What is the best practice to run ecto migration before deploying?

I’m deploying my app with fly.io.

I have no idea how to run ecto migration before deploying.
If I don’t do that, new version app will make errors because of broken DB schema.

I only have the information about prod DB in secrets of fly.io, not in local.

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Take a look at the Phoenix’s deployment guide. I think people usually run the migrations right before the app starts. I run those as one Docker command:

CMD ["sh", "-c", "bin/app eval MyApp.Release.migrate && bin/app start"]

And I do the same as an ExecStartPre in systemd.

ExecStartPre= /opt/admin/bin/admin eval "Admin.Release.migrate()"
ExecStart= /opt/admin/bin/admin start
ExecStop= /opt/admin/bin/admin stop

How do folks handle it when deploying to multiple nodes/instances? I would want to only execute the migration script once per deployment, and not per started app instance.

For k8s - initContainer comes to mind.

Marking an instance to only run migrations there, is also an option. That’s what rails deployment with capistrano looked like back in the days.

I don’t think you need to take any special care. Ecto takes care of this case by locking the migrations table:


Another reason to love Ecto :slight_smile:


Nice. Didn’t know about that

Highly recommend the Safe Ecto Migrations series of posts — gave me a lot more confidence and understanding in this area.


Wondering, what actually happens when a second instance sees a migration lock? Does it wait to start?

Yes. The first instance to acquire the lock will run the migrations. All other instances will wait for the first instance to finish and release the lock - they will then acquire the lock in turn, see the database already migrated, and do nothing.