Deploy Deno to Amazon Lightsail

Amazon Lightsail is the easiest and cheapest way to get started with Amazon Web Services. It allows you to host virtual machines and even entire container services.

This How To guide will show you how to deploy a Deno app to Amazon Lightsail using Docker, Docker Hub, and GitHub Actions.

Before continuing, make sure you have:

Create Dockerfile and docker-compose.yml

To focus on the deployment, our app will simply be a main.ts file that returns a string as an HTTP response:

import { Application } from "https://deno.land/x/oak/mod.ts";

const app = new Application();

app.use((ctx) => {
  ctx.response.body = "Hello from Deno and AWS Lightsail!";

await app.listen({ port: 8000 });

Then, we'll create two files -- Dockerfile and docker-compose.yml -- to build the Docker image.

In our Dockerfile, let's add:

FROM denoland/deno



ADD . /app

RUN deno cache main.ts

CMD ["run", "--allow-net", "main.ts"]

Then, in our docker-compose.yml:

version: '3'

    build: .
    container_name: deno-container
    image: deno-image
      - "8000:8000"

Let's test this locally by running docker compose -f docker-compose.yml build, then docker compose up, and going to localhost:8000.

hello world from localhost

It works!

Build, Tag, and Push to Docker Hub

First, let's sign into Docker Hub and create a repository. Let's name it deno-on-aws-lightsail.

Then, let's tag and push our new image, replacing username with yours:

Then, let's build the image locally. Note our docker-compose.yml file will name the build deno-image.

docker compose -f docker-compose.yml build

Let's tag the local image with {{ username }}/deno-on-aws-lightsail:

docker tag deno-image {{ username }}/deno-on-aws-lightsail

We can now push the image to Docker Hub:

docker push {{ username }}/deno-on-aws-lightsail

After that succeeds, you should be able to see the new image on your Docker Hub repository:

new image on docker hub

Create and Deploy to a Lightsail Container

Let's head over to the Amazon Lightsail console.

Then click "Containers" and "Create container service". Half way down the page, click "Setup your first Deployment" and select "Specify a custom deployment".

You can write whatever container name you'd like.

In Image, be sure to use {{ username }}/{{ image }} that you have set in your Docker Hub. For this example, it is lambtron/deno-on-aws-lightsail.

Let's click Add open ports and add 8000.

Finally, under PUBLIC ENDPOINT, select the container name that you just created.

The full form should look like below:

create container service interface

When you're ready, click "Create container service".

After a few moments, your new container should be deployed. Click on the public address and you should see your Deno app:

Hello world from Deno and AWS Lightsail

Automate using GitHub Actions

In order to automate that process, we'll use the aws CLI with the lightsail subcommand.

The steps in our GitHub Actions workflow will be:

  1. Checkout the repo
  2. Build our app as a Docker image locally
  3. Install and authenticate AWS CLI
  4. Push local Docker image to AWS Lightsail Container Service via CLI

Pre-requisites for this GitHub Action workflow to work:

Let's create a new file container.template.json, which contains configuration for how to make the service container deployment. Note the similarities these option values have with the inputs we entered manually in the previous section.

  "containers": {
    "app": {
      "image": "",
      "environment": {
        "APP_ENV": "release"
      "ports": {
        "8000": "HTTP"
  "publicEndpoint": {
    "containerName": "app",
    "containerPort": 8000,
    "healthCheck": {
      "healthyThreshold": 2,
      "unhealthyThreshold": 2,
      "timeoutSeconds": 5,
      "intervalSeconds": 10,
      "path": "/",
      "successCodes": "200-499"

Let's add the below to your .github/workflows/deploy.yml file:

name: Build and Deploy to AWS Lightsail

      - main

  AWS_REGION: us-west-2
  AWS_LIGHTSAIL_SERVICE_NAME: container-service-2
    name: Build and Deploy
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - name: Checkout main
        uses: actions/checkout@v2

      - name: Install Utilities
        run: |
          sudo apt-get update
          sudo apt-get install -y jq unzip
      - name: Install AWS Client
        run: |
          curl "https://awscli.amazonaws.com/awscli-exe-linux-x86_64.zip" -o "awscliv2.zip"
          unzip awscliv2.zip
          sudo ./aws/install || true
          aws --version
          curl "https://s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/lightsailctl/latest/linux-amd64/lightsailctl" -o "lightsailctl"
          sudo mv "lightsailctl" "/usr/local/bin/lightsailctl"
          sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/lightsailctl
      - name: Configure AWS credentials
        uses: aws-actions/configure-aws-credentials@v1
          aws-region: ${{ env.AWS_REGION }}
          aws-access-key-id: ${{ secrets.AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID }}
          aws-secret-access-key: ${{ secrets.AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY }}
      - name: Build Docker Image
        run: docker build -t ${{ env.AWS_LIGHTSAIL_SERVICE_NAME }}:release .
      - name: Push and Deploy
        run: |
          service_name=${{ env.AWS_LIGHTSAIL_SERVICE_NAME }}
          aws lightsail push-container-image \
            --region ${{ env.AWS_REGION }} \
            --service-name ${service_name} \
            --label ${service_name} \
            --image ${service_name}:release
          aws lightsail get-container-images --service-name ${service_name} | jq --raw-output ".containerImages[0].image" > image.txt
          jq --arg image $(cat image.txt) '.containers.app.image = $image' container.template.json > container.json
          aws lightsail create-container-service-deployment --service-name ${service_name} --cli-input-json file://$(pwd)/container.json

Whoa there is a lot going on here! The last two steps are most important: Build Docker Image and Push and Deploy.

docker build -t ${{ env.AWS_LIGHTSAIL_SERVICE_NAME }}:release .

This command builds our Docker image with the name container-service-2 and tags it release.

aws lightsail push-container-image ...

This command pushes the local image to our Lightsail container.

aws lightsail get-container-images --service-name ${service_name} | jq --raw-output ".containerImages[0].image" > image.txt

This command retrieves the image information and, using jq, parses it and saves the image name in a local file image.txt.

jq --arg image $(cat image.txt) '.containers.app.image = $image' container.template.json > container.json

This command uses the image name saved in image.txt and container.template.json and creates a new options file called container.json. This options file will be passed to aws lightsail for the final deployment in the next step.

aws lightsail create-container-service-deployment --service-name ${service_name} --cli-input-json file://$(pwd)/container.json

Finally, this command creates a new deployment using the service_name, along with the config settings in container.json.

When you push to GitHub and the Action succeeds, you'll be able to see your new Deno app on AWS:

deno on aws