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Deploy Node.js applications


Clever Cloud allows you to deploy any Node.js application. We do support any stable version of node >= 0.6. This page will explain you how to set up your application to run it on our service.

Create an application on Clever Cloud

With the web console

Refer to our getting started for more details on application creation via the console.

With the Clever Tools CLI

  1. Make sure you have clever-tools installed locally or follow our CLI getting started guide.
  2. In your code folder, do clever create --type <type> <app-name> --region <zone> --org <org> where :
    1. type is the type of technology you rely on
    2. app-name the name you want for your application,
    3. zone deployment zone (par for Paris and mtl for Montreal)
    4. org the organization ID the application will be created under.

Refer to clever create for more details on application creation with Clever Tools.

Setting up environment variables on Clever Cloud

With the Clever Cloud console

  1. Go to the Clever Cloud console, and find the app you want to fine tune under it’s organization.
  2. Find the Environment variables menu and select it.
  3. In this menu, you will see a form with VARIABLE_NAME and variable value fields.
  4. Fill them with the desired values then select Add.
  5. Don’t forget to “Update Changes” at the end of the menu.

With the Clever Tools CLI

  1. Make sure you have clever-tools installed locally. Refer to our CLI getting started.
  2. In your code folder, do clever env set <variable-name> <variable-value>

Refer to environment variables reference for more details on available environment variables on Clever Cloud.

You can of course create custom ones with the interface we just demonstrated, they will be available for your application.

Configure your Node.js application

Mandatory configuration

Be sure that:

  • you listen on HTTP port
  • you have a package.json file
  • your package.json either has a scripts.start or main field
  • the folder /node_modules is mentioned in your .gitignore file
  • you enable production mode by setting the environment variable NODE_ENV=production

Select node version

You can use the engines.node field in package.json to define the wanted version, if not provided we will use the latest LTS version.

About package.json

The package.json file should look like the following:

  "name" : "myapp",
  "version" : "0.1.0",
  "main" : "myapp.js",
  "scripts" : {
    "start" : "node myapp.js"
  "engines" : {
    "node" : "^10"

The json fields

The following table describes each of the fields formerly mentioned.

At least onescripts.startThis field provides a command line to run. If defined, npm start will be launched. Otherwise we will use the main field. See below to know how and when to use the scripts.start field
mainThis field allows you to specify the file you want to run. It should be the relative path of the file starting at the project's root. It's used to launch your application if scripts.start is not defined.
Optionalengines.nodeSets the node engine version you app runs with. Any "A.B.x" or "^A.B.C" or "~A.B" version will lead to run the application with the latest "A.B" local version. If this field is missing, we use the latest LTS available. If you want to ensure that your app will always run, please put something of the form "^A.B.C" and avoid setting only ">=A.B.C".

NPM modules dependencies

If you need some modules you can easily add some with the dependencies field in your package.json. Here is an example:

  "name" : { ... },
  "engines": { ... },
  "dependencies": {
    "express": "3.x",
    "socket.io": "0.9.x",
    "underscore": "1.4.3"

Private dependencies

If your application has private dependencies, you can add a Private SSH Key.

Supported package managers

We support npm and yarn as package managers.

The environment variable CC_NODE_BUILD_TOOL allows you to define which build tool you want to use. The default value is set to npm but it can be any of these values:

  • npm-install: uses npm install
  • npm-ci: uses npm ci
  • npm: Defaults to npm-install for now
  • yarn: uses yarn
  • yarn2: uses yarn@2
  • custom: uses the build tool set with CC_CUSTOM_BUILD_TOOL

If a yarn.lock file exists in your application’s main folder, then the yarn package manager will be automatically used. To overwrite this behaviour, either delete the yarn.lock file or set the CC_NODE_BUILD_TOOL environment variable.

If none of the above package managers fit your needs, you can put your own using CC_CUSTOM_BUILD_TOOL.

Automatic HTTPS redirection

You can use the X-Forwarded-Proto header to enable it.

If you are using Express.js, you can use express-sslify by adding:

  trustProtoHeader: true

Custom build phase

The build phase installs the dependencies and executes the scripts.install you might have defined in your package.json. It’s meant to build the whole application including dependencies and / or assets (if there are any).

All the build part should be written into the scripts.install field of the package.json file. You can also add a custom bash script and execute it with: "scripts.install": "./build.sh"

For more information, see the npm documentation

Development Dependencies

Development dependencies will not be automatically installed during the deployment. You can control their installation by using the CC_NODE_DEV_DEPENDENCIES environment variable which takes install or ignore as its value. This variable overrides the default behaviour of NODE_ENV.

Here are various scenarios:

  • CC_NODE_DEV_DEPENDENCIES=install: Development dependencies will be installed.
  • CC_NODE_DEV_DEPENDENCIES=ignore: Development dependencies will not be installed.
  • NODE_ENV=production, CC_NODE_DEV_DEPENDENCIES=install: Development dependencies will be installed.
  • NODE_ENV=production, CC_NODE_DEV_DEPENDENCIES=ignore: Development dependencies will not be installed.
  • NODE_ENV=production: Package manager (NPM / Yarn) default behaviour. Development dependencies will not be installed.
  • Neither NODE_ENV nor CC_NODE_DEV_DEPENDENCIES are defined: Package manager (NPM / Yarn) default behaviour. Development dependencies will be installed.

Custom run command

If you need to run a custom command (or just pass options to the program), you can specify it through the CC_RUN_COMMAND environment variable.

For instance, for a meteor application, you can have CC_RUN_COMMAND="node .build/bundle/main.js <options>".

Custom run phase

The run phase is executed from scripts.start if defined. This phase is only meant to start your application and should not contain any build task.

Use private repositories with CC_NPM_REGISTRY and NPM_TOKEN

Since April 2015, npmjs.com allows you to have private repositories. If you want to use a private repository on npmjs.com (the default one), you only need to provide the token part. To register your auth token, you need to add to your application the NPM_TOKEN environment variable.


Then, the .npmrc file will be created automatically for your application, with the registry url and the token.


To authenticate to another registry (like github), you can use the CC_NPM_REGISTRY environment variable to define the registry’s host.


Monitor your application with New Relic

You can use New Relic to monitor your application on Clever Cloud.

Please refer to our New Relic documentation to configure it for your application.

Environment injection

Clever Cloud injects environment variables from your application settings as mentioned in setting up environment variables and is also injecting in your application production environment, those from your linked add-ons.

To access environment variables from your code, you can use process.env.MY_VARIABLE.

Git Deployment on Clever Cloud

You need Git on your computer to deploy via this tool. Here is the official website of Git to get more information: git-scm.com

Setting up your remotes

  1. The “Information” page of your app gives you your Git deployment URL, it looks like this:

    1. git+ssh://[email protected]/<your_app_id>.git
    2. Copy it in your clipboard
  2. Locally, under your code folder, type in git init to set up a new git repository or skip this step if you already have one

  3. Add the deploy URL with git remote add <name> <your-git-deployment-url>

  4. Add your files via git add <files path> and commit them via git commit -m <your commit message>

  5. Now push your application on Clever Cloud with git push <name> master

Refer to git deployments for more details.

Troubleshooting your application

If you are often experiencing auto restart of your Node.js instance, maybe you have an application crashing that we automatically restart. To target this behaviour, you can gracefully shutdown with events handlers on uncaughtExeption unhandledRejection sigint and sigterm and log at this moment so you can fix the problem.

Linking a database or any other add-on to your application

By linking an application to an add-on, the application has the add-on environment variables in its own environment by default.

On add-on creation

Many add-ons do exist on Clever Cloud, please refer to the full list and check add-ons dedicated pages for full instructions.

During add-on creation, you will see Applications screen, with a list of your applications. You can toggle the button to Link and click next. If you finish the process of add-on creation, the application will automatically be linked to it.

Add-on already exists

In the Clever Cloud console, under the Service Dependencies menu of your application, you can use the Link addons dropdown menu to select the name of the add-on you want to link and use the add button to finish the process.

You can also link another application from the same page in the Clever Cloud console, using the Link applications dropdown menu.

More configuration

Need more configuration? To run a script at the end of your deployment? To add your private SSH key to access private dependencies?

Go check the Common configuration page.

You may want to have an advanced usage of your application, in which case we recommend you to read the Administrate documentation section.

If you can’t find something or have a specific need like using a non supported version of a particular software, please reach out to the support.

Deployment video