Github action to deploy a meteor app to digital ocean 

Why no galaxy ? 

My main app ( is a meteor app. I love meteor, and I'm glad it's recently received some new funding and new updates. 

However, the official way to host a meteor app, meteor galaxy, is super expensive for a small indie project. I can understand that server costs are usually not significant, but if i can get away with 15$ a month instead of 115$ well rather do that.

Of course if I had to pay someone 100$/hour to manage my servers, it would be a different story.

Meteor and digital ocean pricing side by side

Anyway, i'm really happy with my meteor up + digital ocean setup, but the deploys take forever when you have a bad DSL connection (0.8 MB/s upload, whoo) so I looked for a way to get my deploys to happen in the cloud.

The cheapest (free) and simplest solution I found was github actions.

Here's the github action for one of my open source repositories :

The idea is :

  • Get "mup deploy" working locally
  • Add the required ssh keys to the github action runner as secrets
  •  Run mup deploy from the runner

It's not rocket science, really, it was just not as straighforward as I hoped it would be. 

Below, the main action code

name: Deploy meteor app to digital ocean with meteor up
    branches: [ master ]

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

      # we setup ssh first as it is quick, so the action will fail
# fast during the installation on a new repository
      - name: Install SSH key
        uses: shimataro/ssh-key-action@v2
          key: ${{ secrets.SSH_KEY }}
          known_hosts: ${{ secrets.KNOWN_HOSTS }}

      # just a dummy request to check the communication with the server
# is ok, we'll upload after building
      - name: Test ssh key to fail fast
        run: ssh [email protected] -t "pwd"

      # get the source
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2

      # install only the production dependencies
      - name: get production dependencies only
        run: npm install --production

    # install mup without the -g flag
      - name: install mup locally
        run: npm install mup

      # install meteor to be able to build the app as a bundle
      - name: install meteor
        run: curl | sh

      # upload the bundle. Here, the .production folder is app specific.
# You need to get to the folder with your mup.js file.
      - name: Bundle the app and upload to Digital Ocean
        run: cd ./.production && npx mup deploy