Deploying preview using surge in Yaydoc

In Yaydoc, we save the preview of the documentation in our local server and then we show the preview using express’s static serve method. But the problem is that Heroku doesn’t support persistent server, so our preview link gets expired within a few minutes. In order to solve the problem I planned to deploy the preview to surge so that the preview doesn’t get expired. For that I made a shell script which will deploy preview to the surge and then I’ll invoke the shell script using child_process.


while getopts l:t:e:u: option
 case "${option}"


./node_modules/.bin/surge --project temp/${EMAIL}/${UNIQUEID}_preview --domain ${UNIQUEID}

In the above snippet, I’m initializing the SURGE_LOGIN and SURGE_TOKEN environmental value, so that surge will deploy to the preview without asking any credentials while I am deploying the project. Then I’m executing surge by specifying the preview path and preview domain name.

exports.deploySurge = function(data, surgeLogin, surgeToken, callback) {
  var args = [
    "-l", surgeLogin,
    "-t", surgeToken,
    "-u", data.uniqueId

  var spawnedProcess = spawn('./', args);
  spawnedProcess.on('exit', function(code) {
    if (code === 0) {
      callback(null, {description: 'Deployed successfully'});
    } else {
      callback({description: 'Unable to deploy'}, null);

Whenever the user generates documentation, I’ll invoke the shell script using child_process and then if it exits with exit code 0 I’ll pass the preview url via sockets to frontend and then the user can access the url.


Using ftp-deploy in node.js to publish websites over FTP

In the Open Event Webapp Generator, we recently added the functionality for organisers to submit their ftp credentials and when the website is generated, it’ll automatically upload the website to the chosen ftp server (allowing creation of subdirectory internally, if the organiser so wants).

To achieve we used the very useful nodejs module ftp-deploy which is a wrapper on the popular jsftp library

The code dealing with ftp deployment in our webapp generator can be found here  –

As can be seen, deploying using ftp-deploy is pretty straightforward. Primarily we need a config object


  var config = {
    username: ftpDetails.user, //prompted on commandline if not given
    password: ftpDetails.pass, // optional, prompted if none given
    port: 21,
    localRoot: path.join(__dirname, '/../../dist', appFolder), //local folder containing website
    remoteRoot: ftpDetails.path, //path on ftp server to host website
    exclude: ['.git', '.idea', 'tmp/*'],
    continueOnError: true

You can set up some event listeners for events like uploaded uploading and upload-error

Deploy Engelsystem on Your Local Server

Today, I decided to set up Engelsystem on a clean local server as a task for Google Summer of Code. My first impression when looking at the PHP application was that it is a well-built MVC app. It seems to have everything an event manager could want. When I looked at the README, all the instructions were in German, but I decided to follow the gist of it anyways. I will be telling you how to setup the application step by step in English on Ubuntu 15.10  x64.

Instructions for Setup

Step 1: Setup LAMP and install GIT

The first you want to do is to setup LAMP stack (linux, apache, mysql, and php). Please follow the tutorial here on how to set up LAMP on Ubuntu 15.10 x64. If you are running this app on a different operating system, a quick Google search will provide you with installation steps.

Afterwards, you may install git by these commands:

apt-get update
apt-get install git -y

Step 2: Clone the Repository and Setup Database

First, clone the repository (the recursive parameter allows us to clone the submodules):

git clone --recursive

Note the absolute path of the Engelsystem directory. For example, mine is /root.

Next, configure your MySQL Engelsystem database:

mysql -u root -p
[Enter your password]
CREATE DATABASE engelsystem;
use engelsystem;
source [path to engelsystem]/engelsystem/db/install.sql;
source [path to engelsystem]/engelsystem/db/update.sql;

Go to engelsystem/config and copy the default config into config.php. Modify the new file to match your MySQL credentials so that the system could access the database on the localserver.

Step 3: Test That App is Working

Move the app to your /var/www/html/ directory by typing mv ./engelsystem /var/www/html (alternatively create a symlink to your current directory). Go to your browser and type in [serverhost]/engelsystem/public to see the application in action.


To login, type use the following credentials:

Username: admin
Password: asdfasdf

Be sure to change your password for security reasons. You can generate a strong password here.


Step 4: Modify Apache to Use Server for Production

We must make sure to point our apache2 document root to the Engelsystem directory to prevent any user from accessing anything other than the public/ directory for security reasons. Do this by modifying the apache2 configuration file (assuming you are running this on a server hosting no other sites):

apt-get install nano -y
nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf

Change DocumentRoot /var/www/html into DocumentRoot /var/www/html/engelsystem/public. Restart apache by typing service apache2 restart. See the result of your page by going to your host in your browser.


If you made it this far without any issues, congratulations! You have successfully set up Engelsystem on your localserver and can use it to manage your event.