by thirdiron

GitHub Readme.md

Heroku Buildpack for Node.js

This is a minor edit of the the official Heroku buildpack for Node.js apps. We forked the repository in order to provide a simple solution to allow pulling npm modules from private github repositories without checking in passwords or other sensitive credentials into source control

How it Works Differently

This buildpack looks for a specific config value set through heroku config: $GIT_SSH_KEY. If present, the buildpack expects the base64 encoded contents of a private key whose public key counterpart has been registered with github on a github account with access to any private repositories needed by the application. It decodes the contents into a file, launches ssh-agent and registers that keyfile, prior to executing npm install. Once npm install is finished, it cleans up the environment and file system of the key contents.

How to Use:

  • Generate a key: ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "your_email@example.com" (Enter no passphrase. This buildpack does not support keys with passphrases)
  • Add the public key to github: pbcopy < ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub and paste the results into the github admin
  • Add the private key to your heroku app's config: cat id_rsa | base64 | pbcopy, then heroku config:set GIT_SSH_KEY=<paste_here> --app your-app-name
  • Setup your app to use this buildpack as described below

How it Works Identically to the Official Buildpack


For more information about using this Node.js buildpack on Heroku, see these Dev Center articles:

For more general information about buildpacks on Heroku:

Locking to a buildpack version

In production, you frequently want to lock all of your dependencies - including buildpacks - to a specific version. That way, you can regularly update and test them, upgrading with confidence.

First, find the version you want from the list of buildpack versions. Then, specify that version with buildpacks:set:

heroku buildpacks:set https://github.com/heroku/heroku-buildpack-nodejs#v83 -a my-app

If you have trouble upgrading to the latest version of the buildpack, please open a support ticket at help.heroku.com so we can assist.

Chain Node with multiple buildpacks

This buildpack automatically exports node, npm, and any node_modules binaries into the $PATH for easy use in subsequent buildpacks.


Having trouble? Dig it? Feature request?


To make changes to this buildpack, fork it on GitHub. Push up changes to your fork, then create a new Heroku app to test it, or configure an existing app to use your buildpack:

# Create a new Heroku app that uses your buildpack
heroku create --buildpack <your-github-url>

# Configure an existing Heroku app to use your buildpack
heroku buildpacks:set <your-github-url>

# You can also use a git branch!
heroku buildpacks:set <your-github-url>#your-branch


The buildpack tests use Docker to simulate Heroku's Cedar-14 and Heroku-16 containers.

To run the test suite:

make test

Or to just test in cedar or cedar-14:

make test-cedar-14
make test-heroku-16

The tests are run via the vendored shunit2 test framework.