Buildpacks are bundles of detection and configuration scripts which set up containers to run applications. For a short introduction to writing buildpacks, see this presentation.


In Stackato 3.0 (Cloud Foundry v2 API) and later, application deployment is done primarily using buildpacks, and the syntax for specifying which buildpack to use has changed. Instead of using a BUILDPACK_URL environment variable, set the buildpack's Git URL in a buildpack: key at the top level of stackato.yml.

Buildpacks are the recommended method for deploying applications to Stackato, replacing the built-in frameworks used in previous versions.

Built-In Buildpacks

For convenience a few buildpacks are bundled with Stackato:

Stackato will cycle through the detect scripts of the built-in buildpacks prior to staging to match the code you are pushing. For most applications using the languages above, no Stackato-specific configuration is required.

Legacy Buildpack

The legacy buildpack is is special meta-buildpack for deploying applications configured for Stackato 2.x (Cloud Foundry v1 API) without the need for extensive reconfiguration. This buildpack has updated versions of all the frameworks available in previous versions of Stackato.

To use the Legacy buildpack: specify the framework: type: for your application (e.g. php, play, rails3, sinatra, java_web, java_ee, etc.). You can optionally set a specific runtime: as well. For example:

name: bottle-py3
  type: python
  runtime: python32


When using the Legacy Buildpack, config-defined environment variable values can only be updated by re-pushing the application with new settings (see Legacy Buildpack and Environment Variables).

Custom Buildpacks

To specify the exact buildpack to use for deploying your application, set a top-level buildpack: key in stackato.yml to the URL of the buildpack's Git repository. For example:

name: myrubyapp
mem: 256MB

You can use a specific branch by specifying it at the end of the URL using the following format:


There are hundreds of buildpacks available on Github. Searching Github for the term 'buildpack ' and the name of the language or framework you wish to deploy may provide you with a working solution, or at least the starting point for your own custom buildpack.

Third-Party Buildpack Examples

Not all third-party buildpacks work with Stackato due to environmental differences (e.g. relying on certain executables or libraries in specific locations in the container). Buildpacks should be examined and tested before being used in production deployments.


Using config_vars in a buildpack's bin/release to set environment variables has been deprecated. Use a shell script in $HOME/.profile.d instead.


Buildpacks will usually contain a default_process_type setting with the command used to start the application process. If your application needs a custom command to start the process, create a Procfile in the base directory of your application.

The Procfile will should contain a single line with the web: process for the application defined. For example:

web: bundle exec rails server -p $PORT

Unlike Heroku, Stackato does not support multiple process types in the Procfile. To launch a worker process, create a separate app without a URL (i.e. with an empty url: [] in stackato.yml).

Buildpack Example: Java

First, in stackato.yml you will need to define the the buildpack url. Here is the pet-clinic stackato.yml:

name: pet-clinic
mem: 512M
  ${name}-db: mysql

As it is a buildpack application, you also need to create a Procfile in which you declare how you want your application to be executed. Here is the one from pet-clinic:

web: java $JAVA_OPTS -jar target/dependency/jetty-runner.jar --port $PORT target/*.war

And finally, add the jetty dependency in your pom.xml in order to run your application: