Simple version of mup (Meteor UP) that doesn't run as a root

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import uup from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/uup';


UniverseUP (uup)

This is a fork of Meteor UP (mup). All credit for the hard work should go to Arunoda and Kadira team. We just strip parts that we doesn't use and was causing us some problems.

You can have installed both mup and uup at the same time, hence the different name.

Differences between uup and mup:

  • uup is simpler and is missing some features from mup
  • uup doesn't run meteor app as a root, e.g. start it as user meteoruser by default and does not make use of userdown
  • we can add nginx config files on setup
  • uup don't install mongo or other stuff, you have to do in on your own on the server
  • we dont support other platforms then linux
  • we set pidfile in /var/run/[appName].pid (useful for service monitoring)

Features (from the original mup)

  • Single command server setup
  • Single command deployment
  • Multi server deployment
  • Environmental Variables management
  • Support for settings.json
  • Password or Private Key(pem) based server authentication
  • Access, logs from the terminal (supports log tailing)
  • Support for multiple meteor deployments (experimental)

Server Configuration

  • Auto-Restart if the app crashed (using forever)
  • Auto-Start after the server reboot (using upstart)
  • Revert to the previous version, if the deployment failed


npm install -g uup

Creating a Meteor Up Project

mkdir ~/my-meteor-deployment
cd ~/my-meteor-deployment
uup init

This will create two files in your Meteor Up project directory:

  • uup.json - Meteor Up configuration file
  • settings.json - Settings for Meteor's settings API

uup.json is commented and easy to follow (it supports JavaScript comments).

Example File

  // Server authentication info
  "servers": [
      "host": "hostname",
      "username": "root",
      "password": "password",
      // or pem file (ssh based authentication)
      //"pem": "~/.ssh/id_rsa",
      // Also, for non-standard ssh port use this
      //"sshOptions": { "port" : 49154 },
      // server specific environment variables
      "env": {}

  // Show a progress bar during the upload of the bundle to the server.
  // Might cause an error in some rare cases if set to true, for instance in Shippable CI
  "enableUploadProgressBar": true,

  // Application name (no spaces).
  "appName": "meteor",

  // Location of app (local directory). This can reference '~' as the users home directory.
  // i.e., "app": "~/Meteor/my-app",
  "app": ".",

  // Configure environment
  // ROOT_URL must be set to https://YOURDOMAIN.com when using the spiderable package & force SSL
  // your NGINX proxy or Cloudflare. When using just Meteor on SSL without spiderable this is not necessary
  "env": {
    "PORT": 80,
    "ROOT_URL": "http://myapp.com",
    "MONGO_URL": "mongodb://arunoda:fd8dsjsfh7@hanso.mongohq.com:10023/MyApp",
    "MAIL_URL": "smtp://postmaster%40myapp.mailgun.org:adj87sjhd7s@smtp.mailgun.org:587/"

  // Meteor Up checks if the app comes online just after the deployment.
  // Before uup checks that, it will wait for the number of seconds configured below.
  "deployCheckWaitTime": 15

Setting Up a Server

uup setup

This will setup the server for the uup deployments. It will take around 2-5 minutes depending on the server's performance and network availability.

Deploying an App

uup deploy

This will bundle the Meteor project and deploy it to the server.

Additional Setup/Deploy Information

Deploy Wait Time

Meteor Up checks if the deployment is successful or not just after the deployment. By default, it will wait 10 seconds before the check. You can configure the wait time with the deployCheckWaitTime option in the uup.json

SSH keys with passphrase (or ssh-agent support)

This only tested with Mac/Linux

With the help of ssh-agent, uup can use SSH keys encrypted with a passphrase.

Here's the process:

  • First remove your pem field from the uup.json. So, your uup.json only has the username and host only.
  • Then start a ssh agent with eval $(ssh-agent)
  • Then add your ssh key with ssh-add <path-to-key>
  • Then you'll asked to enter the passphrase to the key
  • After that simply invoke uup commands and they'll just work
  • Once you've deployed your app kill the ssh agent with ssh-agent -k

Ssh based authentication with sudo

If your username is root, you don't need to follow these steps

Please ensure your key file (pem) is not protected by a passphrase. Also the setup process will require NOPASSWD access to sudo. (Since Meteor needs port 80, sudo access is required.)

Make sure you also add your ssh key to the /YOUR_USERNAME/.ssh/authorized_keys list

You can add your user to the sudo group:

sudo adduser *username*  sudo

And you also need to add NOPASSWD to the sudoers file:

sudo visudo

# replace this line
%sudo  ALL=(ALL) ALL

# by this line

When this process is not working you might encounter the following error:

'sudo: no tty present and no askpass program specified'

Server Setup Details

This is how Meteor Up will configure the server for you based on the given appName or using "meteor" as default appName. This information will help you customize the server for your needs.

  • your app lives at /opt/<appName>/app
  • uup uses upstart with a config file at /etc/init/<appName>.conf
  • you can start and stop the app with upstart: start <appName> and stop <appName>
  • logs are located at: /var/log/upstart/<appName>.log
  • the database is named <appName>

For more information see lib/taskLists.js.

Multiple Deployment Targets

You can use an array to deploy to multiple servers at once.

To deploy to different environments (e.g. staging, production, etc.), use separate Meteor Up configurations in separate directories, with each directory containing separate uup.json and settings.json files, and the uup.json files' app field pointing back to your app's local directory.

Custom Meteor Binary

Sometimes, you might be using mrt, or Meteor from a git checkout. By default, Meteor Up uses meteor. You can ask Meteor Up to use the correct binary with the meteorBinary option.

  "meteorBinary": "~/bin/meteor/meteor"

Access Logs

uup logs -f

Uup can tail logs from the server and supports all the options of tail.

Reconfiguring & Restarting

After you've edit environmental variables or settings.json, you can reconfigure the app without deploying again. Use the following command to do update the settings and restart the app.

uup reconfig

If you want to stop, start or restart your app for any reason, you can use the following commands to manage it.

uup stop
uup start
uup restart

Server Specific Environment Variables

It is possible to provide server specific environment variables. Add the env object along with the server details in the uup.json. Here's an example:

  "servers": [
      "host": "hostname",
      "username": "root",
      "password": "password",
      "env": {
        "SOME_ENV": "the-value"


By default, Meteor UP adds CLUSTER_ENDPOINT_URL to make cluster deployment simple. But you can override it by defining it yourself.

Multiple Deployments

Meteor Up supports multiple deployments to a single server. Meteor Up only does the deployment; if you need to configure subdomains, you need to manually setup a reverse proxy yourself.

Let's assume, we need to deploy production and staging versions of the app to the same server. The production app runs on port 80 and the staging app runs on port 8000.

We need to have two separate Meteor Up projects. For that, create two directories and initialize Meteor Up and add the necessary configurations.

In the staging uup.json, add a field called appName with the value staging. You can add any name you prefer instead of staging. Since we are running our staging app on port 8000, add an environment variable called PORT with the value 8000.

Now setup both projects and deploy as you need.


To update uup to the latest version, just type:

npm update uup -g

You should try and keep uup up to date in order to keep up with the latest Meteor changes. But note that if you need to update your Node version, you'll have to run uup setup again before deploying.


Check Access

Your issue might not always be related to Meteor Up. So make sure you can connect to your instance first, and that your credentials are working properly.

Check Logs

If you suddenly can't deploy your app anymore, first use the uup logs -f command to check the logs for error messages.

One of the most common problems is your Node version getting out of date. In that case, see “Updating” section above.

Verbose Output

If you need to see the output of meteor-up (to see more precisely where it's failing or hanging, for example), run it like so:

DEBUG=* uup <command>

where <command> is one of the uup commands such as setup, deploy, etc.

Binary Npm Module Support

Some of the Meteor core packages as well some of the community packages comes with npm modules which has been written in C or C++. These modules are platform dependent. So, we need to do special handling, before running the bundle generated from meteor bundle. (meteor up uses the meteor bundle)

Fortunately, Meteor Up will take care of that job for you and it will detect binary npm modules and re-build them before running your app on the given server.

  • Meteor 0.9 adds a similar feature where it allows package developers to publish their packages for different architecures, if their packages has binary npm modules.
  • As a side effect of that, if you are using a binary npm module inside your app via meteorhacks:npm package, you won't be able to deploy into *.meteor.com.
  • But, you'll be able to deploy with Meteor Up since we are re-building binary modules on the server.

Additional Resources