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Version: 0.13.1

Deploying Manually

This document explains how to build and prepare your Wasp app for deployment. You can then deploy the built Wasp app wherever and however you want, as long as your provider/server supports Wasp's build format.

After going through the general steps that apply to all deployments, you can follow step-by-step guides for deploying your Wasp app to the most popular providers:

No worries, you can still deploy your app if your desired provider isn't on the list - it just means we don't yet have a step-by-step guide for you to follow. Feel free to open a PR if you'd like to write one yourself :)

Deploying a Wasp App

Deploying a Wasp app comes down to the following:

  1. Generating deployable code.
  2. Deploying the API server (backend).
  3. Deploying the web client (frontend).
  4. Deploying a PostgreSQL database and keeping it running.

Let's go through each of these steps.

1. Generating Deployable Code

Running the command wasp build generates deployable code for the whole app in the .wasp/build/ directory.

wasp build
PostgreSQL in production

You won't be able to build the app if you are using SQLite as a database (which is the default database). You'll have to switch to PostgreSQL before deploying to production.

2. Deploying the API Server (backend)

There's a Dockerfile that defines an image for building the server in the .wasp/build directory.

To run the server in production, deploy this Docker image to a hosting provider and ensure the required environment variables on the provider are correctly set up (the mechanism of setting these up is specific per provider). All necessary environment variables are listed in the next section.

Environment Variables

Here are the environment variables your server will be looking for:

  • DATABASE_URL required

    The URL of the PostgreSQL database you want your app to use (e.g., postgresql://mydbuser:mypass@localhost:5432/nameofmydb).

  • WASP_WEB_CLIENT_URL required

    The URL where you plan to deploy your frontend app is running (e.g., https://<app-name>.netlify.app). The server needs to know about it to properly configure Same-Origin Policy (CORS) headers.

  • WASP_SERVER_URL required

    The URL where the server is running (e.g., https://<app-name>.fly.dev). The server needs it to properly redirect users when logging in with OAuth providers like Google or GitHub.

  • JWT_SECRET (required if using Wasp Auth)

    You only need this environment variable if you're using Wasp's auth features. Set it to a random string at least 32 characters long (you can use an online generator).

  • PORT

    The server's HTTP port number. This is where the server listens for requests (default: 3001).

Using an external auth method?

If your app is using an external authentication method(s) supported by Wasp (such as Google or GitHub), make sure to additionally set the necessary environment variables specifically required by these method(s).

While these are the general instructions on deploying the server anywhere, we also have more detailed instructions for chosen providers below, so check that out for more guidance if you are deploying to one of those providers.

3. Deploying the Web Client (frontend)

To build the web app, position yourself in .wasp/build/web-app directory:

cd .wasp/build/web-app

Run

npm install && REACT_APP_API_URL=<url_to_wasp_backend> npm run build

where <url_to_wasp_backend> is the URL of the Wasp server that you previously deployed.

The command above will build the web client and put it in the build/ directory in the web-app directory.

Since the app's frontend is just a bunch of static files, you can deploy it to any static hosting provider.

4. Deploying the Database

Any PostgreSQL database will do, as long as you provide the server with the correct DATABASE_URL env var and ensure that the database is accessible from the server.

Different Providers

We'll cover a few different deployment providers below:

  • Fly.io (server and database)
  • Netlify (client)
  • Railway (server, client and database)
  • Heroku (server and database)

Fly.io (server and database)

We will show how to deploy the server and provision a database for it on Fly.io.

We automated this process for you

If you want to do all of the work below with one command, you can use the Wasp CLI.

Wasp CLI deploys the server, deploys the client, and sets up a database. It also gives you a way to redeploy (update) your app with a single command.

Fly.io offers a variety of free services that are perfect for deploying your first Wasp app! You will need a Fly.io account and the flyctl CLI.

note

Fly.io offers support for both locally built Docker containers and remotely built ones. However, for simplicity and reproducibility, we will default to the use of a remote Fly.io builder.

Additionally, fly is a symlink for flyctl on most systems and they can be used interchangeably.

Make sure you are logged in with flyctl CLI. You can check if you are logged in with flyctl auth whoami, and if you are not, you can log in with flyctl auth login.

Set Up a Fly.io App

info

You need to do this only once per Wasp app.

Unless you already have a Fly.io app that you want to deploy to, let's create a new Fly.io app.

After you have built the app, position yourself in .wasp/build/ directory:

cd .wasp/build

Next, run the launch command to set up a new app and create a fly.toml file:

flyctl launch --remote-only

This will ask you a series of questions, such as asking you to choose a region and whether you'd like a database.

  • Say yes to Would you like to set up a PostgreSQL database now? and select Development. Fly.io will set a DATABASE_URL for you.

  • Say no to Would you like to deploy now? (and to any additional questions).

    We still need to set up several environment variables.

What if the database setup fails?

If your attempts to initiate a new app fail for whatever reason, then you should run flyctl apps destroy <app-name> before trying again. Fly does not allow you to create multiple apps with the same name.

What does it look like when your DB is deployed correctly?

When your DB is deployed correctly, you'll see it in the Fly.io dashboard:

image

Next, let's copy the fly.toml file up to our Wasp project dir for safekeeping.

cp fly.toml ../../

Next, let's add a few more environment variables:

flyctl secrets set PORT=8080
flyctl secrets set JWT_SECRET=<random_string_at_least_32_characters_long>
flyctl secrets set WASP_WEB_CLIENT_URL=<url_of_where_client_will_be_deployed>
flyctl secrets set WASP_SERVER_URL=<url_of_where_server_will_be_deployed>
note

If you do not know what your client URL is yet, don't worry. You can set WASP_WEB_CLIENT_URL after you deploy your client.

Using an external auth method?

If your app is using an external authentication method(s) supported by Wasp (such as Google or GitHub), make sure to additionally set the necessary environment variables specifically required by these method(s).

If you want to make sure you've added your secrets correctly, run flyctl secrets list in the terminal. Note that you will see hashed versions of your secrets to protect your sensitive data.

Deploy to a Fly.io App

While still in the .wasp/build/ directory, run:

flyctl deploy --remote-only --config ../../fly.toml

This will build and deploy the backend of your Wasp app on Fly.io to https://<app-name>.fly.dev 🤘🎸

Now, if you haven't, you can deploy your client and add the client URL by running flyctl secrets set WASP_WEB_CLIENT_URL=<url_of_deployed_client>. We suggest using Netlify for your client, but you can use any static hosting provider.

Additionally, some useful flyctl commands:

flyctl logs
flyctl secrets list
flyctl ssh console

Redeploying After Wasp Builds

When you rebuild your Wasp app (with wasp build), it will remove your .wasp/build/ directory. In there, you may have a fly.toml from any prior Fly.io deployments.

While we will improve this process in the future, in the meantime, you have a few options:

  1. Copy the fly.toml file to a versioned directory, like your Wasp project dir.

    From there, you can reference it in flyctl deploy --config <path> commands, like above.

  2. Backup the fly.toml file somewhere before running wasp build, and copy it into .wasp/build/ after.

    When the fly.toml file exists in .wasp/build/ dir, you do not need to specify the --config <path>.

  3. Run flyctl config save -a <app-name> to regenerate the fly.toml file from the remote state stored in Fly.io.

Netlify (client)

We'll show how to deploy the client on Netlify.

Netlify is a static hosting solution that is free for many use cases. You will need a Netlify account and Netlify CLI installed to follow these instructions.

Make sure you are logged in with Netlify CLI. You can check if you are logged in with netlify status, and if you are not, you can log in with netlify login.

First, make sure you have built the Wasp app. We'll build the client web app next.

To build the web app, position yourself in .wasp/build/web-app directory:

cd .wasp/build/web-app

Run

npm install && REACT_APP_API_URL=<url_to_wasp_backend> npm run build

where <url_to_wasp_backend> is the URL of the Wasp server that you previously deployed.

We can now deploy the client with:

netlify deploy

Carefully follow the instructions i.e. do you want to create a new app or use an existing one, the team under which your app will reside etc.

The final step is to run:

netlify deploy --prod`

That is it! Your client should be live at https://<app-name>.netlify.app

note

Make sure you set this URL as the WASP_WEB_CLIENT_URL environment variable in your server hosting environment (e.g., Fly.io or Heroku).

Railway (server, client and database)

We will show how to deploy the client, the server, and provision a database on Railway.

Railway is a simple and great way to host your server and database. It's also possible to deploy your entire app: database, server, and client. You can use the platform for free for a limited time, or if you meet certain eligibility requirements. See their plans page for more info.

Prerequisites

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your Wasp app is built by running wasp build in the project dir.

  2. Create a Railway account

    Free Tier

    Sign up with your GitHub account to be eligible for the free tier

  3. Install the Railway CLI

  4. Run railway login and a browser tab will open to authenticate you.

Create New Project

Let's create our Railway project:

  1. Go to your Railway dashboard, click on New Project, and select Provision PostgreSQL from the dropdown menu.
  2. Once it initializes, right-click on the New button in the top right corner and select Empty Service.
  3. Once it initializes, click on it, go to Settings > General and change the name to server
  4. Go ahead and create another empty service and name it client

Changing the name

Deploy Your App to Railway

Setup Domains

We'll need the domains for both the server and client services:

  1. Go to the server instance's Settings tab, and click Generate Domain.
  2. Do the same under the client's Settings.

Copy the domains as we will need them later.

Deploying the Server

Let's deploy our server first:

  1. Move into your app's .wasp/build/ directory:

    cd .wasp/build
  2. Link your app build to your newly created Railway project:

    railway link
  3. Go into the Railway dashboard and set up the required env variables:

    Open the Settings and go to the Variables tab:

    • click Variable reference and select DATABASE_URL (it will populate it with the correct value)

    • add WASP_WEB_CLIENT_URL - enter the client domain (e.g. https://client-production-XXXX.up.railway.app)

    • add WASP_SERVER_URL - enter the server domain (e.g. https://server-production-XXXX.up.railway.app)

    • add JWT_SECRET - enter a random string at least 32 characters long (use an online generator)

      Using an external auth method?

      If your app is using an external authentication method(s) supported by Wasp (such as Google or GitHub), make sure to additionally set the necessary environment variables specifically required by these method(s).

  4. Push and deploy the project:

railway up

Select server when prompted with Select Service.

Railway will now locate the Dockerfile and deploy your server 👍

Deploying the Client

  1. Next, change into your app's frontend build directory .wasp/build/web-app:

    cd web-app
  2. Create the production build, using the server domain as the REACT_APP_API_URL:

    npm install && REACT_APP_API_URL=<url_to_wasp_backend> npm run build
  3. Next, we want to link this specific frontend directory to our project as well:

    railway link
  4. We need to configure Railway's static hosting for our client.

    Setting Up Static Hosting

    Copy the build folder within the web-app directory to dist:

    cp -r build dist

    We'll need to create the following files:

    • Dockerfile with:

      Dockerfile
      FROM pierrezemb/gostatic
      CMD [ "-fallback", "index.html" ]
      COPY ./dist/ /srv/http/
    • .dockerignore with:

      .dockerignore
      node_modules/

    You'll need to repeat these steps each time you run wasp build as it will remove the .wasp/build/web-app directory.

    Here's a useful shell script to do the process

    If you want to automate the process, save the following as deploy_client.sh in the root of your project:

    deploy_client.sh
    #!/usr/bin/env bash

    if [ -z "$REACT_APP_API_URL" ]
    then
    echo "REACT_APP_API_URL is not set"
    exit 1
    fi

    wasp build
    cd .wasp/build/web-app

    npm install && REACT_APP_API_URL=$REACT_APP_API_URL npm run build

    cp -r build dist

    dockerfile_contents=$(cat <<EOF
    FROM pierrezemb/gostatic
    CMD [ "-fallback", "index.html" ]
    COPY ./dist/ /srv/http/
    EOF
    )

    dockerignore_contents=$(cat <<EOF
    node_modules/
    EOF
    )

    echo "$dockerfile_contents" > Dockerfile
    echo "$dockerignore_contents" > .dockerignore

    railway up

    Make it executable with:

    chmod +x deploy_client.sh

    You can run it with:

    REACT_APP_API_URL=<url_to_wasp_backend> ./deploy_client.sh
  5. Set the PORT environment variable to 8043 under the Variables tab.

  6. Deploy the client and select client when prompted with Select Service:

railway up

Conclusion

And now your Wasp should be deployed! 🐝 🚂 🚀

Back in your Railway dashboard, click on your project and you should see your newly deployed services: PostgreSQL, Server, and Client.

Updates & Redeploying

When you make updates and need to redeploy:

  • run wasp build to rebuild your app
  • run railway up in the .wasp/build directory (server)
  • repeat all the steps in the .wasp/build/web-app directory (client)

Heroku (server and database)

We will show how to deploy the server and provision a database for it on Heroku.

note

Heroku used to offer free apps under certain limits. However, as of November 28, 2022, they ended support for their free tier. https://blog.heroku.com/next-chapter

As such, we recommend using an alternative provider like Fly.io for your first apps.

You will need Heroku account, heroku CLI and docker CLI installed to follow these instructions.

Make sure you are logged in with heroku CLI. You can check if you are logged in with heroku whoami, and if you are not, you can log in with heroku login.

Set Up a Heroku App

info

You need to do this only once per Wasp app.

Unless you want to deploy to an existing Heroku app, let's create a new Heroku app:

heroku create <app-name>

Unless you have an external PostgreSQL database that you want to use, let's create a new database on Heroku and attach it to our app:

heroku addons:create --app <app-name> heroku-postgresql:mini
caution

Heroku does not offer a free plan anymore and mini is their cheapest database instance - it costs $5/mo.

Heroku will also set DATABASE_URL env var for us at this point. If you are using an external database, you will have to set it up yourself.

The PORT env var will also be provided by Heroku, so the ones left to set are the JWT_SECRET, WASP_WEB_CLIENT_URL and WASP_SERVER_URL env vars:

heroku config:set --app <app-name> JWT_SECRET=<random_string_at_least_32_characters_long>
heroku config:set --app <app-name> WASP_WEB_CLIENT_URL=<url_of_where_client_will_be_deployed>
heroku config:set --app <app-name> WASP_SERVER_URL=<url_of_where_server_will_be_deployed>
note

If you do not know what your client URL is yet, don't worry. You can set WASP_WEB_CLIENT_URL after you deploy your client.

Deploy to a Heroku App

After you have built the app, position yourself in .wasp/build/ directory:

cd .wasp/build

assuming you were at the root of your Wasp project at that moment.

Log in to Heroku Container Registry:

heroku container:login

Build the docker image and push it to Heroku:

heroku container:push --app <app-name> web

App is still not deployed at this point. This step might take some time, especially the very first time, since there are no cached docker layers.

Note for Apple Silicon Users

Apple Silicon users need to build a non-Arm image, so the above step will not work at this time. Instead of heroku container:push, users instead should:

docker buildx build --platform linux/amd64 -t <app-name> .
docker tag <app-name> registry.heroku.com/<app-name>/web
docker push registry.heroku.com/<app-name>/web

You are now ready to proceed to the next step.

Deploy the pushed image and restart the app:

heroku container:release --app <app-name> web

This is it, the backend is deployed at https://<app-name>-XXXX.herokuapp.com 🎉

Find out the exact app URL with:

heroku info --app <app-name>

Additionally, you can check out the logs with:

heroku logs --tail --app <app-name>
Using pg-boss with Heroku

If you wish to deploy an app leveraging Jobs that use pg-boss as the executor to Heroku, you need to set an additional environment variable called PG_BOSS_NEW_OPTIONS to {"connectionString":"<REGULAR_HEROKU_DATABASE_URL>","ssl":{"rejectUnauthorized":false}}. This is because pg-boss uses the pg extension, which does not seem to connect to Heroku over SSL by default, which Heroku requires. Additionally, Heroku uses a self-signed cert, so we must handle that as well.

Read more: https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/connecting-heroku-postgres#connecting-in-node-js