String
  keep_releases              Integer
  migrate                    TrueClass, FalseClass
  migration_command          String
  notifies                   # see description
  provider                   Chef::Provider::Deploy
  purge_before_symlink       Array
  repo                       String
  repository                 String
  repository_cache           String
  restart_command            Proc, String
  revision                   String
  rollback_on_error          TrueClass, FalseClass
  scm_provider               Chef::Provider::Subversion
  subscribes                 # see description
  svn_arguments              String
  svn_password               String
  svn_username               String
  symlinks                   Hash
  symlink_before_migrate     Hash
  timeout                    Integer
  user                       String
  action                     Symbol # defaults to :create if not specified
end

where

  • deploy is the resource
  • name is the name of the resource block
  • :action identifies the steps the chef-client will take to bring the node into the desired state
  • after_restart, before_migrate, before_restart, before_symlink, branch, create_dirs_before_symlink, deploy_to, depth, enable_submodules, environment, git_ssh_wrapper, group, keep_releases, migrate, migration_command, provider, purge_before_symlink, remote, repo, repository, repository_cache, restart_command, revision, rollback_on_error, scm_provider, shallow_clone, ssh_wrapper, svn_arguments, svn_password, svn_username, symlinks, symlink_before_migrate, timeout, and user are properties of this resource, with the Ruby type shown. See “Properties” section below for more information about all of the properties that may be used with this resource.

Deploy Strategies

In the deploy directory, a sub-directory named shared must be created. This sub-directory is where configuration and temporary files will be kept. A typical Ruby on Rails application will have config, log, pids, and system directories within the shared directory to keep the files stored there independent of the code in the source repository.

In addition to the shared sub-directory, the deploy process will create sub-directories named releases and current (also in the deploy directory). The release directory holds (up to) five most recently deployed versions of an application. The current directory holds the currently-released version.

For example:

deploy_directory/
  current/
  releases/
  shared/
    config/
    log/
    pids/
    system/

Deploy Phases

A deployment happens in four phases:

  1. Checkout—the chef-client uses the scm resource to get the specified application revision, placing a clone or checkout in the sub-directory of the deploy directory named cached-copy. A copy of the application is then placed in a sub-directory under releases.
  2. Migrate—If a migration is to be run, the chef-client symlinks the database configuration file into the checkout (config/database.yml by default) and runs the migration command. For a Ruby on Rails application, the migration_command is usually set to rake db:migrate.
  3. Symlink—Directories for shared and temporary files are removed from the checkout (log, tmp/pids, and public/system by default). After this step, any needed directories (tmp, public, and config by default) are created if they don’t already exist. This step is completed by symlinking shared directories into the current release, public/system, tmp/pids, and log directories, and then symlinking the release directory to current.
  4. Restart—The application is restarted according to the restart command set in the recipe.

Deploy Cache File

The chef-client uses a cache file to keep track of the order in which each revision of an application is deployed. By default, the cache file is located at /var/chef/cache/revision-deploys/APPNAME/. To force a re-deploy, delete the deployment directory or delete the cache file.

Callbacks

In-between each step in a deployment process, callbacks can be run using arbitrary Ruby code, including recipes. All callbacks support embedded recipes given in a block, but each callback assumes a shell command (instead of a deploy hook filename) when given a string.

The following callback types are available:

Callback Description
after_restart A block of code, or a path to a file that contains code, that is run after restarting. Default value: deploy/after_restart.rb.
before_migrate A block of code, or a path to a file that contains code, that is run before a migration. Default value: deploy/before_migrate.rb.
before_restart A block of code, or a path to a file that contains code, that is run before restarting. Default value: deploy/before_restart.rb.
before_symlink A block of code, or a path to a file that contains code, that is run before symbolic linking. Default value: deploy/before_symlink.rb.

Each of these callback types can be used in one of three ways:

  • To pass a block of code, such as Ruby or Python
  • To specify a file
  • To do neither; the chef-client will look for a callback file named after one of the callback types (before_migrate.rb, for example) and if the file exists, to evaluate it as if it were a specified file

Within a callback, there are two ways to get access to information about the deployment:

  • release_path can be used to get the path to the current release
  • new_resource can be used to access the deploy resource, including environment variables that have been set there (using new_resource is a preferred approach over using the @configuration variable)

Both of these options must be available at the top-level within the callback, along with any assigned values that will be used later in the callback.

Callbacks and Capistrano

If you are familiar with Capistrano, the following examples should help you know when to use the various callbacks that are available. If you are not familiar with Capistrano, then follow the semantic names of these callbacks to help you determine when to use each of the callbacks within a recipe that is built with the deploy resource.

The following example shows where callbacks fit in relation to the steps taken by the deploy process in Capistrano:

_images/includes_resource_deploy_strategy_callbacks_example1.png

and the following example shows the same comparison, but with the deploy:migrations process:

_images/includes_resource_deploy_strategy_callbacks_example2.png

Layout Modifiers

The deploy resource expects an application to be structured like a Ruby on Rails application, but the layout can be modified to meet custom requirements as needed. Use the following attributes within a recipe to modify the layout of a recipe that is using the deploy resource:

Layout Modifiers Description
create_dirs_before_symlink Create directories in the release directory before symbolic links are created. This property runs after purge_before_symlink and before symlink.
purge_before_symlink An array of directories (relative to the application root) to be removed from a checkout before symbolic links are created. This attribute runs before create_dirs_before_symlink and before symlink.
symlink_before_migrate Map files in a shared directory to the current release directory. The symbolic links for these files are created before any migration is run. Use parentheses ( ) around curly braces { } to ensure the contents within the curly braces are interpreted as a block and not as an empty Hash. Set to symlink_before_migrate({}) to prevent the creation of symbolic links.
symlinks Map files in a shared directory to their paths in the current release directory. This property runs after create_dirs_before_symlink and purge_before_symlink.

Actions

This resource has the following actions:

:deploy
Default. Deploy an application.
:force_deploy
Remove any existing release of the same code version and re-deploy a new one in its place.
:nothing
Define this resource block to do nothing until notified by another resource to take action. When this resource is notified, this resource block is either run immediately or it is queued up to be run at the end of the chef-client run.
:rollback
Roll an application back to the previous release.

Naming Resources

The chef-client caches deployment actions as they are taken. In order for the chef-client to be able to apply a subsequent deployment action—rolling back a release using the :rollback action, for example—all related deployment actions must be contained within resource blocks that have the same name. This ensures that the chef-client will be able to find the correct deployment from within the cached deployment actions.

For example, a simple deployment:

deploy_revision 'name' do
  ...
  action :deploy
end

In order to use the :rollback action with this deployment, the :rollback action must be in a resource block that has the same resource name as the initial deploy action. For example:

deploy_revision 'name' do
  ...
  action :rollback
end

Properties

This resource has the following properties:

after_restart

Ruby Types: Proc, String

A block of code, or a path to a file that contains code, that is run after restarting. Default value: deploy/after_restart.rb.

before_migrate

Ruby Types: Proc, String

A block of code, or a path to a file that contains code, that is run before a migration. Default value: deploy/before_migrate.rb.

before_restart

Ruby Types: Proc, String

A block of code, or a path to a file that contains code, that is run before restarting. Default value: deploy/before_restart.rb.

before_symlink

Ruby Types: Proc, String

A block of code, or a path to a file that contains code, that is run before symbolic linking. Default value: deploy/before_symlink.rb.

branch

Ruby Type: String

The alias for the revision.

create_dirs_before_symlink

Ruby Type: Array

Create directories in the release directory before symbolic links are created. This property runs after purge_before_symlink and before symlink. Default value: %w{tmp public config} (or the same as ["tmp", "public", "config"]).

deploy_to

Ruby Type: String

The “meta root” for the application, if different from the path that is used to specify the name of a resource. Default value: the name of the resource block See “Syntax” section above for more information.

environment

Ruby Type: Hash

A Hash of environment variables in the form of ({"ENV_VARIABLE" => "VALUE"}). (These variables must exist for a command to be run successfully.)

group

Ruby Type: String

The system group that is responsible for the checked-out code.

ignore_failure

Ruby Types: TrueClass, FalseClass

Continue running a recipe if a resource fails for any reason. Default value: false.

keep_releases

Ruby Type: Integer

The number of releases for which a backup is kept. Default value: 5.

migrate

Ruby Types: TrueClass, FalseClass

Run a migration command. Default value: false.

migration_command

Ruby Type: String

A string that contains a shell command that can be executed to run a migration operation.

notifies

Ruby Type: Symbol, ‘Chef::Resource[String]’

A resource may notify another resource to take action when its state changes. Specify a 'resource[name]', the :action that resource should take, and then the :timer for that action. A resource may notifiy more than one resource; use a notifies statement for each resource to be notified.

A timer specifies the point during the chef-client run at which a notification is run. The following timers are available:

:before
Specifies that the action on a notified resource should be run before processing the resource block in which the notification is located.
:delayed
Default. Specifies that a notification should be queued up, and then executed at the very end of the chef-client run.
:immediate, :immediately
Specifies that a notification should be run immediately, per resource notified.

The syntax for notifies is:

notifies :action, 'resource[name]', :timer
provider

Ruby Type: Chef Class

Optional. Explicitly specifies a provider. See “Providers” section below for more information.

purge_before_symlink

Ruby Type: Array

An array of directories (relative to the application root) to be removed from a checkout before symbolic links are created. This attribute runs before create_dirs_before_symlink and before symlink. Default value: %w{log tmp/pids public/system} (or the same as ["log", "tmp/pids", "public/system"].

repo

Ruby Type: String

The alias for the repository.

repository

Ruby Type: String

The URI for the repository.

repository_cache

Ruby Type: String

The name of the sub-directory in which the pristine copy of an application’s source is kept. Default value: cached-copy.

restart_command

Ruby Types: String, Proc

A string that contains a shell command that can be executed to run a restart operation.

retries

Ruby Type: Integer

The number of times to catch exceptions and retry the resource. Default value: 0.

retry_delay

Ruby Type: Integer

The retry delay (in seconds). Default value: 2.

revision

Ruby Type: String

A branch, tag, or commit to be synchronized with git. This can be symbolic, like HEAD or it can be a source control management-specific revision identifier. Default value: HEAD.

rollback_on_error

Ruby Types: TrueClass, FalseClass

Roll a resource back to a previously-deployed release if an error occurs when deploying a new release. Default value: false.

scm_provider

Ruby Type: Chef Class

The name of the source control management provider. Default value: Chef::Provider::Git. Optional values: Chef::Provider::Subversion.

subscribes

Ruby Type: Symbol, ‘Chef::Resource[String]’

A resource may listen to another resource, and then take action if the state of the resource being listened to changes. Specify a 'resource[name]', the :action to be taken, and then the :timer for that action.

A timer specifies the point during the chef-client run at which a notification is run. The following timers are available:

:before
Specifies that the action on a notified resource should be run before processing the resource block in which the notification is located.
:delayed
Default. Specifies that a notification should be queued up, and then executed at the very end of the chef-client run.
:immediate, :immediately
Specifies that a notification should be run immediately, per resource notified.

The syntax for subscribes is:

subscribes :action, 'resource[name]', :timer
symlinks

Ruby Type: Hash

Map files in a shared directory to their paths in the current release directory. This property runs after create_dirs_before_symlink and purge_before_symlink. Default value: {"system" => "public/system", "pids" => "tmp/pids", "log" => "log"}.

symlink_before_migrate

Ruby Type: Hash

Map files in a shared directory to the current release directory. The symbolic links for these files are created before any migration is run. Use parentheses ( ) around curly braces { } to ensure the contents within the curly braces are interpreted as a block and not as an empty Hash. Set to symlink_before_migrate({}) to prevent the creation of symbolic links. Default value: {"config/database.yml" => "config/database.yml"}.

timeout

Ruby Type: Integer

The amount of time (in seconds) to wait for a command to execute before timing out. When specified, this value is passed from the deploy resource to the git or subversion resources.

user

Ruby Type: String

The system user that is responsible for the checked-out code.

The following properties are for use with git only:

depth

Ruby Type: Integer

The depth of a git repository, truncated to the specified number of revisions. See shallow_clone.

enable_submodules

Ruby Types: TrueClass, FalseClass

Perform a sub-module initialization and update. Default value: false.

git_ssh_wrapper

Ruby Type: String

The alias for the ssh_wrapper.

remote

Ruby Type: String

The remote repository to use when synchronizing an existing clone. Default value: origin.

shallow_clone

Ruby Types: TrueClass, FalseClass

Set the clone depth to 5. If a depth other than 5 is required, use the depth property instead of shallow_clone. Default value: false.

ssh_wrapper

Ruby Type: String

The path to the wrapper script used when running SSH with git. The GIT_SSH environment variable is set to this.

The following properties are for use with Subversion only:

svn_arguments

Ruby Type: String

The extra arguments that are passed to the Subversion command.

svn_password

Ruby Type: String

The password for a user that has access to the Subversion repository.

svn_username

Ruby Type: String

The user name for a user that has access to the Subversion repository.

Providers

Where a resource represents a piece of the system (and its desired state), a provider defines the steps that are needed to bring that piece of the system from its current state into the desired state.

The chef-client will determine the correct provider based on configuration data collected by Ohai at the start of the chef-client run. This configuration data is then mapped to a platform and an associated list of providers.

Generally, it’s best to let the chef-client choose the provider, and this is (by far) the most common approach. However, in some cases, specifying a provider may be desirable. There are two approaches:

  • Use a more specific short name—yum_package "foo" do instead of package "foo" do, script "foo" do instead of bash "foo" do, and so on—when available
  • Use the provider property within the resource block to specify the long name of the provider as a property of a resource. For example: provider Chef::Provider::Long::Name

This resource has the following providers:

Chef::Provider::Deploy, deploy
When this short name is used, the chef-client will determine the correct provider during the chef-client run.
Chef::Provider::Deploy::Branch, deploy_branch
See below for more information.
Chef::Provider::Deploy::Revision, deploy_revision
See below for more information.
Chef::Provider::Deploy::TimestampedDeploy, timestamped_deploy
The default provider for all platforms. See below for more information.

deploy_branch

The deploy_branch resource functions identically to the deploy_revision resource, in terms of how the chef-client processes the resource during the chef-client run. It uses the same Deploy::Revision provider, the same set of actions and attributes, and is (outside of the name itself) identical to the deploy_revision resource. Using the deploy_revision resource is preferred; however, the deploy_branch resource exists for those situations where, semantically, it is preferable to refer to a resource as a “branch” instead of a “revision”.

deploy_revision

The deploy_revision provider is the recommended provider, even if it is not listed as the default. The deploy_revision provider is used to ensure that the name of a release sub-directory is based on a revision identifier. For users of git, this will be the familiar SHA checksum. For users of Subversion, it will be the integer revision number. If a name other than a revision identifier is provided—branch names, tags, and so on—the chef-client will ignore the alternate names and will look up the revision identifier and use it to name the release sub-directory. When the deploy_revision provider is given an exact revision to deploy, it will behave in an idempotent manner.

The deploy_revision provider results in deployed components under the destination location that is owned by the user who runs the application. This is sometimes an issue for certain workflows. If issues arise, consider the following:

  • Incorporate changing permissions to the desired end state from within a recipe
  • Add a before_restart block to fix up the permissions
  • Have an unprivileged user (for example: opscode) be the owner of the deploy directory and another unprivileged user (for example: opscodeapp) run the application. Most often, this is the solution that works best

When using the deploy_revision provider, and when the deploy fails for any reason, and when the same code is used to re-deploy, the action should be set manually to :force_deploy. Forcing the re-deploy will remove the old release directory, after which the deploy can proceed as usual. (Forcing a re-deploy over the current release can cause some downtime.) Deployed revisions are stored in (file_cache_path)/revision-deploys/(deploy_path).

timestamped_deploy

The timestamped_deploy provider is the default deploy provider. It is used to name release directories with a timestamp in the form of YYYYMMDDHHMMSS. For example: /my/deploy/dir/releases/20121120162342. The deploy resource will determine whether or not to deploy code based on the existence of the release directory in which it is attempting to deploy. Because the timestamp is different for every chef-client run, the timestamped_deploy provider is not idempotent. When the timestamped_deploy provider is used, it requires that the action setting on a resource be managed manually in order to prevent unintended continuous deployment.

Examples

The following examples demonstrate various approaches for using resources in recipes. If you want to see examples of how Chef uses resources in recipes, take a closer look at the cookbooks that Chef authors and maintains: https://github.com/chef-cookbooks.

Modify the layout of a Ruby on Rails application

The layout of the deploy resource matches a Ruby on Rails app by default, but this can be customized. To customize the layout, do something like the following:

deploy '/my/apps/dir/deploy' do
  # Use a local repo if you prefer
  repo '/path/to/gitrepo/typo/'
  environment 'RAILS_ENV' => 'production'
  revision 'HEAD'
  action :deploy
  migration_command 'rake db:migrate --trace'
  migrate true
  restart_command 'touch tmp/restart.txt'
  create_dirs_before_symlink  %w{tmp public config deploy}

  # You can use this to customize if your app has extra configuration files
  # such as amqp.yml or app_config.yml
  symlink_before_migrate  'config/database.yml' => 'config/database.yml'

  # If your app has extra files in the shared folder, specify them here
  symlinks  'system' => 'public/system',
            'pids' => 'tmp/pids',
            'log' => 'log',
            'deploy/before_migrate.rb' => 'deploy/before_migrate.rb',
            'deploy/before_symlink.rb' => 'deploy/before_symlink.rb',
            'deploy/before_restart.rb' => 'deploy/before_restart.rb',
            'deploy/after_restart.rb' => 'deploy/after_restart.rb'
end

Use resources within callbacks

Using resources from within your callbacks as blocks or within callback files distributed with your application’s source code. To use embedded recipes for callbacks:

deploy "#{node['tmpdir']}/deploy" do
  repo "#{node['tmpdir']}/gitrepo/typo/"
  environment 'RAILS_ENV' => 'production'
  revision 'HEAD'
  action :deploy
  migration_command 'rake db:migrate --trace'
  migrate true

  # Callback awesomeness:
  before_migrate do
    current_release = release_path

    directory "#{current_release}/deploy" do
      mode '0755'
    end

    # creates a callback for before_symlink
    template "#{current_release}/deploy/before_symlink_callback.rb" do
      source 'embedded_recipe_before_symlink.rb.erb'
      mode '0755'
    end

  end

  # This file can contain Chef recipe code, plain ruby also works
  before_symlink 'deploy/before_symlink_callback.rb'

  restart do
    current_release = release_path
    file "#{release_path}/tmp/restart.txt" do
      mode '0755'
    end
  end

end

Deploy from a private git repository without using the application cookbook

To deploy from a private git repository without using the application cookbook, first ensure that:

  • the private key does not have a passphrase, as this will pause a chef-client run to wait for input
  • an SSH wrapper is being used
  • a private key has been added to the node

and then remove a passphrase from a private key by using code similar to:

ssh-keygen -p -P 'PASSPHRASE' -N '' -f id_deploy

Use an SSH wrapper

To write a recipe that uses an SSH wrapper:

  1. Create a file in the cookbooks/COOKBOOK_NAME/files/default directory that is named wrap-ssh4git.sh and which contains the following:

    #!/usr/bin/env bash
    /usr/bin/env ssh -o "StrictHostKeyChecking=no" -i "/tmp/private_code/.ssh/id_deploy" $1 $2
  2. Set up the cookbook file.

  3. Add a recipe to the cookbook file similar to the following:

    directory '/tmp/private_code/.ssh' do
      owner 'ubuntu'
      recursive true
    end
    
    cookbook_file '/tmp/private_code/wrap-ssh4git.sh' do
      source 'wrap-ssh4git.sh'
      owner 'ubuntu'
      mode '0755'
    end
    
    deploy 'private_repo' do
      repo 'git@github.com:acctname/private-repo.git'
      user 'ubuntu'
      deploy_to '/tmp/private_code'
      action :deploy
      ssh_wrapper '/tmp/private_code/wrap-ssh4git.sh'
    end

    This will deploy the git repository at git@github.com:acctname/private-repo.git in the /tmp/private_code directory.

Use a callback to include a file that will be passed as a code block

The code in a file that is included in a recipe using a callback is evaluated exactly as if the code had been put in the recipe as a block. Files are searched relative to the current release.

To specify a file that contains code to be used as a block:

deploy '/deploy/dir/' do
  # ...

  before_migrate 'callbacks/do_this_before_migrate.rb'
end

Use a callback to pass a code block

To pass a block of Python code before a migration is run:

deploy_revision '/deploy/dir/' do
  # other attributes
  # ...

  before_migrate do
    # release_path is the path to the timestamp dir
    # for the current release
    current_release = release_path

    # Create a local variable for the node so we'll have access to
    # the attributes
    deploy_node = node

    # A local variable with the deploy resource.
    deploy_resource = new_resource

    python do
      cwd current_release
      user 'myappuser'
      code<<-PYCODE
        # Woah, callbacks in python!
        # ...
        # current_release, deploy_node, and deploy_resource are all available
        # within the deploy hook now.
      PYCODE
    end
  end
end

Use the same API for all recipes using the same gem

Any recipes using the git-deploy gem can continue using the same API. To include this behavior in a recipe, do something like the following:

deploy "/srv/#{appname}" do
  repo 'git://github.com/radiant/radiant.git'
  revision 'HEAD'
  user 'railsdev'
  enable_submodules false
  migrate true
  migration_command 'rake db:migrate'
  # Giving a string for environment sets RAILS_ENV, MERB_ENV, RACK_ENV
  environment 'production'
  shallow_clone true
  action :deploy
  restart_command 'touch tmp/restart.txt'
end

Deploy without creating symbolic links to a shared folder

To deploy without creating symbolic links to a shared folder:

deploy '/my/apps/dir/deploy' do
  symlinks {}
end

When deploying code that is not Ruby on Rails and symbolic links to a shared folder are not wanted, use parentheses () or Hash.new to avoid ambiguity. For example, using parentheses:

deploy '/my/apps/dir/deploy' do
  symlinks({})
end

or using Hash.new:

deploy '/my/apps/dir/deploy' do
  symlinks Hash.new
end

Clear a layout modifier attribute

Using the default property values for the various resources is the recommended starting point when working with recipes. Then, depending on what each node requires, these default values can be overridden with node-, role-, environment-, and cookbook-specific values. The deploy resource has four layout modifiers: create_dirs_before_symlink, purge_before_symlink, symlink_before_migrate, and symlinks. Each of these is a Hash that behaves as a property of the deploy resource. When these layout modifiers are used in a recipe, they appear similar to the following:

deploy 'name' do
  ...
  symlink_before_migrate       {'config/database.yml' => 'config/database.yml'}
  create_dirs_before_symlink   %w{tmp public config}
  purge_before_symlink         %w{log tmp/pids public/system}
  symlinks                     { 'system' => 'public/system',
                                 'pids' => 'tmp/pids',
                                 'log' => 'log'
                               }
  ...
end

and then what these layout modifiers look like if they were empty:

deploy 'name' do
  ...
  symlink_before_migrate       nil
  create_dirs_before_symlink   []
  purge_before_symlink         []
  symlinks                     nil
  ...
end

In most cases, using the empty values for the layout modifiers will prevent the chef-client from passing symbolic linking information to a node during the chef-client run. However, in some cases, it may be preferable to ensure that one (or more) of these layout modifiers do not pass any symbolic linking information to a node during the chef-client run at all. Because each of these layout modifiers are a Hash, the clear instance method can be used to clear out these values.

To clear the default values for a layout modifier:

deploy 'name' do
  ...
  symlink_before_migrate.clear
  create_dirs_before_symlink.clear
  purge_before_symlink.clear
  symlinks.clear
  ...
end

In general, use this approach carefully and only after it is determined that nil or empty values won’t provide the expected result.

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https://docs-archive.chef.io/release/12-13/resource_deploy.html