HOWTO: Deploy mono web applications with capistrano-mono-deploy

I’ve recently been working on a capistrano gem to help with mono deployments. I’ve had a bit of experience trying to get capistrano to work with non-rails environments, basically it can be a bit of pain if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Also most of the beginners tutorials are aimed at people developing Ruby on Rails. So I though I’d create a gem and provide a little how to. The gem is called capistrano-mono-deploy. This is how you can use it to deploy a simple web application to a Linux machine. In this example I’ll be using the excellent ServiceStack for the web application and xsp4 to host the it. You can find all the code on my github account.


I’m running Ubuntu 12.10 on my server and am using Mono which was installed from the package repository using apt-get

sudo apt-get install mono-xsp4

Service Stack

First I knocked a quick service stack application and created a status endpoint. This should work for any application that’s mono compatible but I haven’t tried with anything else. Once you’ve got an application you’ll want to be deploying it.


You need to make sure you have capistrano and ruby gems installed first. I’m running this from my Ubuntu development machine and have not tried deploying from a windows machine to ‘nix machine.

Install ruby and ruby gems
sudo apt-get install ruby1.9.3 rubygems

Install bundle sudo gem install bundle capistrano

Add a Gemfile and insert the following source :rubygems gem “capistrano-mono-deploy”

Call bundle to update the gems bundle

Capify your project capify .

Edit your config/deploy.rb to be something like this: require “capistrano/mono-deploy”

ssh_options[:keys] = %w('~/.ssh/*.pub')

set :application, "service stack deployed with capistrano running on mono"
set :deploy_to, "~/www" 

role :app, ""

Then from the root of your project call cap deploy

BOOM your application is deployed!

Assuming you have your ssh keys setup for the server, either that or you had to enter a password.

Now I wouldn’t recommend using xsp as your weapon of choice when it comes to hosting, but it’s easy to get started with and you can swap it out for other things once you get up and running.

You should take some time to read up about capistrano and how it works. It’s a really powerful tool that has loads of options available for you to play with. The capistrano-mono-deploy gem currently deploys the first directory it finds with a web.config located in it.

Feedback appreciated, particularly on my terrible ruby code!

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