Build, Deploy and Run a Rails Application

Getting an application running on Fly is essentially working out how to package it as a deployable image. Once packaged it can be deployed to the Fly infrastructure to run on the global application platform.

In this guide we'll learn how to deploy a Rails application on Fly.

We'll take a look at the short versions first, deploying with a preconfigured example Rails app. You can get the code for the example from the Fly-Examples GitHub repository. Just git clone to get a local copy.

Install Flyctl and Login

We are ready to start working with Fly and that means we need flyctl, our CLI app for managing apps on Fly. If you've already installed it, carry on. If not, hop over to our installation guide. Once thats installed you'll want to log in to Fly.

Launching the App

To configure and launch the app, you can use flyctl launch and follow the simple wizard:

flyctl launch
An existing fly.toml file was found for app hello-rails
? Would you like to copy its configuration to the new app? (y/N)

You can set a name for the app, choose a default region, and choose to launch and attach a Postgresql database. Finally flyctl will ask if you want to deploy. Say yes!

Once it's done, you can use flyctl status to check the app's status and deployment, and you should see something like this:

flyctl status
  Name     = hello-rails
  Owner    = personal
  Version  = 0
  Status   = running
  Hostname =

Deployment Status
  ID          = c3ca80bf-4034-837a-ce92-682e6528c5c7
  Version     = v0
  Status      = successful
  Description = Deployment completed successfully
  Instances   = 1 desired, 1 placed, 1 healthy, 0 unhealthy

748868bc    app     0       lhr     run     running 1 total, 1 passing  0           20s ago

That's it! Run fly open to see your deployed app in action.

Try a few other commands:

  • fly logs - Tail your application logs
  • fly status - App deployment details
  • fly deploy - Deploy the application after making changes

Configuring an Existing Rails Application

If you've got an existing Rails app and you want to set it up for Fly, the process is pretty similar; flyctl launch will take you through the setup steps, but there's a couple of things to look at first.

If you're using Postgres, your database settings will be passed to your app via a DATABASE_URL environment variable (which Rails picks up automatically). That means you can drop a lot of the production configuration from config/database.yml.

If you've got your app's secrets stored in config/credentials.yml.enc, you'll need to provide the master key to the app by setting it as an secret via the CLI, which you can do with:

flyctl secrets set RAILS_MASTER_KEY=putyourkeyhere

Beyond the Basics

Most Rails apps will probably want a few extra moving parts, with things like Redis and Sidekiq for caching and background jobs.

Adding Redis

Setting up Redis requires launching it as a separate app. See the Redis Guide for more details.

Multi-Process Apps

If you need to run additional processes based on your Gem environment (like Sidekiq) there's a number of options outlined in the Multi-Process apps documentation