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.

Add SSH Key

For Buildpack based application deploys via git push, Deis Workflow identifies users via SSH keys. SSH keys are pushed to the platform and must be unique to each user.

  • See this document for instructions on how to generate an SSH key.

  • Run deis keys:add to upload your SSH key to Deis Workflow.

$ deis keys:add ~/.ssh/
Uploading to deis... done

Read more about adding/removing SSH Keys here.

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-go

Create an Application

Use deis create to create an application on the Controller.

$ deis create
Creating application... done, created skiing-keypunch
Git remote deis added

Push to Deploy

Use git push deis master to deploy your application.

$ git push deis master
Counting objects: 75, done.
Delta compression using up to 8 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (48/48), done.
Writing objects: 100% (75/75), 18.28 KiB | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total 75 (delta 30), reused 58 (delta 22)
Starting build... but first, coffee!
-----> Go app detected
-----> Checking Godeps/Godeps.json file.
-----> Installing go1.4.2... done
-----> Running: godep go install -tags heroku ./...
-----> Discovering process types
       Procfile declares types -> web
-----> Compiled slug size is 1.7M
Build complete.
Launching app.
Done, skiing-keypunch:v2 deployed to Deis

Use 'deis open' to view this application in your browser

To learn more, use 'deis help' or visit

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

$ curl -s
Powered by Deis
Release v2 on skiing-keypunch-v2-web-02zb9

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 pods 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.

Compile Hooks

Sometimes, an application needs a way to stop or check if a service is running before building an app, which may require notifying a service that the Builder has finished compiling the app. In order to do this, an app can provide two files in their bin/ directory:


The builder will run these commands before and after the build process, respectively.

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