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Capistrano Deployment Behind a Proxy

It’s best if we can deploy our app into an online VPS. However, sometimes we would still need to deploy our app to a server behind a VPN. In this article, I would like to share how we can setup to ease the process of installing gems, gem bundling and git clone / push in a server behind a VPN

Specify HTTP/HTTPS proxy

In order to use a proxy, we would need to indicate the http/https proxy by exporting all_proxy, http_proxy and https_proxy. To do that, let’s add in the following lines into ~/.bashrc

# ~/.bashrc

export all_proxy=http://<username>:<password>@<ip_address>:<port>
export http_proxy=http://<username>:<password>@<ip_address>:<port>
export https_proxy=http://<username>:<password>@<ip_address>:<port>

Then reload ~/.bashrc:

. ~/.bashrc

Configure wget to use HTTP/HTTPS proxy

You would very likely need wget to make use of the http/https proxy. To set that up, edit ~/.wgetrc and add in the following lines

# ~/.wgetrc

use_proxy=yes
http_proxy=http://<ip_address>:<port>
https_proxy=http://<ip_address>:<port>
proxy_user=<proxy_username>
proxy_password=<proxy_user_password>

You can then try to run the following command to see if it works:

wget http://google.com

To temporarily disable a proxy, you can append --no-proxy after the above command:

wget http://google.com --no-proxy

Configure Git to use HTTP/HTTPS Proxy

Next, we would need to setup our Git so that when we do git clone, or pull, it will go through a proxy. It’s difficult to channel the git protocol through a proxy. However, it’s easier to channel a git request via http/https request. Hence, what we could do is to replace the git@ portion in git clone git@... with git clone https://.... In order to do that, open ~/.gitconfig and add the following lines:

# ~/.gitconfig
[credential]
	helper = cache --timeout=86400
[url "https://github.com/jameshuynh/SomeProject.git"]
	insteadOf = git@github.com:jameshuynh/SomeProject.git

Note: You would need to replace releal project path.

With this, when we run:

git clone git@github.com:jameshuynh/SomeProject.git

Git will know and convert the command to

git clone https://github.com/jameshuynh/SomeProject.git

Hence this git clone command will go through the http/https proxy. One thing to note is that the first time that you git clone / pull via http/https, git will prompt you for username & password, which you would need to key in. Subsequently, because the line helper = cache --timeout=86400, git would cache your username & password. In this configuration, I am putting 86400 seconds, but it’s up to you to adjust how long git should remember your username & password.

Configure Gem Installation to use HTTP/HTTPS Proxy

Finally, we would need to setup proxy for our gem install or bundle install. In order to do that, edit ~/.gemrc and add in the following lines:

# ~/.gemrc
http_proxy: http://<username>:<password>@<ip_address>:<port>
https_proxy: http://<username>:<password>@<ip_address>:<port>

That’s all. You are now ready to deploy from capistrano just like you do on a server outside VPN.

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