How to deploy your Node project to AWS EC2 easily

1. Create an AWS EC2 instance

Log into AWS and create an account if you don’t have one already. Log in and you should see your dashboard, or a list of services

Select EC2. Then select Launch Instance.

If you’re just prototyping a simple website then choosing the latest Ubuntu Server image is fine. Make sure to save your private key somewhere safe.

2. Connecting to your EC2 instance

Test your new EC2 instance by connecting to it.

ssh -i keyname.pem user@your-ec2-address

Or press the Connect button while on your EC2 console for exact instructions.

Your ec2 address looks something like

3. Copy your git repo to your EC2 instance

scp -i yourkey.pem -r yourproject your-user@your-ec2-address:~

If you chose the Ubuntu Server image, your user isubuntuby default. Don’t forget the :~ at the end.

4. Configure your “push” git repo on AWS

ssh -i yourkey.pem -your-user@your-ec2-address
git clone --bare yourproject yourproject.git

You now have a copy of the git repo you originally pushed. Now configure your original to pull from it.

cd yourproject
git remote set-url origin ../yourproject.git

5. Configure your local repository to push to your AWS repo

Add the following your ssh config

Host aws
    HostName your-ec2-address
    User ubuntu
    IdentityFile /home/you/.ssh/yourkey.pem # or preferably somewhere much safer
    IdentitiesOnly yes

Now set your local repository to also push to your AWS repository

git remote set-url --add --push origin aws:yourproject.git

6. Deployment scripts

Use scripts to bootstrap your application

cd yourproject
mkdir deploy
cd deploy

set -e
### Configuration ###
### Change me! ###
function run()
  echo "Running: $@"
### Automation steps ###
run scp -i deploy/$IDENTITY_FILE deploy/ $SERVER:$REMOTE_SCRIPT_PATH
echo "---- Running deployment script on remote server ----"

set -e
### Configuration ###
### Change me for your app! ###

set -x
# Pull latest code
if [[ -e $APP_DIR ]]; then
  cd $APP_DIR
  git pull
  git clone $GIT_URL $APP_DIR
  cd $APP_DIR/
# Install dependencies
npm install --production
npm prune --production
# Start your app
# I like to run it in a tmux session so I can view logging if necessary
set +e
if tmux info &> /dev/null; then 
  tmux kill-session -t "yourproject"
set -e
tmux new-session -d -s "yourproject" "npm run prod"

Add a npm script for easy usage


  "name": "yourproject",
  "version": "0.0.0",
  "scripts": {
    "start": "node ./bin/www",
    "prod": "export NODE_ENV=production && node ./bin/www",
    "dev": "export NODE_ENV=development && node ./bin/www",
    "deploy": "bash deploy/"

7. Commit and push everything

git add package.json deploy/ deploy/

git commit -m 'Add deployment scripts'

git push origin master

8. Deploy!

npm run deploy

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