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Kris Hamoud

I have been using meteor since version 0.5.0 and I have enjoyed every day of it.

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Deploying a meteor app to ECS is actually extremely easy. Here is what we have to do.

  • Create a meteor app
  • build it
  • dockerize it
  • push to docker hub
  • deploy it

Step 1: Create a new meteor app

Just run meteor create ecs and we’ll use that for now.

Step 2: Build it

cd into your ecs directory and run meteor build ../build && cd ../build && tar -zxvf ecs.tar.gz && cd bundle && touch Dockerfile

This looks much more complicated than it really is. First it is running the meteor build command to turn the meteor app into a vanilla node app.

Then it changes directories into the build directory which is where the build command put the node app. It then unzips the tarball changes into the unzipped bundle and adds a dockerfile with nothing in it.

Step 3: Dockerize it

Here is the dockerfile that I use to deploy to ecs. It is very generic and will work with any meteor app as long as you followed the build command above.

FROM    centos:centos6

# Enable EPEL for Node.js
RUN     rpm -Uvh
# Install Node.js and npm
RUN     yum install -y npm

# Bundle app source
COPY . /bundle
# Install app dependencies
RUN (cd /bundle/programs/server && npm install)

CMD ["node", "/bundle/main.js"]

Save it and run your docker build command.

docker build -t username/ecs .

Now push it to the docker hub.

docker push username/ecs

Step 4: Deploy it

Go to your AWS console and go to the EC2 Container Service link.

It should have a getting started button at the bottom. If it doesn’t then go to this link.

(use your correct region if us-west-2 isn’t your region)

It will ask if you want a sample of custom task. Select custom and click next.

You should now be on step 2 of the Getting Started with Amazon EC2 Container Service

In the builder tab you should type in your task definition name. I am going to use ecs.

Click add container definition

Give your container a name. Again I’m going to use ecs

Give the image name that you pushed to the docker hub. For me it is khamoud/ecs

Give CPU and Memory allocations. This will depend on what you need but for this tutorial I’m going to put 300 for both memory and CPU units.

Make sure essiential is checked.

Under port mappings have both Host Port and Container Port be set to 80.

Scroll down until you see environment variables

Add one that is MONGO_URL and have it set to whatever your mongo url is.

Add another that is ROOT_URL and set it to your url. If you don’t have a domain name just put something in like and it will still work.

Add a last one that is PORT and have it set to 80

In the footer of the modal click add

Click next step.

You should now be on Step: 3

Make sure that desired number of tasks is set to 1 and change the service name to whatever you want (cannot have multiple with the same name in the same cluster).

Make sure Container: Port is set to No ELB

Click next

You should now be on Step 4: Configure cluster

Set your number of instances to whatever you want.

Set your instance size to whatever you want.

Set your Key pair name to some .pem that you have access to.
This is important because if you don’t have access to a .pem then you will not be able to ssh into the instance to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong

Click create IAM role which will open a new tab. Click allow in the bottom corner of the new tab.

Make sure that the new role you created is selected in the ECS Instance Role and click Review and Launch

Make sure that everything looks good in the review then click Launch Instance and Run Service. In a few minutes if everything worked properly your meteor app will be deployed to your newly created instance and it will be publicly available on port 80.

Good Job!