The appspec.yml file, a cornerstone of AWS CodeDeploy, is an essential element for deploying applications on AWS instances. Whether you’re an experienced AWS user or someone just starting out, understanding how to write your first appspec.yml file is vital to the deployment process. This guide will walk you through the basics of crafting your initial appspec.yml file, setting you on a path to mastering AWS CodeDeploy.
Understanding the appspec.yml File
Before diving into writing, it’s crucial to understand what an appspec.yml file is and its role in AWS CodeDeploy. The appspec.yml file serves as the blueprint for the deployment process. It outlines how the deployment should happen, where the application should be installed, and the lifecycle scripts that need to be executed at each stage of the deployment.
Written in YAML (Yet Another Markup Language), the appspec.yml file should be placed in the root directory of your application’s deployment archive.
Core Elements of an appspec.yml File
A basic appspec.yml file consists of the following key elements:
- version: Currently, the only accepted version is 0.0.
- os: Operating system name – “linux” or “windows”.
- files: This section outlines the source files to be copied and their destination on the instance.
- hooks: Specifies scripts to be run at certain points in the deployment lifecycle.
Crafting Your First appspec.yml File
Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s get into creating your first appspec.yml file.
Step 1: Define the Version and OS
In the root of your application, create a file named appspec.yml. The first lines should define the version and operating system (OS) of your application.
The above example specifies the version 0.0 and the operating system as linux.
Step 2: Define the Files to be Copied
Next, we will specify which files or directories AWS CodeDeploy should copy to the target instance and where they should be placed. This is done in the files section.
Here, SourceDirectory represents the directory in your application’s root that you want to copy, while DestinationDirectory is where you want the copied files to be placed on the target instance.
Step 3: Define the Hooks
The hooks section is where you define which scripts should be run at each stage of the deployment process. These scripts can be used to install dependencies, start or stop services, or any other tasks needed to deploy your application.
Below is an example of how you can use hooks to run scripts before and after the Install event:
In this example, the BeforeInstallScript will run before the application is installed, and AfterInstallScript will run after the installation. Each script will timeout if it doesn’t complete within 180 seconds.
It’s important to remember that the lifecycle events must happen in a specific order, as defined by AWS CodeDeploy:
This sequence gives you a degree of control over when you want specific tasks to run during the deployment process.
A Complete Basic appspec.yml File
Here’s an example of what your first appspec.yml file might look like:
In this file, we specify that we want to copy the contents of the MyApp directory to the /var/www/html directory on the target instance. We also define scripts to install dependencies before the application is installed and start the server after the installation.
Writing your first appspec.yml file is the first step towards mastering AWS CodeDeploy. This basic yet powerful file is a pivotal component in streamlining your deployment process. Once you’ve mastered this fundamental skill, you’ll be well-prepared to explore more advanced features and concepts in AWS CodeDeploy, boosting your efficiency and deployment success rate.