Understanding manifest files
Classes of manifest file settings
Although manifest files are a powerful tool for defining the composition of an application, it is vital to understand their limits and exceptions.
There are three broad classes of settings in manifest files:
- Settings that only apply when an application is deployed for the first time (e.g. how much RAM your server should have)
- Settings that only apply after a specific action is taken (e.g. using Toolbelt to force Nginx to refresh its configuration)
- Settings that apply each time an application is redeployed
Class 1: Once-off settings
These are almost exclusively confined to the
server settings. For instance, changing the cloud vendor in your manifest will not automatically migrate your server to that provider.
Class 1 settings include:
- Disk size
- Disk type
Class 2: Sticky settings
These are settings that require a specific action to trigger their roll-out.
For example, in order to implement changes to cross-origin scripting (CORS) settings in Nginx, you need to use the
reconfigure.nginx command in Cloud 66 Toolbelt to force the settings to propagate.
Class 3: Flexible settings
These are settings which will be applied as soon as the application is re-deployed following a change to its manifest file. This includes all the settings that don’t fall into classes 1 or 2 above.
Manifest file structure
Manifest files have a strict hierarchical structure that determines which part of an application is being addressed by the configuration variables. It’s vital to ensure that each line of your configuration falls into the correct place in this hierarchy.
For a working example of this, follow our Getting Started guide.
First level: Environment
The optional first level of
manifest.yml is the application environment. This allows you to use the same
manifest.yml for multiple applications with different environments. Some examples are:
You can also use custom environment names in your manifest file.
Second level: Component type
Component type defines which component of the application is being configured by that section of
Available options are:
Third Level (1): Configurations
The third level of the manifest file determines the specific settings for the component specified in level 2.
For example, this is how to set the version of Ruby used in a Rails application:
production: rails: configuration: ruby_version: 2.5.1
Third Level (2): Servers
You can also specify settings for your servers in your
manifest.yml by using the servers section.
In our example below you can see that we’re using Digital Ocean as our
vendor and that we’ve opted for a 2GB instance in the London region.
key_name is optional and is used to select the named vendor cloud key in the case where there are multiple accounts available for the same cloud provider.
Example of manifest file
rails: configuration: ruby_version: 2.5.1 nameservers: ['188.8.131.52', '184.108.40.206'] servers: - server: same_as: master redis: configuration: version: 4.0.9 servers: - server: unique_name: master size: s-2vcpu-2gb region: lon1 vendor: digitalocean key_name: My_Key