Skip to main content

Deploy Your Medusa Server to DigitalOcean Apps

In this document, you'll learn how to deploy your Medusa server to a DigitalOcean App.

DigitalOcean is a reliable hosting provider that provides different ways to host websites and servers. One way to host a server is using their DigitalOcean App Platform.


Medusa Server

It is assumed that you already have a Medusa server installed locally. If you don’t, please follow the quickstart guide.

Furthermore, your Medusa server should be configured to work with PostgreSQL and Redis. You can follow the Configure your Server documentation to learn how to do that.

Needed Accounts

  • A DigitalOcean account. You need to provide a payment method on sign up.
  • A GitHub account to create a repository to host your server’s codebase.

If you want to use another Git Provider supported by DigitalOcean, it’s possible to follow along with this guide but you’ll have to perform the equivalent steps in your Git Provider.

Required Tools

Changes to package.json

Change the Copy to Clipboard script in Copy to Clipboard to the following:

Report Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeCopy to Clipboard
"start": "medusa migrations run && medusa start"
Copy to Clipboard

This ensures that Migrations are run everytime the Medusa server is restarted.

Changes to medusa-config.js

In Copy to Clipboard, the Copy to Clipboard variable is set to the environment variable Copy to Clipboard. This needs to be changed as DigitalOcean provides the different details of the database connection separately.

Replace the previous declaration of Copy to Clipboard in Copy to Clipboard with the following:

Report Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeCopy to Clipboard
const DB_USERNAME = process.env.DB_USERNAME;
const DB_PASSWORD = process.env.DB_PASSWORD;
const DB_HOST = process.env.DB_HOST;
const DB_PORT = process.env.DB_PORT;
const DB_DATABASE = process.env.DB_DATABASE;

Copy to Clipboard

In addition, you must add to Copy to Clipboard in the exported object a new property Copy to Clipboard:

Report Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeCopy to Clipboard
module.exports = {
projectConfig: {
database_extra: { ssl: { rejectUnauthorized: false } }
Copy to Clipboard

Create GitHub Repository

Before you can deploy your Medusa server you need to create a GitHub repository and push the code base to it.

On GitHub, click the plus icon at the top right, then click New Repository.

Click plus then choose new repository from dropdown

You’ll then be redirected to a new page with a form. In the form, enter the Repository Name then scroll down and click Create repository.

New repository form

Push Code to GitHub Repository

The next step is to push the code to the GitHub repository you just created.

After creating the repository, you’ll be redirected to the repository’s page. On that page, you should see a URL that you can copy to connect your repository to a local directory.

GitHub repository's URL

Copy the link. Then, open your terminal in the directory that holds your Medusa server codebase and run the following commands:

Report Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeCopy to Clipboard
git init
git remote add origin <GITHUB_URL>
Copy to Clipboard

Where Copy to Clipboard is the URL you just copied.

Then, add, commit, and push the changes into the repository:

Report Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeCopy to Clipboard
git add .
git commit -m "initial commit"
git push origin master
Copy to Clipboard

After pushing the changes, you can find the files in your GitHub repository.

Deploy to DigitalOcean App

After logging into your account, click on the Create button at the top right, then choose App.

Click Create button then choose Apps

Choose Repository

In the Create App page, choose GitHub from the Service Provider list.

Choose GitHub from list of providers

If you haven’t given DigitalOcean access before, click on Manage Access under Source Code. You’ll then be redirected to GitHub to give DigitalOcean access.

Once DigitalOcean have access to your GitHub account, you should see a Repository input. Click on it and search for the repository you created earlier.

Additional inputs will show up to choose the Branch, Source Directory, and Autodeploy options.

Enter master for Branch input, backslash for Source Directory, and check Autodeploy

If you host your Medusa server in a monorepo, you should change the Source Directory to the directory the server is available in the repository. Otherwise, it can be left as is.

Once you’re done, click Next to move on to the next step.

Specify Web Service Resources

In the next step, you’ll see the resources to create.

List of resources showing a docker resource and web service resource

If you have a Dockerfile available in the server’s codebase (which is available by default), you’ll have two resources showing. You can remove it by clicking on the trash icon at the right of the resource.

By default, DigitalOcean hosts the web service in a sub-path of the domain name of the created App. To change it to the root of the domain, click on the edit icon at the right of the Web Service resource.

Then, scroll to HTTP Request Routes and expand it by clicking on Edit at its right. Change the value of the Routes input to Copy to Clipboard.

Enter backslash for Routes

Once you’re done click Save. You’ll be taken back to the Resources page.

Specify Database Resources

On the same page, expand the Add Resources section, choose Database, then click Add.

Choose Database

In the new page, you’ll be shown a PostgreSQL database to be created. Notice that it’s important to choose a name that you’ll remember as you’ll need the name in next steps. You can leave the name as is if it’s not necessary to change it.

Enter db for Choose Name input

Once you’re done, click Create and Attach. You’ll be redirected back to the previous page with the database added to the resources.

Database showing in the list of resources with web service

Once you’re done, click Next to move on to the next step.

Set Environment Variables

In this section, you’ll add environment variables that are essential to your Medusa server.

You should see two ways to add environment variables: Global or specific to the Web Service.

Global environment variables and web service environment variables

Click Edit on the second row to add environment variables specific to the Web Service. Add the following environment variables:

Report Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeCopy to Clipboard
Copy to Clipboard

Notice how for database environment variables you access the values from the database you created earlier Copy to Clipboard. If you changed the name of the database, you must change Copy to Clipboard here to the name you supplied to the PostgreSQL database.

Another thing to note here is that you added a Copy to Clipboard environment variable that uses a Copy to Clipboard resource to retrieve the URL. You’ll be creating this resource in a later section.

It’s highly recommended to use strong, randomly generated secrets for Copy to Clipboard and Copy to Clipboard.

Once you’re done click Save.

Finalize App

In the next section, you’ll be shown the app info and the region it will be deployed to. You can leave it all as is or make changes if you find it necessary.

App info and region details

Once you’re done, click Next to go to the next step.

In the final step, you can see a review of everything you created. If everything looks good, scroll down and click Create Resource.

Create Redis Resource

While the server is being deployed, you can create the Redis resource.

Click the Create button at the top right and choose Database from the dropdown.

Click Create then choose Databases

In the new page under Choose a database engine, choose Redis.

For the Choose a database engine input choose Redis

Then, scroll down to the “Choose a name” input. Since you used the name Copy to Clipboard in the Copy to Clipboard environment variables, change the value to Copy to Clipboard here.

For the choose a name input set the value to redis

Once you’re done, click on Create Database Cluster.

Attach Redis Database

Once the Redis database is created go back to the App you created earlier by choose Apps in the sidebar then clicking on the App name.

Click at the white Create button at the top right and choose Create/Attach Database.

Click at the create button and choose create/attach database

In the new page, click on the Previously Created DigitalOcean Database radio button. Then, under Database Cluster select the Redis database you just created.

Choose Previously Created DigitalOcean Database then under Database Cluster choose redis

Once you’re done click Attach Database. This will add the Redis database to the list of resources of your App and will trigger a redeploy of the App.

Test your Server

Once the redeployment is complete, copy the URL of the App which can be found under the App’s name.

Copy URL under the app name

Then, go to Copy to Clipboard. If the deployment was successful, you should receive a JSON response.

JSON response with list of products

Run Commands on Your Server

To run commands on your server, you can access the console on the App’s page by choosing the Console tab. This opens a console in your browser where you can run commands on your server.

For example, you can run the following commands to create a new admin user:

Report Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeReport Incorrect CodeCopy to Clipboard
npm install @medusajs/medusa-cli -g
medusa user --email <EMAIL> --password <PASSWORD>
Copy to Clipboard

Make sure to replace Copy to Clipboard and Copy to Clipboard with the credentials you want to give the user.

Console in the DigitalOcean App

Add Environment Variables

You’ll likely need to add environment variables later such as Admin Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) and Store CORS variables.

To add environment variables, on the App’s page click on Settings and choose the Web Service component.

Choose the Settings tab then choose the web service container

Then, scroll down and find Environment Variables. You can expand the environment variables by clicking Edit on the right. Here, you can edit, add, and remove environment variables.

Expand the Environment Variables section by clicking edit

Once you click Save, the environment variables will be saved and a redeployment will be triggered.

What’s Next