Using Buildpacks

Deis supports deploying applications via Heroku Buildpacks. Buildpacks are useful if you’re interested in following Heroku’s best practices for building applications or if you are deploying an application that already runs on Heroku.

Prepare an Application

If you do not have an existing application, you can clone an example application that demonstrates the Heroku Buildpack workflow.

$ git clone
$ cd example-ruby-sinatra

Create an Application

Use deis create to create an application on the Controller.

$ deis create
Creating application... done, created unisex-huntress
Git remote deis added

Push to Deploy

Use git push deis master to deploy your application.

$ git push deis master
Counting objects: 95, done.
Delta compression using up to 8 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (52/52), done.
Writing objects: 100% (95/95), 20.24 KiB | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total 95 (delta 41), reused 85 (delta 37)
-----> Ruby app detected
-----> Compiling Ruby/Rack
-----> Using Ruby version: ruby-1.9.3
-----> Installing dependencies using 1.5.2
       Running: bundle install --without development:test --path vendor/bundle --binstubs vendor/bundle/bin -j4 --deployment
       Fetching gem metadata from
       Fetching additional metadata from
       Using bundler (1.5.2)
       Installing tilt (1.3.6)
       Installing rack (1.5.2)
       Installing rack-protection (1.5.0)
       Installing sinatra (1.4.2)
       Your bundle is complete!
       Gems in the groups development and test were not installed.
       It was installed into ./vendor/bundle
       Bundle completed (8.81s)
       Cleaning up the bundler cache.
-----> Discovering process types
       Procfile declares types -> web
       Default process types for Ruby -> rake, console, web
-----> Compiled slug size is 12M
-----> Building Docker image
Uploading context 11.81 MB
Uploading context
Step 0 : FROM deis/slugrunner
 ---> 5567a808891d
Step 1 : RUN mkdir -p /app
 ---> Running in a4f8e66a79c1
 ---> 5c07e1778b9e
Removing intermediate container a4f8e66a79c1
Step 2 : ADD slug.tgz /app
 ---> 52d48b1692e5
Removing intermediate container e9dfce920e26
Step 3 : ENTRYPOINT ["/runner/init"]
 ---> Running in 7a8416bce1f2
 ---> 4a18f93f1779
Removing intermediate container 7a8416bce1f2
Successfully built 4a18f93f1779
-----> Pushing image to private registry

       Launching... done, v2

-----> unisex-huntress deployed to Deis

       To learn more, use `deis help` or visit

To ssh://
 * [new branch]      master -> master

$ curl -s
Powered by Deis!

Because a Heroku-style application is detected, the web process type is automatically scaled to 1 on first deploy.

Use deis scale web=3 to increase web processes to 3, for example. Scaling a process type directly changes the number of Containers running that process.

Included Buildpacks

For convenience, a number of buildpacks come bundled with Deis:

Deis will cycle through the bin/detect script of each buildpack to match the code you are pushing.


If you’re testing against the Scala Buildpack, the Builder requires at least 512MB of free memory to execute the Scala Build Tool.

Using a Custom Buildpack

To use a custom buildpack, set the BUILDPACK_URL environment variable.

$ deis config:set BUILDPACK_URL=
Creating config... done, v2

=== humble-autoharp


If, however, you’re unable to deploy using the latest version of the buildpack, You can set an exact version of a buildpack by using a git revision in your BUILDPACK_URL. For example: BUILDPACK_URL=

On your next git push, the custom buildpack will be used.

Using Private Repositories

To pull code from private repositories, set the SSH_KEY environment variable to a private key which has access. Use either the path of a private key file or the raw key material:

$ deis config:set SSH_KEY=/home/user/.ssh/id_rsa
$ deis config:set SSH_KEY="""-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
-----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----"""

For example, to use a custom buildpack hosted at a private GitHub URL, ensure that an SSH public key exists in your GitHub settings. Then set SSH_KEY to the corresponding SSH private key and set BUILDPACK_URL to the URL:

$ deis config:set SSH_KEY=/home/user/.ssh/github_id_rsa
$ deis config:set
$ git push deis master