by vircung

GitHub Readme.md

Phoenix Static Buildpack


This buildpack is meant to be used with the Heroku Buildpack for Elixir. When deploying Phoenix apps to Heroku, static assets will need to be compiled. This buildpack sees to it that static assets are compiled and that a corresponding asset manifest is generated.


  • Easily customizable to your build needs with its compile hook!
  • Works much like the Heroku Buildpack for Elixir!
  • Easy configuration with phoenix_static_buildpack.config file
  • Automatically sets DATABASE_URL
  • If your app doesn't have a Procfile, default web task mix phoenix.server will be run
  • Can configure versions for Node and NPM
  • Auto-installs Bower deps if bower.json is in your app's root path
  • Caches Node, NPM modules and Bower components


# Create a Heroku instance for your project
heroku apps:create my_heroku_app

# Set and add the buildpacks for your Heroku app
heroku buildpacks:set https://github.com/HashNuke/heroku-buildpack-elixir
heroku buildpacks:add https://github.com/gjaldon/heroku-buildpack-phoenix-static

# Deploy
git push heroku master

Serve with Sass assets

If your project serves Sass assets, you need the sass binary for sass-brunch via ruby buildpack.

Create a Gemfile to include the sass gem:

source 'https://rubygems.org'
ruby '2.3.1'
gem 'sass'

Then run generate the Gemfile.lock:

bundle install

Finally, add the ruby buildpack.

# Add the ruby buildpack to your Heroku app
heroku buildpacks:add https://github.com/heroku/heroku-buildpack-ruby


Create a phoenix_static_buildpack.config file in your app's root dir if you want to override the defaults. The file's syntax is bash.

If you don't specify a config option, then the default option from the buildpack's phoenix_static_buildpack.config file will be used.

Here's a full config file with all available options:

# Clean out cache contents from previous deploys

# We can change the filename for the compile script with this option

# Add the config vars you want to be exported here

# We can set the version of Node to use for the app here

# We can set the version of NPM to use for the app here

# We can set the path to phoenix app. E.g. apps/phoenix_app when in umbrella.

# Remove node and node_modules directory to keep slug size down if it is not needed.

# We can change path that npm dependencies are in relation to phoenix app. E.g. assets for phoenix 1.3 support.

# We can change phoenix mix namespace tasks. E.g. phx for phoenix 1.3 support.


By default, Phoenix uses brunch and recommends you to use mix phoenix.digest in production. For that, we have a default compile shell script which gets run after building dependencies and just before finalizing the build. The compile file looks like this:

info "Building Phoenix static assets"

cd assets
brunch build --production

cd ..
mix phx.digest

To customize your app's compile hook, just add a compile file to your app's root directory. compile is just a shell script, so you can use any valid bash code. Keep in mind you'll have access to your node_modules and mix. This means that if you're using a Node build tool other than brunch, you can just do something like:

# app_root/compile
gulp build:dist
mix phoenix.digest

The above compile overrides the default one. :)


  1. When to use?
  • This buildpack is only necessary when you need to compile static assets during deploys. You will not need this buildpack if you are using Phoenix only as a REST API.
  1. Do I need heroku-buildpack-nodejs with this?
  • No, this buildpack installs Node for you. How it differs from the NodeJS buildpack is that it adds mix to the PATH so you can run mix commands like mix phoenix.digest.