App Scripts

Often it is useful to be able to upload custom scripts to the server and run them. One way to do this is first to upload the scripts to s3 and then download them down to the server as part of the user-data script. Lono supports this deployment flow with the app/scripts folder.

Any scripts added to the app/scripts folder get tarballed up and uploaded to s3. The s3 location is configured with the s3_folder option in settings.yml file. Once the s3_folder option is configured lono cfn create and lono cfn update commands will automatically upload the app/scripts folder as part of generating templates.

extract_scripts helper

Lono provides a extract_scripts helper that you can include your user_data scripts to extract the app/scripts files in your lono project to /opt/scripts on the server. Here’s an example:


#!/bin/bash -exu

<%= extract_scripts(to: "/opt") %>


In order to use extract_scripts, you’ll need scripts in the app/scripts folder. We’ll add a test script:

cat >app/scripts/ <<EOL
yum install -y jq

And remember to configure s3_folder in settings.yml. Example:

  s3_folder: mybucket/path/to/folder # just an example

lono user_data command

Typically, the app/user_data scripts are embedded in your CloudFormation templates with the user_data helper method. You can see the generated script with lono generate and looking at the template in the output/templates folder.

The lono user_data command is also provided so you can see the code that extract_script helper produces.

Here’s an example:

$ lono user_data bootstrap
Detected app/scripts
Tarballing app/scripts folder to scripts.tgz
=> cd app && dot_clean .
=> cd app && tar -c scripts | gzip -n > scripts.tgz
Tarball created at output/scripts/scripts-93b8b29b.tgz
Generating user_data for 'bootstrap' at ./app/user_data/
#!/bin/bash -exu

# Generated from the lono extract_scripts helper.
# Downloads scripts from s3, extract them, and setup.
mkdir -p /opt
aws s3 cp s3://mybucket/path/to/folder/development/scripts/scripts-93b8b29b.tgz /opt/
cd /opt
tar zxf /opt/scripts-93b8b29b.tgz
chmod -R a+x /opt/scripts
chown -R ec2-user:ec2-user /opt/scripts


MD5 Checksum

Notice, that the name of the scripts tarball includes an md5 checksum. Lono first generates a scripts.tgz, computes the file’s md5sum and then renames it to include the md5sum. There’s a very good reason for this.

Whenever you make changes in your app/scripts folder and update your CloudFormation templates, CloudFormation does not see the changes. If the same scripts.tgz s3 url were used then CloudFormation would not know that it needed to update the EC2 instance that uses the user-data script. By including the md5 checksum in the file name, this changes the user-data script, and this lets CloudFormation know that the scripts have changed.

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