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I'm looking for recommendations on how to automate / simplify deployment from a git repository (github) to a hosting service. The hosting service supports FTP (yuck) / SSH / SFTP access.

Any good tools out there to give push-button deployment of new revisions? I know it's not a hard script to write, but when you start thinking about things like roll-back and multiple sites, it gets complicated enough that I'd rather not re-invent the wheel.

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If you don't want to install git on the remote (hosting) server then there are a couple of pretty good options:

CodeBase

Beanstalk

I prefer the latter because it's version tracking and deployment features are combined.

I have also seen people who do have git installed on their remote server use a cron job to run git pull every few hours. This works best if you have a branch for live completed code and a branch for new features etc.

Update:

It's actually an application called Deploy that CodeBase integrates with (both made by the same team).

www.deployhq.com

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I've found Pagodabox to be the easiest repo as well as host to develop on, and its free for basic accounts.

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What I'd try and do is create your git repository in a directory structure like:

~/website/
 .git/
 public_html/
 public_html2/

Then just pull different revisions appropriately. This method also keeps your .git folder out of the way of what your visitors might browse for. I can't exactly say much more without knowing specifics.

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Have a look at Webistrano, which is a Web UI for managing Capistrano deployments. It lets you manage projects and their stages like test, production, and staging with different settings. Those stages can then be deployed with Capistrano through Webistrano.

We've been using it for a few years, deploying from our Subversion repo, but it supports Git as well. Rollbacks, multi-server deploys, etc., are supported.

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In case you are still looking for solution to automate deployment, check Deployplace. It is similar to DeployHQ but much more powerful and supports deployment of complex applications.

Deployplace is still in beta, but you can request early access.

Hope this helps,

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