# Deployment

Strapi gives you many possible deployment options for your project or application. Strapi can be deployed on traditional hosting servers or services such as Heroku, AWS, Azure and others. The following documentation covers how to develop locally with Strapi and deploy Strapi with various hosting options.

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Deploying databases along with Strapi is covered in the Databases Guide.

# Configuration

# 1. Configure

Update the production settings with the IP and domain name where the project will be running.

Path — ./config/environments/production/server.json.

{
  "host": "domain.io", // IP or domain
  "port": 1337
}

In case your database is not running on the same server, make sure that the environment of your production database (./config/environments/production/database.json) is set properly.

If you are passing a number of configuration item values via environment variables which is always encouraged for production environment, read the section for Dynamic Configuration. Here is an example:

Path — ./config/environments/production/server.json.

{
  "host": "${process.env.APP_HOST || '127.0.0.1'}",
  "port": "${process.env.NODE_PORT || 1337}"
}

# 2. Launch the server

Before running your server in production you need to build your admin panel for production

Run the server with the production settings.

WARNING

We highly recommend using pm2 to manage your process.

If you need a server.js file to be able to run node server.js instead of npm run start then create a ./server.js file as follows:

const strapi = require('strapi');

strapi(/* {...} */).start();

# Advanced configurations

If you want to host the administration on another server than the API, please take a look at this dedicated section.

# Docker

In this section, you will not find a specific guide to deploy your app with Docker.

We recently updated the strapi/strapi-docker GitHub repository that contains all informations needed to user Strapi with Docker.

# Amazon AWS

This is a step-by-step guide for deploying a Strapi project to Amazon AWS EC2. This guide will connect to an Amazon AWS RDS for managing and hosting the database. Optionally, this guide will show you how to connect host and serve images on Amazon AWS S3. Prior to starting this guide, you should have created a Strapi project, to use for deploying on AWS.

# Amazon AWS Install Requirement and creating an IAM non-root user

  • You must have a free Amazon AWS before doing these steps.

Best practices for using AWS Amazon services state to not use your root account user and to use instead the IAM (AWS Identity and Access Management) service. Your root user is therefore only used for a very few select tasks. For example, for billing, you create an Administrator user and Group for such things. And other, more routine tasks are done with a regular IAM User.

# 1. Follow these instructions for creating your Administrator IAM Admin User and Group

  • Login as root.
  • Create Administrator role.

# 2. Next, create a regular user for the creation and management of your Strapi project

  • Copy your IAM Users sign-in link found here: IAM Console and then log out of your root user and log in to your administrator user you just created.
  • Return to the IAM Console by searching for IAM and clicking or going here: IAM Console.
  • Click on Users, in the left hand menu, and then click Add User:
    1. In the Set user details screen:
    • Provide a User name.
    • Access Type: Check both Programmatic access and AWS Management Console access.
    • Autogenerate a password or click Custom password and provide one.
    • OPTIONAL: For simplicity, uncheck the Require password reset.
    • Click Next: Permissions.
    1. In the Set Permissions screen, do the following:
    • Click Create group, name it, e.g. Developers, and then choose appropriate policies under Policy Name:
      • search for ec2 and check AmazonEC2FullAccess
      • search for RDS and check AmazonRDSFullAccess
      • search for s3 and check AmazonS3FullAccess
      • Click Create group
    • Click to Add user to group and check the Developers group, to add the new user.
    • Click Next: Tags.
    1. Add tags (optional)
    • This step is optional and based on your workflow and project scope.
    • Click Next: Review.
    1. Review
    • Review the information and ensure it is correct. Use Previous to correct anything.
    • Click Create user.
    1. Success - These are very IMPORTANT CREDENTIALS If you do not do these steps you will have to reset your Access key ID and Secret access key later.
    • Download the .csv file and store it in a safe place. This contains the user name, login link, Access key ID and Secret access key.
    • OPTIONAL: Add these credentials to your *Password manager**.
    • Click on the AWS Management Console Access sign-in link. This will log you out of Administrator.

# 3. Log into your AWS Management Console as your regular user

You may now proceed to the next steps.

# Additional IAM User Resources

# Launch an EC2 virtual machine

Amazon calls a virtual private server, a virtual server or Amazon EC2 instance. To use this service you will Launch Instance. In this section, you will establish IAM credentials, launch a new instance and set-up primary security rules.

# 1. From your AWS Management Console and as your regular user

  • Find Services, search for ec2 and click on EC2, Virtual Servers in the Cloud

# 2. Select Appropriate Region

In the top menu, near your IAM Account User name, select, from the dropdown, the most appropriate region to host your Strapi project. For example, US East (N.Virginia) or Asia Pacific (Hong Kong). You will want to remember this region for configuring other services on AWS and serving these services from the same region.

# 3. Click on the blue Launch Instance button

  • Select Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS (HVM), SSD Volume Type
  • Ensure General purpose + t2.small is checked.

    TIP

    t2.small is the smallest instance type in which Strapi runs. t2.nano and t2.micro DO NOT work. At the moment, deploying the Strapi Admin interface requires more than 1g of RAM. Therefore, t2.small or larger instance is needed.

  • Click the grey Next: Configure Instance Details and Next: Add Storage
  • In the Step 4: Add Storage verify the General Purpose SSD (gb2), then click Next: Add tags.
  • In the Step 5: Add Tags, add tags to suit your project or leave blank, then click Next: Configure Security Group.
  • In the Step 6: Configure Security Group, configure the security settings as follows:
    • Assign a security group: Check as Create a new security group
    • Security group name: Name it, e.g. strapi
    • Description: Write a short description, e.g. strapi instance security settings
    • You should have a rule: Type: SSH, Protocol: TCP, Port Range 22, Source: 0.0.0.0/0 (all IP addresses). If not, add it.
    • Click the grey Add rule to add each of these rules:
      • Type: SSH, Protocol: TCP, Port Range 22, Source: ::/0
      • Type: HTTP, Protocol: TCP, Port Range 80, Source: 0.0.0.0/0, ::/0
      • Type: HTTPS, Protocol: TCP, Port Range 443, Source: 0.0.0.0/0, ::/0
      • Type: Custom TCP Rule, Protocol: TCP, Port Range 1337, Source: 0.0.0.0/0 Description: Strapi for Testing Port These rules are basic configuration and security rules. You may want to tighten and limit these rules based on your own project and organizational policies.

        TIP

        After setting up your Nginx rules and domain name with the proper aliases, you will need to delete the rule regarding port 1337 as this is for testing and setting up the project - not for production.

  • Click the blue Review and Launch button.
  • Review the details, in the Step 7: Review Instance Launch, then click the blue Launch button. Now, you need to select an existing key pair or create a new key pair. To create a new key pair, do the following:
    • Select the dropdown option Create a new key pair.
    • Name your the key pair name, e.g. ec2-strapi-key-pair

      WARNING

      Download the private key file (.pem file). This file is needed, so note where it was downloaded.

    • After downloading the file, click the blue Launch Instances button.

Your instance is now running. Continue to the next steps.

# Install a PostgreSQL database on AWS RDS

Amazon calls their database hosting services RDS. Multiple database options exist and are available. In this guide, PostgreSQL is used as the example, and the steps are similar for each of the other database that are supported by Strapi. (MySQL, MondoDB, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, SQLite). You will set-up an RDS instance to host your postgresql database.

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Amazon RDS does NOT have a completely free evaluation tier. After finishing this guide, if you are only testing, please remember to delete the database. Otherwise, you will incur charges.

# 1. Navigate to the AWS RDS Service

In the top menu, click on Services and do a search for rds, click on RDS, Managed Relational Database Service.

# 2. Select your region

In the top menu bar, select the region that is the same as the EC2 instance, e.g. EU (Paris) or US East (N. Virgina).

# 3. Create the database

Click the orange Create database button. Follow these steps to complete installation of a PostgreSQL database:

  • Engine Options: Click on PostgreSQL, version PostgreSQL 10.x-R1
  • Templates: Click on Free Tier.
  • Settings
    • DB instance identifier Give a name to your database, e.g. strapi-database
    • Credential Settings: This is your psql database username and password.
      • Master username: Keep as postgres, or change (optional)
      • Uncheck Auto generate a password, and then type in a new secret password.
  • Connectivity, and Additional connectivity configuration: Set Publicly accessible to Yes.
  • OPTIONAL: Review any further options (DB Instance size, Storage, Connectivity), and modify to your project needs.
  • You need to give you Database a name. Under Additional configuration:
    • Additional configuration, and then Initial database name: Give your database a name, e.g. strapi.
  • Review the rest of the options and click the orange, Create database button.

After a few minutes, you may refresh your page and see that your database has been successfully created.

# Configure S3 for image hosting

Amazon calls cloud storage services S3. You create a bucket, which holds the files, images, folders, etc... which then can be accessed and served by your application. This guide will show you have to use Amazon S3 to host the images for your project.

# 1. Navigate to the Amazon S3

In the top menu, click on Services and do a search for s3, click on Scalable storage in the cloud.

# 2. Create the bucket

Click on the blue Create bucket button:

  • Give your bucket a unique name, under Bucket name, e.g. my-project-name-images.
  • Select the most appropriate region, under Region, e.g. EU (Paris) or US East (N. Virgina).
  • Click Next.
  • Configure any appropriate options for your project in the Configure Options page, and click next.
  • Under Block public access:
    • Uncheck Block all public access and set the permissions as follows:
      • Uncheck Block new public ACLs and uploading public objects (Recommended)
      • Uncheck Block public access to buckets and objects granted through any access control lists (ACLs)
      • Check Block public access to buckets and objects granted through new public bucket policies
      • Check Block public and cross-account access to buckets and objects through any public bucket policies
    • Select Do not grant Amazon S3 Log Delivery group write access to this bucket.
  • Click Next.
  • Review and click Create bucket.

# Configure EC2 as a Node.js server

You will set-up your EC2 server as a Node.js server. Including basic configuration and Git.

You will need your EC2 ip address:

  • In the AWS Console, navigate to the AWS EC2. In the top menu, click on Services and do a search for ec2, click on Virtual Servers in the cloud.
  • Click on 1 Running Instance and note the IPv4 Public OP address. E.g. 34.182.83.134.

# 1. Setup the .pem file

  • You downloaded, in a previous step, your User .pem file. e.g. ec2-strapi-key-pair.pem. This needs to be included in each attempt to SSH into your EC2 server. Move your .pem file to ~/.ssh/, follow these steps:
  • On your local machine, navigate to the folder that contains your .pem file. e.g. downloads
  • Move the .pem file to ~/.ssh/ and set file permissions: Path:./path-to/.pem-file/
mv ec2-strapi-key-pair.pem ~/.ssh/
chmod 400 ~/.ssh/ec2-strapi-key-pair.pem

# 2. Log in to your server as the default ubuntu user:

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In the future, each time you log into your EC2 server, you will need to add the path to the .pem file, e.g. ssh -i ~/.ssh/ec2-strapi-key-pair.pem ubuntu@12.123.123.11.

ssh -i ~/.ssh/ec2-strapi-key-pair.pem ubuntu@12.123.123.11

Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS (GNU/Linux 4.15.0-1032-aws x86_64)

...

To run a command as administrator (user "root"), use "sudo <command>".
See "man sudo_root" for details.

ubuntu@ip-12.123.123.11:~$

# 3. Install Node.js with npm:

Strapi currently supports Node.js v10.x.x. The following steps will install Node.js onto your EC2 server.

cd ~
curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_10.x | sudo -E bash -
...
sudo apt-get install nodejs
...
node -v && npm -v

The last command node -v && npm -v should output two versions numbers, eg. v10.x.x, 6.x.x.

# 4. Create and change npm's default directory.

The following steps are based on how to resolve access permissions from npmjs.com:

  • Create a .npm-global directory and set the path to this directory for node_modules
cd ~
mkdir ~/.npm-global
npm config set prefix '~/.npm-global'
  • Create (or modify) a ~/.profile file and add this line:
sudo nano ~/.profile

Add these lines at the bottom of the ~/.profile file.

# set PATH so global node modules install without permission issues
export PATH=~/.npm-global/bin:$PATH
  • Lastly, update your system variables:
source ~/.profile

You are now ready to continue to the next section.

# Install and Configure Git versioning on your server

A convenient way to maintain your Strapi application and update it during and after initial development is to use Git. In order to use Git, you will need to have it installed on your EC2 instance. EC2 instances should have Git installed by default, so you will first check if it is installed and if it is not installed, you will need to install it.

The next step is to configure Git on your server.

# 1. Check to see if Git is installed

If you see a git version 2.x.x then you do have Git installed. Check with the following command:

git --version

# 2. OPTIONAL: Install Git.

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Only do if not installed, as above. Please follow these directions on how to install Git on Ubuntu 18.04.

# 3. Configure the global username and email settings: Setting up Git - Your Identity

After installing and configuring Git on your EC2 instance. Please continue to the next step.

# Prepare and clone Strapi project to server

These instructions assume that you have already created a Strapi project, and have it in a GitHub repository.

You will need to update the database.json file to configure Strapi to connect to the RDS database. And you will need to install an npm package called pg locally on your development server.

TIP

The pg package install is only necessary if you are using PostgresSQL as your database.

# 1. Install pg in your Strapi project.

On your development machine, navigate to your Strapi project root directory: Path: ./my-project/

npm install pg

# 2. Edit the database.json file.

Copy/paste the following:

Path: ./my-project/config/environments/production/database.json:

{
  "defaultConnection": "default",
  "connections": {
    "default": {
      "connector": "bookshelf",
      "settings": {
        "client": "postgres",
        "host": "${process.env.DATABASE_HOST || '127.0.0.1'}",
        "port": "${process.env.DATABASE_PORT || 27017}",
        "database": "${process.env.DATABASE_NAME || 'strapi'}",
        "username": "${process.env.DATABASE_USERNAME || ''}",
        "password": "${process.env.DATABASE_PASSWORD || ''}"
      },
      "options": {
        "ssl": false
      }
    }
  }
}

# 3. Install the Strapi Provider Upload AWS S3 Plugin:

Path: ./my-project/.

This plugin will allow configurations for each active environment.

npm install strapi-provider-upload-aws-s3@beta

# 4. Push your local changes to your project's GitHub repository.

git add .
git commit -m 'installed pg, aws-S3 provider plugin and updated the production/database.json file'
git push

# 5. Deploy from GitHub

You will next deploy your Strapi project to your EC2 instance by cloning it from GitHub.

From your terminal and logged into your EC2 instance as the ubuntu user:

cd ~
git clone https://github.com/your-name/your-project-repo.git

Next, navigate to the my-project folder, the root for Strapi. You will need to run npm install to install the packages for your project.

Path: ./my-project/

cd ./my-project/
npm install
NODE_ENV=production npm run build

Next, you need to install PM2 Runtime and configure the ecosystem.config.js file

# 6. Install PM2 Runtime

PM2 Runtime allows you to keep your Strapi project alive and to reload it without downtime.

Ensure you are logged in as a non-root user. You will install PM2 globally:

npm install pm2@latest -g

Now, you will need to configure an ecosystem.config.js file. This file will set env variables that connect Strapi to your database. It will also be used to restart your project whenever any changes are made to files within the Strapi file system itself (such as when an update arrived from Github). You can read more about this file here.

  • You will need to open your nano editor and then copy/paste the following:
cd ~
pm2 init
sudo nano ecosystem.config.js
  • Next, replace the boilerplate content in the file, with the following:
module.exports = {
  apps: [
    {
      name: 'your-app-name',
      cwd: '/home/ubuntu/my-strapi-project/my-project',
      script: 'npm',
      args: 'start',
      env: {
        NODE_ENV: 'production',
        DATABASE_HOST: 'your-unique-url.rds.amazonaws.com', // database Endpoint under 'Connectivity & Security' tab
        DATABASE_PORT: '5432',
        DATABASE_NAME: 'strapi', // DB name under 'Configuration' tab
        DATABASE_USERNAME: 'postgres', // default username
        DATABASE_PASSWORD: 'Password',
      },
    },
  ],
};

Use the following command to start pm2:

cd ~
pm2 start ecosystem.config.js

Your Strapi project should now be available on http://your-ip-address:1337/.

TIP

Earlier, Port 1337 was allowed access for testing and setup purposes. After setting up NGINX, the Port 1337 needs to have access denied.

# 7. Configure PM2 Runtime to launch project on system startup.

Follow the steps below to have your app launch on system startup.

TIP

These steps are based on the PM2 Runtime Startup Hook Guide.

  • Generate and configure a startup script to launch PM2, it will generate a Startup Script to copy/paste, do so:
$ cd ~
$ pm2 startup systemd

[PM2] Init System found: systemd
[PM2] To setup the Startup Script, copy/paste the following command:
sudo env PATH=$PATH:/usr/bin /usr/lib/node_modules/pm2/bin/pm2 startup systemd -u your-name --hp /home/your-name
  • Copy/paste the generated command:
$ sudo env PATH=$PATH:/usr/bin /usr/lib/node_modules/pm2/bin/pm2 startup systemd -u your-name --hp /home/your-name

[PM2] Init System found: systemd
Platform systemd

. . .


[PM2] [v] Command successfully executed.
+---------------------------------------+
[PM2] Freeze a process list on reboot via:
   $ pm2 save

[PM2] Remove init script via:
   $ pm2 unstartup systemd
  • Next, Save the new PM2 process list and environment.
pm2 save

[PM2] Saving current process list...
[PM2] Successfully saved in /home/your-name/.pm2/dump.pm2

  • OPTIONAL: You can test to see if the script above works whenever your system reboots with the sudo reboot command. You will need to login again with your non-root user and then run pm2 list and systemctl status pm2-ubuntu to verify everything is working.

# Configure Strapi Provider AWS S3 plugin

The next steps involve configuring Strapi to connect to the AWS S3 bucket.

# 1. Locate your IPv4 Public IP:

  • Login as your regular user to your EC2 Dashboard
  • Click on 1 Running Instances.
  • Below, in the Description tab, locate your IPv4 Public IP

# 2. Next, create your Administrator user, and login to Strapi:

  • Go to http://your-ip-address:1337/
  • Complete the registration form.
  • Click Ready to Start

# 3. Configure the plugin with your bucket credentials:

  • From the left-hand menu, click Plugins and then the cog wheel located to the right of Files Upload.
  • From the dropdown, under Providers, select Amazon Web Service S3 and enter the configuration details: You can find the Access API Token and Secret Access Token in the configuration.csv file you downloaded earlier or if you saved them to your password manager.
    • Access API Token: This is your Access Key ID
    • Secret Access Token: This is your Secret Access Key Navigate back to your Amazon S3 Dashboard:
    • Region: Is your selected region, eg. EU (Paris)
    • Bucket: Is your bucket name, eg. my-project-name-images
    • Set your Maximum size allowed(in MB) to a value: eg. 10mb
    • Select ON, for Enable File Upload
    • Click the Save button.

You may now test the image upload, and you will find your images being uploaded to Amazon AWS S3.

# Set up a webhook

Providing that your project is set-up on GitHub, you will need to configure your Strapi Project Repository with a webhook. The following article provides additional information to the steps below: GitHub Creating Webhooks Guide.

  • You will need to access the Settings tab for your Strapi Project Repository:

    1. Navigate and click to Settings for your repository.
    2. Click on Webhooks, then click Add Webhook.
    3. The fields are filled out like this:
      • Payload URL: Enter http://your-ip-address:8080
      • Content type: Select application/json
      • Which events would you like to trigger this webhook: Select Just the push event
      • Secret: Enter YourSecret
      • Active: Select the checkbox
    4. Review the fields and click Add Webhook.
  • Next, you need to create a Webhook Script on your server. These commands create a new file called webhook.js which will hold two variables:

cd ~
mkdir NodeWebHooks
cd NodeWebHooks
sudo nano webhook.js
  • In the nano editor, copy/paste the following script, but make sure to replace your_secret_key and repo with the values that correspond to your project, then save and exit.

(This script creates a variable called PM2_CMD which is used after pulling from GitHub to update your project. The script first changes to the home directory and then runs the variable PM2_CMD as pm2 restart strapi. The project uses the ecosystem.config.js as the point of starting your application.)

var secret = 'your_secret_key'; // Your secret key from Settings in GitHub
var repo = '~/path-to-strapi-root-folder/'; // path to the root of your Strapi project on server

const http = require('http');
const crypto = require('crypto');
const exec = require('child_process').exec;

const PM2_CMD = 'cd ~ && pm2 startOrRestart ecosystem.config.js';

http
  .createServer(function(req, res) {
    req.on('data', function(chunk) {
      let sig =
        'sha1=' +
        crypto
          .createHmac('sha1', secret)
          .update(chunk.toString())
          .digest('hex');

      if (req.headers['x-hub-signature'] == sig) {
        exec(
          `cd ${repo} && git pull && ${PM2_CMD}`,
          (error, stdout, stderr) => {
            if (error) {
              console.error(`exec error: ${error}`);
              return;
            }
            console.log(`stdout: ${stdout}`);
            console.log(`stderr: ${stderr}`);
          }
        );
      }
    });

    res.end();
  })
  .listen(8080);
  • Allow the port to communicate with outside web traffic for port 8080:
    • Within your AWS EC2 dashboard:
      • In the left hand menu, click on Security Groups,
      • Select with the checkbox, the correct Group Name, e.g. strapi,
      • At the bottom of the screen, in the Inbound tab, click Edit, and then Add Rule:
        • Type: Custom TCP
        • Protocol: TCP
        • Port Range: 8080
        • Source: Custom 0.0.0.0/0, ::/0
      • Then Save

Earlier you setup pm2 to start the services (your Strapi project) whenever the EC2 instance reboots or is started. You will now do the same for the webhook script.

  • Install the webhook as a Systemd service

    • Run echo $PATH and copy the output for use in the next step.
cd ~
echo $PATH

/home/your-name/.npm-global/bin:/home/your-name/bin:/home/your-name/.local/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/games:/snap/bin
  • Create a webhook.service file:
sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/webhook.service
  • In the nano editor, copy/paste the following script, but make sure to replace ubuntu in two places if you changed the default ubuntu user, and paste the $PATH from above.

WARNING

DELETE THE #COMMENTS BEFORE SAVING, then save and exit.

[Unit]
Description=Github webhook
After=network.target

[Service]
Environment=PATH=/PASTE-PATH_HERE #path from echo $PATH (as above)
Type=simple
User=ubuntu #replace with your name, if changed from default ubuntu user
ExecStart=/usr/bin/nodejs /home/ubuntu/NodeWebHooks/webhook.js #replace with your name, if changed from default ubuntu user
Restart=on-failure

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
  • Enable and start the new service so it starts when the system boots:
sudo systemctl enable webhook.service
sudo systemctl start webhook
  • Check the status of the webhook:
sudo systemctl status webhook
  • You may test your webhook by following the instructions here.

# Further steps to take

  • You can add a domain name or use a subdomain name for your Strapi project, you will need to install NGINX and configure it.

    TIP

    After setting up NGINX, for security purposes, you need to disable port access on Port 1337. You may do this easily from your EC2 Dashboard. In Security Groups (lefthand menu), click the checkbox of the group, eg. strapi, and below in the inbound tab, click Edit, and delete the rule for Port Range : 1337 by click the x.

  • To install SSL, you will need to install and run Certbot by Let's Encrypt.

  • Set-up Nginx with HTTP/2 Support for Ubuntu 18.04.

Your Strapi project has been installed on an AWS EC2 instance using Ubuntu 18.04.

# Digital Ocean

This is a step-by-step guide for deploying a Strapi project to Digital Ocean. Databases can be on a Digital Ocean Droplet or hosted externally as a service. Prior to starting this guide, you should have created a Strapi project.

# Digital Ocean Install Requirements

# Create a "Droplet"

Digital Ocean calls a virtual private server, a Droplet. You need to create a new Droplet to host your Strapi project.

# 1. Log in to your Digital Ocean account.

# 2. Create a Droplet by clicking on New Droplet.

Choose these options:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 x64
  • STARTER Standard
  • Choose an appropriate pricing plan. For example, pricing: $10/mo (Scroll to the left)

    TIP

    The $5/mo plan is currently unsupported as Strapi will not build with 1G of RAM. At the moment, deploying the Strapi Admin interface requires more than 1g of RAM. Therefore, a minimum standard Droplet of $10/mo or larger instance is needed.

  • Choose a datacenter region nearest your audience, for example, New York.
  • OPTIONAL: Select additional options, for example, [x] IPv6.
  • Add your SSH key

    TIP

    We recommend you add your SSH key for better security.

    • In your terminal, use pbcopy < ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub to copy your existing SSH public key, on your development computer, to the clipboard.
    • Click on New SSH Key and paste in your SSH Key. Name this SSH key and then Save. (Additional instructions on creating and using SSH Keys can be found here.)
  • OPTIONAL: Choose a hostname or leave as-is.
  • Click the green Create button.

Digital Ocean will create your Droplet and indicate the progress with a percentage bar. Once this is complete, you may continue to the next steps.

# Setup production server and install Node.js

These next steps will help you to set up a production server and set up a non-root user for managing your server.

Follow the official Digital Ocean docs for initial server set-up using Ubuntu 18.04. These docs will have you complete the following actions:

# 1. Logging and set up root user access to your server with SSH.

# 2. Creating a new user.

# 3. Granting Administrative Privileges to the new user.

# 4. Setting up a basic firewall.

# 5. Giving your regular user access to the server with SSH key authentication.

Next, install Node.js:

# 6. You will install Node.js.

Use the instructions in section Install Node using a PPA from the official Digital Ocean docs for installing a production ready Node.js server.

After completing the steps to install Node.js, NPM and the "build-essential package", you will manually change npm's default directory. The following steps are based on how to resolve access permissions from npmjs.com:

  • Create a .npm-global directory and set the path to this directory for node_modules
cd ~
mkdir ~/.npm-global
npm config set prefix '~/.npm-global'
  • Create (or modify) a ~/.profile file and add this line:
sudo nano ~/.profile

Add these lines.

# set PATH so global node modules install without permission issues
export PATH=~/.npm-global/bin:$PATH
  • Lastly, update your system variables:
source ~/.profile

You are now ready to continue to the next section.

# Install and Configure Git versioning on your server

A convenient way to maintain your Strapi application and update it during and after initial development is to use Git. In order to use Git, you will need to have it installed on your Droplet. Droplets should have Git installed by default, so you will first check if it is installed and if it is not installed, you will need to install it.

The next step is to configure Git on your server.

# 1. Check to see if Git is installed

If you see a git version 2.x.x then you do have Git installed. Check with the following command:

git --version

# 2. OPTIONAL: Install Git.

:::note Only do this step if not installed, as above. Please follow these directions on how to install Git on Ubuntu 18.04. :::

# 3. Complete the global username and email settings: Setting up Git

After installing and configuring Git on your Droplet. Please continue to the next step, installing a database.

# Install the database for your project

Digital Ocean has excellent documentation regarding the installation and use of the major databases that work with Strapi. The previous steps above should all be completed prior to continuing. You can find links, and any further instructions, below:

# Deploy from Github

You will next deploy your Strapi project to your Droplet by cloning it from GitHub.

From your terminal, logged in as your non-root user to your Droplet:

cd ~
git clone https://github.com/your-name/your-project-repo.git

Next, navigate to the my-project folder, the root for Strapi. You will now need to run npm install to install the packages for your project.

Path: ./my-project/

cd ./my-project/
npm install
NODE_ENV=production npm run build

Strapi uses Port: 1337 by default. You will need to configure your ufw firewall to allow access to this port, for testing and installation purposes. After you have installed and configured NGINX, you need to sudo ufw deny 1337, to close the port to outside traffic.

cd ~
sudo ufw allow 1337/tcp
sudo ufw enable

Command may disrupt existing ssh connections. Proceed with operation (y|n)? y
Firewall is active and enabled on system startup

Your Strapi project is now installed on your Droplet. You have a few more steps prior to being able to access Strapi and create your first user.

You will next need to install and configure PM2 Runtime.

# Install and configure PM2 Runtime

PM2 Runtime allows you to keep your Strapi project alive and to reload it without downtime.

Ensure you are logged in as a non-root user. You will install PM2 globally:

npm install pm2@latest -g

# The ecosystem.config.js file

  • You will need to configure an ecosystem.config.js file. This file will manage the database connection variables Strapi needs to connect to your database. The ecosystem.config.js will also be used by pm2 to restart your project whenever any changes are made to files within the Strapi file system itself (such as when an update arrives from GitHub). You can read more about this file here.

    • You will need to open your nano editor and then copy/paste the following:
cd ~
pm2 init
sudo nano ecosystem.config.js
  • Next, replace the boilerplate content in the file, with the following:
module.exports = {
  apps: [
    {
      name: 'strapi',
      cwd: '/home/your-name/my-strapi-project/my-project',
      script: 'npm',
      args: 'start',
      env: {
        NODE_ENV: 'production',
        DATABASE_HOST: 'localhost', // database endpoint
        DATABASE_PORT: '5432',
        DATABASE_NAME: 'strapi', // DB name
        DATABASE_USERNAME: 'your-name', // your username for psql
        DATABASE_PASSWORD: 'password', // your password for psql
      },
    },
  ],
};

Use the following command to start pm2:

cd ~
pm2 start ecosystem.config.js

pm2 is now set-up to use an ecosystem.config.js to manage restarting your application upon changes. This is a recommended best practice.

OPTIONAL: You may see your project and set-up your first administrator user, by creating an admin user.

TIP

Earlier, Port 1337 was allowed access for testing and setup purposes. After setting up NGINX, the Port 1337 needs to have access denied.

Follow the steps below to have your app launch on system startup.

TIP

These steps are modified from the Digital Ocean documentation for setting up PM2.

  • Generate and configure a startup script to launch PM2, it will generate a Startup Script to copy/paste, do so:
$ cd ~
$ pm2 startup systemd

[PM2] Init System found: systemd
[PM2] To setup the Startup Script, copy/paste the following command:
sudo env PATH=$PATH:/usr/bin /usr/lib/node_modules/pm2/bin/pm2 startup systemd -u your-name --hp /home/your-name
  • Copy/paste the generated command:
$ sudo env PATH=$PATH:/usr/bin /usr/lib/node_modules/pm2/bin/pm2 startup systemd -u your-name --hp /home/your-name

[PM2] Init System found: systemd
Platform systemd

. . .


[PM2] [v] Command successfully executed.
+---------------------------------------+
[PM2] Freeze a process list on reboot via:
   $ pm2 save

[PM2] Remove init script via:
   $ pm2 unstartup systemd
  • Next, Save the new PM2 process list and environment. Then Start the service with systemctl:
pm2 save

[PM2] Saving current process list...
[PM2] Successfully saved in /home/your-name/.pm2/dump.pm2

  • OPTIONAL: You can test to see if the script above works whenever your system reboots with the sudo reboot command. You will need to login again with your non-root user and then run pm2 list and systemctl status pm2-your-name to verify everything is working.

Continue below to configure the webhook.

# Set up a webhook on Digital Ocean / GitHub

Providing that your project is set-up on GitHub, you will need to configure your Strapi Project Repository with a webhook. The following articles provide additional information to the steps below: GitHub Creating Webhooks Guide and Digital Ocean Guide to GitHub WebHooks.

  • You will need to access the Settings tab for your Strapi Project Repository:

    1. Navigate and click to Settings for your repository.
    2. Click on Webhooks, then click Add Webhook.
    3. The fields are filled out like this:
      • Payload URL: Enter http://your-ip-address:8080
      • Content type: Select application/json
      • Which events would you like to trigger this webhook: Select Just the push event
      • Secret: Enter YourSecret
      • Active: Select the checkbox
    4. Review the fields and click Add Webhook.
  • Next, you need to create a Webhook Script on your server. These commands create a new file called webhook.js which will hold two variables:

cd ~
mkdir NodeWebHooks
cd NodeWebHooks
sudo nano webhook.js
  • In the nano editor, copy/paste the following script, but make sure to replace your_secret_key and repo with the values that correspond to your project, then save and exit.

(This script creates a variable called PM2_CMD which is used after pulling from GitHub to update your project. The script first changes to the home directory and then runs the variable PM2_CMD as pm2 restart strapi.

var secret = 'your_secret_key';
var repo = '~/path-to-your-repo/';

const http = require('http');
const crypto = require('crypto');
const exec = require('child_process').exec;

const PM2_CMD = 'cd ~ && pm2 startOrRestart ecosystem.config.js';

http
  .createServer(function(req, res) {
    req.on('data', function(chunk) {
      let sig =
        'sha1=' +
        crypto
          .createHmac('sha1', secret)
          .update(chunk.toString())
          .digest('hex');

      if (req.headers['x-hub-signature'] == sig) {
        exec(
          `cd ${repo} && git pull && ${PM2_CMD}`,
          (error, stdout, stderr) => {
            if (error) {
              console.error(`exec error: ${error}`);
              return;
            }
            console.log(`stdout: ${stdout}`);
            console.log(`stderr: ${stderr}`);
          }
        );
      }
    });

    res.end();
  })
  .listen(8080);
  • Allow the port to communicate with outside web traffic for port 8080:
sudo ufw allow 8080/tcp
sudo ufw enable

Command may disrupt existing ssh connections. Proceed with operation (y|n)? y
Firewall is active and enabled on system startup

Earlier you setup pm2 to start the services (your Strapi project) whenever the Droplet reboots or is started. You will now do the same for the webhook script.

  • Install the webhook as a Systemd service

    • Run echo $PATH and copy the output for use in the next step.
echo $PATH

/home/your-name/.npm-global/bin:/home/your-name/bin:/home/your-name/.local/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/games:/snap/bin
  • Create a webhook.service file:
cd ~
sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/webhook.service
  • In the nano editor, copy/paste the following script, but make sure to replace your-name in two places with your username. Earlier, you ran echo $PATH, copy this to the Environment=PATH= variable, then save and exit:
[Unit]
Description=Github webhook
After=network.target

[Service]
Environment=PATH=your_path
Type=simple
User=your-name
ExecStart=/usr/bin/nodejs /home/your-name/NodeWebHooks/webhook.js
Restart=on-failure

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
  • Enable and start the new service so it starts when the system boots:
sudo systemctl enable webhook.service
sudo systemctl start webhook
  • Check the status of the webhook:
sudo systemctl status webhook
  • You may test your webhook by following the instructions here.

# Further steps to take

  • You can add a domain name or use a subdomain name for your Strapi project, you will need to install NGINX and configure it.
  • Deny traffic to Port 1337. You have set-up a proxy using Nginx, you now need to block access by running the following command:
cd ~
sudo ufw deny 1337

Your Strapi project has been installed on a Digital Ocean Droplet using Ubuntu 18.04.

# Heroku

This is a step-by-step guide for deploying a Strapi project on Heroku. Databases that work well with Strapi and Heroku are provided instructions on how to get started.

# Heroku Install Requirements

If you already have the Heroku CLI installed locally on your computer. Skip to Login to Heroku.

# 1. Heroku CLI Installation

Download and install the Heroku CLI for your operating system:

# 2. Login to Heroku from your CLI

Next, you need to login to Heroku from your computer.

heroku login

Follow the instructions and return to your command line.

# 3. Create a new project (or use an existing one)

Create a new Strapi project (if you want to deploy an existing project go to step 4).

NOTE

If you plan to use MongoDB with your project, refer to the create a Strapi project with MongoDB section of the documentation then, jump to step 4.

Path: ./

TIP

When you use --quickstart to create a Strapi project locally, a SQLite database is used which is not compatible with Heroku. Therefore, another database option must be chosen.

# 4. Update .gitignore

Add the following line at end of .gitignore:

Path: ./my-project/.gitignore

package-lock.json

Even if it is usually recommended to version this file, it may create issues on Heroku.

# 5. Init a Git repository and commit your project

Init the Git repository and commit your project.

Path: ./my-project/

cd my-project
git init
git add .
git commit -m "Initial Commit"

# 6. Create a Heroku project

Create a new Heroku project.

Path: ./my-project/

heroku create

You can use heroku create custom-project-name, to have Heroku create a custom-project-name.heroku.com URL. Otherwise, Heroku will automatically generate a random project name (and URL) for you.

NOTE

If you have a Heroku project app already created. You would use the following step to initialize your local project folder:

Path: ./my-project/

heroku git:remote -a your-heroku-app-name

Your local development environment is now set-up and configured to work with Heroku. You have a new Strapi project and a new Heroku app ready to be configured to work with a database and with each other.

# 7. Heroku Database set-up

Below you will find database options when working with Heroku. Please choose the correct database (e.g. PostgreSQL, MongoDB, etc.) and follow those instructions.

# 8. Commit your changes

Path: ./my-project/

git add .
git commit -m "Update database config"

# 9. Deploy

Path: ./my-project/

git push heroku master

The deployment may take a few minutes. At the end, logs will display the url of your project (e.g. https://mighty-taiga-80884.herokuapp.com). You can also open your project using the command line:

Path: ./my-project/

heroku open

If you see the Strapi Welcome page, you have correctly set-up, configured and deployed your Strapi project on Heroku. You will now need to set-up your admin user as the production database is brand-new (and empty).

You can now continue with the Tutorial - Creating an Admin User, if you have any questions on how to proceed.

WARNING

For security reasons, the Content Type Builder plugin is disabled in production. To update content structure, please make your changes locally and deploy again.

# Project updates

When Strapi is deployed to Heroku, Heroku sets the environment variable to NODE_ENV=production. In production mode Strapi disables the content-type builder (for security reasons). Additionally, if you wanted to change the default production mode in Heroku, it wouldn't work as the file system is temporary. Strapi writes files to the server when you update the content-types and these updates would disappear when Heroku restarts the server.

Therefore, modifications that require writing to model creation or other json files, e.g. creating or changing content-types, require that you make those changes on your dev environment and then push the changes to Heroku.

As you continue developing your application with Strapi, you may want to use version control, or you can continue to use Git push heroku master to commit and push changes to Heroku directly.

Path: ./my-project/

git add .
git commit -am "Changes to my-project noted"
git push heroku master
heroku open

# File Uploads

Like with project updates on Heroku, the file system doesn't support local uploading of files as they will be wiped when Heroku "Cycles" the dyno. This type of file system is called ephemeral, which means the file system only lasts until the dyno is restarted (with Heroku this happens any time you redeploy or during their regular restart which can happen every few hours or every day).

Due to Heroku's filesystem you will need to use an upload provider such as AWS S3, Cloudinary, or Rackspace. You can view the documentation for installing providers here and you can see a list of providers from both Strapi and the community on npmjs.com.