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What is Bonethug?

Bone thung arose because I got sick of doing the same things over and over again and I needed some ways to enforce consistency in terms of deployment, backup and configurartion between various web PHP, Ruby, HTML and Javascript projects.

Bonethug could loosely be considered a "web project meta framework". It uses a single yml configuration file and includes adapters to interface with project specific configs. This keeps your configuration in one place and has the benefit of being able to drive the automation of a number of other repeatitious taks like deployment, task scheduling, asset optimisation, backups and asset / db synchronisation.

The goal of the project is to be able to handle the complete project life cycle using only bonethug, git and package managers - no manual ssh, ftp, mysqldump etc.

What does bonethug support?

Currently we support Silverstripe 3, Drupal 7, Rails 4, Generic PHP, Static HTML and EDMs.

We are aiming to provide more complete support for Drupal 6, Wordpress, Rails 3 and Express / NodeJS. There will of course be other skeletons added down the line, but I dont really know what they might be at this point.

Why not use Yeoman / Grunt or something similar?

If you need a single language solution this is not it. Yeoman and Grunt are great if you want to work with only javascript and do 60% of the job. The goal with this project is to offer an end to end solution for automating most of the tasks you would do in a project life cylce using open source software.


This works 100% on Ubuntu 14.04 and possibly other debian based linux distributions. Most of the functionality will work well on other Unix like OSes as long as you have pre-installed apache, mysql, ruby, nodejs and if required php (and their executables are availble in your PATH). Most of the functionality will work on windows, but in particular deploy will not work.



  • OSX (with manual dependency install)
  • Windows (partial with manual dependency install)
  • Ubuntu 14.04 (100%) and possibly other debian based Linux distributions


  • Ubuntu 14.04
  • Partial support for Ubuntu 12.04+

Software - if you are on ubuntu you can run the setup script and ur good to go

  • Ruby / Bundler
  • Node JS / NPM


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

`gem 'bonethug'`

And then execute:


Or install it yourself as:

`gem install bonethug`



`bundle update bonethug`

update the bonethug files in your project:

`bundle exec thug update`


Local Commands

Set up a project Skeleton

thug install {rails3|rails4|silverstripe3|drupal|php|sinatra}

Add bonethug to an existing project

If you just want to use the deploy / cron / backup framework

thug init

Update the bonethug files in an existing project

This updates the .bonethug/deploy.rb, .bonethug/backup.rb, config/example/cnf.yml, config/example/schedule.rb config files

thug update

Watch for changes to SCSS / CoffeeScript

Configure the watch in the config/cnf.yml. Uses vanilla coffeescript and sass compilers by default, but can use sprockets if passed the sprockets argument

thug watch [sprockets]

Trigger Backup on Local Copy

Uses astrails-safe to make a backup using the .bonethug/backup.rb file. Uses the info contained in cnf.yml

thug local-backup {development|staging|production}

Setup local server

You sets up the local machine (if you are on ubuntu)

thug setup-env local

Initialise local DB

Uses the local mysql client to create a user and a database according to the settings in your config/cnf.yml file

thug init-local-db [admin_user=root] {development|staging|production}

Remote Commands

Setup a remote server

This installs all the required software on a remote server using mina to call all the commands

thug setup-env {development|staging|production}

Initialise remote DB

Uses the mysql client in the remote environment to create a user and a database according to the settings in your config/cnf.yml file

thug init-db [admin_user=root] {development|staging|production}

Setup and Deploy to Remote Server

This wraps mina and deploys using the information contained in cnf.yml

thug setup {development|staging|production}

thug deploy {develoment|staging|production}

Unlock a Remote Server

This unlocks a failed deployment

thug force-unlock {develoment|staging|production}

Trigger a Snapshot Backup from the Remote Server

This wraps mina and runs the backup task in the local .bonethug/deploy.rb file. It calls astrails-safe on the remote server and using the remote .bonethug/backup.rb file which pulls the info out of the remote config/cnf.yml. If you are using FTP, make sure the directory exists before triggering a backup.

thug remote-backup {develoment|staging|production}

Trigger a Sync to or from the Remote Sync Backup Location

This wraps mina and runs rsync on the remote server. It uses the info defined in the local copy of config/cnf.yml under backup.rsync. If you have already set up an ssh key with no pass on the remote server so it can talk to the sync location then you wont need to provide a pass in the cnf.yml. this is prefereed as it keeps the password out of the log files.

BE CAREFUL USING SYNC-TO - if there are no files in the source location it will wipe the files from your deploy copy.

thug sync-backup-from {develoment|staging|production}

thug sync-backup-to {develoment|staging|production}

Trigger an application state sync from one environment to another

Sync local application state from another application environment

thug sync-state push-to-local {local-environment} pull-from-remote {environment-to-pull-data-from}

Sync another application's state in another environment to the local application state

thug sync-state pull-from-local {local-environment} push-to-remote {environment-to-push-data-to}

Sync remote application state with the application state environment - this wraps mina to trigger the sync actions above on a remote server

thug sync-state pull-from-remote {environment-to-pull-data-from} push-to-remote {environment-to-push-data-to}

Example Workflow

New SilverStripe3 project

# install bonethug in the global scope (or use: bundle exec thug)
gem install bonethug

# set up project bones in the current folder
thug install silverstripe3
bundle install --path vendor
php composer.phar install
bower install

# --> edit the config/cnf.yml file!!

# setup local db
thug init-db local

# watch for changes to sass and coffeescript
thug watch

# --> actually write some code!!

# commit work
git remote add origin
git add -A && git commit -am "initial commit"
git push -u origin master

# setup the deployment env and do a deploy
thug auth staging
thug setup-env staging
thug init-db staging
thug setup staging
thug deploy staging

# push the db and assets up to staging
thug sync-state pull-from-local development push-to-remote staging

# pull the db and assets up down to local
thug sync-state pull-from-remote staging push-to-local development

Deploying an existing project

# clone the repo and install the gems
git clone .
bundle install --path vendor

# only do this if its a fresh deploy target
thug auth staging
thug setup-env staging
thug init-db staging
thug setup staging

# deploy
thug deploy staging

What isn't implemented yet?

  • sync of just db between envs
  • sync of just files between envs
  • remove a deployment from a target
  • support for more project types
  • support for more deployment OSes
  • update dependencies
  • setup env support for OSes other than ubuntu
  • watch on windows
  • deploy on windows (mina fork and rewrite)
  • support for nginx


  1. Fork it

  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)

  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')

  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)

  5. Create new Pull Request