A quick and dirty Continuous Delivery for a NestJs Application on DigitalOcean with Gitlab CD

Daniele Barbaro
2 min readOct 29, 2020


I’m super lazy when I have to deploy a node app, I always forget something but it isn’t my fault 🙄 I swear.

Lately I have been having so much free time that i can study a lot.

TLDR: Build your Gitlab CD, create a user to manage node process and follow the instruction after clone nestjs-systemd

📝 The project specs was:

🗂 What I needed:

  1. a simple Continuous delivery and deploy with Gitlab
  2. a service to start/stop/restart Node

The first one is quite simple, I created a .gitlab-ci.yml and a shell gitlab runner

Here an easy sample of .gitlab-ci.yml:

- deploy

stage: deploy
- ssh $USER@$SERVER_URI "cd /var/www/nestjs && git reset --hard && git pull origin master && sudo systemctl restart nestjs.service
- master

The second one has been a new fabulous discovery: systemd service file

I wrote nestjs service:

# vim /etc/systemd/system/nestjs.service[Unit]
Description=NestJs Server
ExecStart=/var/www/nestjs/node_modules/.bin/nest startWorkingDirectory=/var/www/nestjs

(Be sure that /etc/systemd/system/nestjs.service file had 644 mod.)

and I gave to user deployer the ability to start/stop/restart the application

#vim /etc/sudoers.d/deployer%deployer ALL= NOPASSWD: /bin/systemctl start nestjs.service
%deployer ALL= NOPASSWD: /bin/systemctl stop nestjs.service
%deployer ALL= NOPASSWD: /bin/systemctl restart nestjs.service

(Be sure that /etc/sudoers.d/deployer file had 440 mod.)

It isn’t safe to run node as root so I first created a deployer user!

Last thing, enable nestjs service on startup:

systemctl enable nestjs.service

… and It’s done!

Now user deployer can start nestjs service like a charm

sudo systemctl start nestjs.service

After last push on Master, the pipeline gave me:

so now I’m ready for the next episode 💪🏻.

Are you lazy? Use my script and follow the instructions!

git clone https://github.com/danielebarbaro/nestjs-systemd.git
cd /nestjs-systemd
chmod u+x ./install.sh

cheers, happy coding 🤜🏼🤛🏾



Daniele Barbaro

Born in ’84, workaholic, engineer, clean code addicted. Always engaged in an endless battle to conquer the world. #Laravel #NestJs #Drupal #php #typescript

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