Setting up your application repository

We’ve already made a point of describing the differences between a simple hosting server and the distributed freistilbox architecture. It’s because of these differences that uploading your web application code to freistilbox works differently, too. The common approach in conventional hosting, uploading your Drupal or WordPress code to a single server via FTP or SFTP, just wouldn’t work well on freistilbox. Since freistilbox applications can run on any number of boxes in parallel, we have to make sure that code updates get applied to all of them at the same time. To make this as fast as possible, we’d have to use a tool to track the actual few changes coming with an update and only apply these.

Instead of building this kind of tool ourselves, we chose an already existing one that is proven to be robust, fast and reliable: the software version control software Git. Git is built for the exact purpose of tracking changes in a code base and distributing them quickly to remote locations. In other words, exactly what we need! That’s why every freistilbox web application lives in its own Git repository.

IMPORTANT Just to be completely clear, that means only the application code. Asset files created by your application in production such as user uploads or log files, on the other hand, are stored separately; we’ll cover that later.

If you’re not already familiar with Git, we recommend you get acquainted by reading the Git Tutorial.

NOTICE This tutorial assumes you have a basic familiarity with working in a terminal; all examples here will be for a command-line shell. You can use other tools with a GUI, of course. Since we can’t cover all possible alternatives, you’ll have to adapt the process described here to your tools of choice.

Now let’s get started!

Create the application repository

We’ll begin by creating a copy of your website’s Git repository from freistilbox to your machine. Let’s assume your website ID is s007. The command to clone your website repository into the local directory mywebsite will look like this:

git clone s007@repo.freistilbox.net:s007 mywebsite
cd mywebsite

You can see that your website ID is used in two places of the command: first, as the user name (in front of the at sign) and second, as the repository name (after the colon).

IMPORTANT Git uses SSH to access the freistilbox repository, so this command will only work after you’ve added your SSH key on the freistilbox Dashboard.

Import your application

The time has come to copy your application code into the repository. On freistilbox, web applications live in the docroot folder below the repository root. Simply create the docroot folder and copy the application there:

mkdir docroot
cp <application source directory>/* docroot/

Next: Set up a basic Boxfile.


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