Installing and Deploying Drupal 7 with Capistrano

Previously we discussed how to set up Drupal 8 with Composer and deploy it using a Capistrano recipe. Unfortunately Drupal 8 is still considered a bleeding edge build and has limited support for popular plugins and modules, and may break custom themes and upgrades to the Drupal core.

Therefor we are going to examine how to setup and deploy a Drupal 7 install, with Capistrano. Unfortunately Drupal 7 has limited support for composer without major structural changes, but there are still a number of ways to install it including using the Drupal command line interface (drush) and manually by downloading an archive.

Because the steps involved in installing drush can vary considerably depending on your operating system, we are going to manually install Drupal and set it up with Capistrano. Its worth noting this works more or less the same if you have an existing Drupal install, simply remove the steps required to install it on your local machine.

First of all create an empty repo and clone it on your local machine.
For this example we will be using a repo hosting on BitBucket but it should be more or less the same for any service.

cd project_directory
git init
git remote add origin

 Next download the Drupal package to your project directory

curl -O

Extract the archive, moving the content out of the containing folder

tar --strip-components=1 -xzvf drupal-7.37.tar.gz

Remove the archive

rm drupal-7.37.tar.gz

Configure your silverstripe install by visiting /core/install.php

If its not installed, install Capistrano

gem install capdrupal

Setup Capistrano within your project directory

cap install

Setup your Capistrano config files

Set config/deploy.rb

set :application, ‘appname’
set :repo_url, ''
set :user, "www-data"
set :group, "www-data"
set :runner_group, "www-data"
set :domain, "http://sitedomain"
set :deploy_to, "/var/www"
set :linked_files, %w{web/sites/default/settings.php .htaccess}
set :app_path, "drupal"
set :shared_children, ['drupal/sites/default/files']
set :shared_files, ['drupal/sites/default/settings.php'] 
set :download_drush, true
set :scm, "git"
set :repository, ""
set :branch, "master"
Set config/deploy/staging.rb (Replace with your project/server details)

role :web, %w{root@server}
server 'server', user: 'serveruser', roles: %w{web}

Push changes to repo

git add *
git commit -m "First commit"
git push origin master

Make sure you have set up ssh key access to your staging server

ssh-keygen -t rsa
cat ~/.ssh/ | ssh root@stagingserveraddress 'cat >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys'

You will also need to add the the public key from both your development machine and your staging server, to your repo.
Refer to your repository host on how to do this.

Run a cold deploy to setup the file structure

cap staging deploy

 This will fail almost instantly citing a missing shared file. Log into your staging server and create the missing files, filling out the details as particular to your hosting environment.

ssh root@stagingserveraddress
cd /var/www
nano shared/web/sites/default/settings.php

You simply need to create this file as it will be filled in later
nano shared/.htaccess
# Apache/PHP/Drupal settings:
# # Protect files and directories from prying eyes.
<FilesMatch "\.(engine|inc|info|install|make|module|profile|test|po|sh|.*sql|theme|tpl(\.php)?|xtmpl)(~|\.sw[op]|\.bak|\.orig|\.save)?$|^(\..*|Entries.*|Repository|Root|Tag|Template)$|^#.*#$|\.php(~|\.sw[op]|\.bak|\.orig\.save)$">
Order allow,deny
</FilesMatch> # Don't show directory listings for URLs which map to a directory.
Options -Indexes # Follow symbolic links in this directory.
Options +FollowSymLinks # Make Drupal handle any 404 errors.
ErrorDocument 404 /index.php # Set the default handler.
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.htm # Override PHP settings that cannot be changed at runtime. See
# sites/default/default.settings.php and drupal_environment_initialize() in
# includes/ for settings that can be changed at runtime. # PHP 5, Apache 1 and 2.
<IfModule mod_php5.c>
php_flag magic_quotes_gpc off
php_flag magic_quotes_sybase off
php_flag register_globals off
php_flag session.auto_start off
php_value mbstring.http_input pass
php_value mbstring.http_output pass
php_flag mbstring.encoding_translation off
</IfModule> # Requires mod_expires to be enabled.
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
# Enable expirations.
ExpiresActive On # Cache all files for 2 weeks after access (A).
ExpiresDefault A1209600 <FilesMatch \.php$>
# Do not allow PHP scripts to be cached unless they explicitly send cache
# headers themselves. Otherwise all scripts would have to overwrite the
# headers set by mod_expires if they want another caching behavior. This may
# fail if an error occurs early in the bootstrap process, and it may cause
# problems if a non-Drupal PHP file is installed in a subdirectory.
ExpiresActive Off
</IfModule> # Various rewrite rules.
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine on # Set "protossl" to "s" if we were accessed via https://. This is used later
# if you enable "www." stripping or enforcement, in order to ensure that
# you don't bounce between http and https.
RewriteRule ^ - [E=protossl]
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} on
RewriteRule ^ - [E=protossl:s] # Make sure Authorization HTTP header is available to PHP
# even when running as CGI or FastCGI.
RewriteRule ^ - [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization}] # Block access to "hidden" directories whose names begin with a period. This
# includes directories used by version control systems such as Subversion or
# Git to store control files. Files whose names begin with a period, as well
# as the control files used by CVS, are protected by the FilesMatch directive
# above.
# NOTE: This only works when mod_rewrite is loaded. Without mod_rewrite, it is
# not possible to block access to entire directories from .htaccess, because
# <DirectoryMatch> is not allowed here.
# If you do not have mod_rewrite installed, you should remove these
# directories from your webroot or otherwise protect them from being
# downloaded.
RewriteRule "(^|/)\." - [F] # If your site can be accessed both with and without the 'www.' prefix, you
# can use one of the following settings to redirect users to your preferred
# URL, either WITH or WITHOUT the 'www.' prefix. Choose ONLY one option:
# To redirect all users to access the site WITH the 'www.' prefix,
# ( will be redirected to
# uncomment the following:
# RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} .
# RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\. [NC]
# RewriteRule ^ http%{ENV:protossl}://www.%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
# To redirect all users to access the site WITHOUT the 'www.' prefix,
# ( will be redirected to
# uncomment the following:
# RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.(.+)$ [NC]
# RewriteRule ^ http%{ENV:protossl}://%1%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301] # Modify the RewriteBase if you are using Drupal in a subdirectory or in a
# VirtualDocumentRoot and the rewrite rules are not working properly.
# For example if your site is at uncomment and
# modify the following line:
# RewriteBase /
# If your site is running in a VirtualDocumentRoot at,
# uncomment the following line:
# RewriteBase / # Pass all requests not referring directly to files in the filesystem to
# index.php. Clean URLs are handled in drupal_environment_initialize().
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !=/favicon.ico
RewriteRule ^ index.php [L] # Rules to correctly serve gzip compressed CSS and JS files.
# Requires both mod_rewrite and mod_headers to be enabled.
<IfModule mod_headers.c>
# Serve gzip compressed CSS files if they exist and the client accepts gzip.
RewriteCond %{HTTP:Accept-encoding} gzip
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}\.gz -s
RewriteRule ^(.*)\.css $1\.css\.gz [QSA] # Serve gzip compressed JS files if they exist and the client accepts gzip.
RewriteCond %{HTTP:Accept-encoding} gzip
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}\.gz -s
RewriteRule ^(.*)\.js $1\.js\.gz [QSA] # Serve correct content types, and prevent mod_deflate double gzip.
RewriteRule \.css\.gz$ - [T=text/css,E=no-gzip:1]
RewriteRule \.js\.gz$ - [T=text/javascript,E=no-gzip:1] <FilesMatch "(\.js\.gz|\.css\.gz)$">
# Serve correct encoding type.
Header set Content-Encoding gzip
# Force proxies to cache gzipped & non-gzipped css/js files separately.
Header append Vary Accept-Encoding

Once you have updated the shared files, run the deploy script again from your development machine

cap staging deploy

 Then navigate to /current/web/core/install.php, and fill in the required details and install.