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Deploying projects

Suppose that your monorepo includes a Node.js service that we want to deploy to a web server. For example, let's say the Node.js service is a local Rush project called app1, and the repo is organized as follows:

  • apps/app1:
    • depends on ext-lib7 (from NPM) and lib3 (a local project)
    • dev dependencies on ext-tool8 (from NPM) and tool6 (a local project)
  • apps/app2: depends on lib3 and lib4
  • libraries/lib3: depends on lib5
  • libraries/lib4: no dependencies
  • libraries/lib5: peer dependency on ext-lib7
  • tools/tool6: no dependencies

One solution might be to run rush install and rush build, and then copy the entire monorepo to the server. However, this could potentially include many extraneous files and NPM packages. Instead we would like to copy only app1 and its regular dependencies (ext-lib7, lib3, lib5). We do not want to include dev dependencies such as ext-tool8.

The rush deploy command calculates this set of files and copies them to a target folder, which you can then upload to your server.

Configuring "rush deploy"

The rush deploy command reads its settings from a config file common/config/rush/deploy.json. This config file is not created by rush init. Instead, you create the file using rush init-deploy.

Continuing our example, we can create the file using this command:

# Create common/config/rush/deploy.json and configure it to deploy "app1"
rush init-deploy --project app1

After the file deploy.json is created, open it in your editor and adjust the settings as appropriate. Then commit this file to Git.

Preparing a deployment

To copy the files to the deployment target folder, you would use these commands:

# Install dependencies
rush install

# Build the monorepo
rush build

# Copy app1 and its dependencies to the default target folder: common/deploy/
rush deploy

This will prepare a deployment by copying app1 and its dependencies the target folder. The copied files will be organized similarly to the monorepo's folder structure:

  • common/deploy/apps/app1/...
  • common/deploy/common/temp/node_modules/ext-lib7/...
  • common/deploy/libraries/lib3/...
  • common/deploy/libraries/lib4/...

You can test that the deployment worked correctly by executing app1 from within the deployment target folder:

# Change to the app1 location under the target folder
cd common/deploy/apps/app1

# Invoke the package.json script that starts the web service
rushx start

If the project fails to run (but worked correctly from its original location apps/app1), then you many need to tune the settings in deploy.json. Once you've confirmed that the project works correctly, the next step is to upload the common/deploy subtree to your server machine.

The common/deploy subtree will have symbolic links created by rush install. For example, if you are using the PNPM package manager, then common/deploy/apps/app1/node_modules/ext-lib7 may be a symlink to a folder under the common/deploy/common/temp/node_modules/.pnpm/... path. Correctly replicating these links can be problematic for upload tools such as tar or ftp.

The deploy.json config file provides a setting linkCreation that offers choices for handling links:

  • "default": Create the links while copying the files; this is the default behavior. Use this setting if your file copy tool can handle links correctly.
  • "script": A Node.js script called create-links.js will be written to the target folder. Use this setting to create links on the server machine, after the files have been uploaded.
  • "none": Do nothing; some other tool may create the links later, based on the deploy-metadata.json file.

The deploy-metadata.json file is written to the deployment target folder and contains a full inventory of links that need to be created. It might look something like this:

"scenarioName": "deploy.json",
"mainProjectName": "app1",
"links": [
"kind": "folderLink",
"linkPath": "common/deploy/apps/app1/node_modules/ext-lib7",
"targetPath": "common/deploy/common/temp/node_modules/.pnpm/"
. . .

If you specify "linkCreation": "script" then rush deploy will create the common/deploy folder without any links. After you have uploaded this folder to your server machine, you can then invoke the script to create the links:

# Invoke this command on the server machine, after the files have been uploaded
node create-links.js create

NOTE: When using "linkCreation": "script", the current implementation does not yet generate the node_modules/.bin command-line binaries. If you're interested in contributing a fix, see this PR comment for a suggested solution.

Including additional projects

Continuing our example, suppose that we want to include app1 and app2 together as a single deployment. Since app2 is not a dependency of app1, it will not be included automatically. We can consider app1 to be the "main project" (listed in deploymentProjectNames), and then declare app2 as an "additional project". The config file would look like this:


. . .
// The main project
"deploymentProjectNames": ["app1"],
. . .
"projectSettings": [
"projectName": "app1",

// When deploying "app1", include "app2". We need to add this explicitly because
// "app2" is not a dependency of "app1".
"additionalProjectsToInclude": [ "app2" ]

Multiple deployments using the same config file

Continuing our example, suppose that instead we want app1 and app2 to be deployed separately to two different web servers. If the settings are the same, we can simply add both of them to the deploymentProjectNames array, like this:


  . . .
"deploymentProjectNames": [ "app1", "app2" ],
. . .

When performing the deployment, the --project parameter selects which project to deploy. For example:

# Copy app1 and its dependencies to /mnt/deploy/app1
rush deploy --project app1 --target-folder /mnt/deploy/app1

# Copy app2 and its dependencies to /mnt/deploy/app2
rush deploy --project app2 --target-folder /mnt/deploy/app2

The --target-folder parameter copies the files to a custom location instead of the common/deploy/ default folder.

Multiple deployments using different config files

Continuing our example, suppose that app2 deploys separately and it requires different settings from app1. For example, suppose that we want "linkCreation": "default" for app1, but "linkCreation": "script" for app2. We will create two config files:

  • common/config/rush/deploy.json - the default scenario file, which we'll use for app1
  • common/config/rush/deploy-app2-example.json -- the app2-example scenario, which we will use for app2

Both of these files can be created using rush init-deploy:

# Create common/config/rush/deploy.json
rush init-deploy --project app1

# Create common/config/rush/deploy-app2-example.json
rush init-deploy --project app2 --scenario app2-example

After editing deploy-app2-example.json to specify "linkCreation": "script", we can now use the --scenario parameter with rush deploy:

# Copy app1 and its dependencies to /mnt/deploy/app1
# Uses scenario file: common/config/rush/deploy.json
rush deploy --target-folder /mnt/deploy/app1

# Copy app2 and its dependencies to /mnt/deploy/app2
# Uses scenario file: common/config/rush/deploy-app2-example.json
rush deploy --target-folder /mnt/deploy/app2 --scenario app2-example

Note that the --project parameter is not needed with rush deploy because each config file has only one project in its "deploymentProjectNames" array.

See also