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Management command to build and deploy webapps, especially based on Django

Project description


Mantis is a CLI (command line interface) tool designed as a wrapper upon docker and docker compose commands for your project.

Using few commands you can:

  • encrypt and decrypt your environment files
  • build and push docker images
  • create docker contexts
  • zero-downtime deploy your application
  • print logs of your containers
  • connect to bash of your containers using SSH
  • clean docker resources
  • use specific commands using Django, PostgreSQL and Nginx extensions
  • and much more


pip install mantis-cli


Create a mantis.json configuration file in JSON format. You can use <MANTIS> variable in your paths if needed as a relative reference to your mantis file.

Explanation of config arguments

argument type description
manager_class string class path to mantis manager class
extensions dict Django, Postgres, Nginx
project_name string slug of your project name used as prefix for containers
encryption dict encryption settings
encryption.deterministic bool if True, encryption hash is always the same for same value
encryption.folder bool path to folder with your environment files
configs dict configuration settings
configs.folder string path to folder with your configuration files
build dict build settings
build.tool string "docker" or "compose"
compose dict docker compose settings
compose.command string standalone "docker-compose" or "docker compose" plugin string docker compose suffix: "docker-compose.ENVIRONMENT.NAME.yml"
compose.folder string path to folder with compose files
environment dict environment settings
environment.folder string path to folder with environment files
environment.file_prefix string file prefix of environment files
zero_downtime array list of services to deploy with zero downtime
project_path string path to folder with project files on remote server
connections dict definition of your connections for each environment


  • default values

See template file for exact JSON structure.


Connection for each environment except localhost can be defined either as an SSH or Docker context:

For example:

"connections": {
    "stage": "context://<context_name>",
    "production": "ssh://<user>@<host>:<port>"


If you plan to use encryption and decryption of your environment files, you need to create encryption key.

Generation of new key:

mantis --generate-key

Save key to mantis.key file:

echo <MANTIS_KEY> > /path/to/encryption/folder/mantis.key

Then you can encrypt your environment files using symmetric encryption. Every environment variable is encrypted separately instead of encrypting the whole file for better tracking of changes in VCS.

mantis <ENVIRONEMNT> --encrypt-env

Decryption is easy like this:

mantis <ENVIRONEMNT> --decrypt-env

When decrypting, mantis prompts user for confirmation. You can bypass that by forcing decryption which can be useful in CI/CD pipeline:

mantis <ENVIRONEMNT> --decrypt-env:force


General usage of mantis-cli has this format:

mantis [--mode=remote|ssh|host] [environment] --command[:params]


Mantis can operate in 3 different modes depending on a way it connects to remote machhine

Remote mode --mode=remote

Runs commands remotely from local machine using DOCKER_HOST or DOCKER_CONTEXT (default)

SSH mode --mode=ssh

Connects to host via ssh and run all mantis commands on remote machine directly (nantis-cli needs to be installed on server)

Host mode --mode=host

Runs mantis on host machine directly without invoking connection (used as proxy for ssh mode)


Environment can be either local or any custom environment like stage, production etc. The environment is also used as an identifier for remote connection.


Command / Shortcut Description
--bash:params Runs bash in container
--build[:params] / -b Builds all services with Dockerfiles
--check-config Validates config file according to template
--check-env Compares encrypted and decrypted env files
--check-health:container Checks current health of given container
--clean[:params] / -c Clean images, containers, networks
--contexts Prints all docker contexts
--create-context Creates docker context using user inputs
--decrypt-env[:params,env_file,return_value] Decrypts all environment files (force param skips user confirmation)
--deploy / -d Runs deployment process: uploads files, pulls images, runs zero-downtime deployment, removes suffixes, reloads webserver, clean
--down[:params] Calls compose down (with optional params)
--encrypt-env[:params,env_file,return_value] Encrypts all environment files (force param skips user confirmation)
--exec:params Executes command in container
--generate-key Creates new encryption key
--get-container-name:service Constructs container name with project prefix for given service
--get-container-suffix:service Returns the suffix used for containers for given service
--get-deploy-replicas:service Returns default number of deploy replicas of given services
--get-healthcheck-config:container Prints health-check config (if any) of given container
--get-healthcheck-start-period:container Returns healthcheck start period for given container (if any)
--get-image-name:service Constructs image name for given service
--get-image-suffix:service Returns the suffix used for image for given service
--get-number-of-containers:service Prints number of containers for given service
--get-service-containers:service Prints container names of given service
--has-healthcheck:container Checks if given container has defined healthcheck
--healthcheck[:container] / -hc Execute health-check of given project container
--kill[:params] Kills all or given project container
--logs[:params] / -l Prints logs of all or given project container
--manage:params Runs Django manage command
--networks / -n Prints docker networks
--pg-dump[:data_only,table] Backups PostgreSQL database [data and structure]
--pg-dump-data[:table] Backups PostgreSQL database [data only]
--pg-restore[:filename,table] Restores database from backup [data and structure]
--pg-restore-data:params Restores database from backup [data only]
--psql Starts psql console
--pull[:params] / -p Pulls required images for services
--push[:params] Push built images to repository
--read-key Returns value of mantis encryption key
--remove[:params] Removes all or given project container
--remove-suffixes[:prefix] Removes numerical suffixes from container names (if scale == 1)
--restart[:service] Restarts all containers by calling compose down and up
--restart-service:service Stops, removes and recreates container for given service
--run:params Calls compose run with params
--scale:service,scale Scales service to given scale
--send-test-email Sends test email to admins using Django 'sendtestemail' command
--services Prints all defined services
--services-to-build Prints all services which will be build
--sh:params Runs sh in container
--shell Runs and connects to Django shell
--start[:params] Starts all or given project container
--status / -s Prints images and containers
--stop[:params] Stops all or given project container
--try-to-reload-webserver Tries to reload webserver (if suitable extension is available)
--up[:params] Calls compose up (with optional params)
--upload / -u Uploads mantis config, compose file
and environment files to server
--zero-downtime[:service] Runs zero-downtime deployment of services (or given service)

Few examples:

mantis --version
mantis local --encrypt-env
mantis stage --build
mantis production --logs:container-name

# you can also run multiple commands at once
mantis stage --build --push --deploy -s -l

Check mantis --help for more details.


1. Build

Once you define mantis config for your project and optionally create encryption key, you can build your docker images:

mantis <ENVIRONMENT> --build

Mantis either uses docker-compose --build or docker build command depending on build tool defined in your config. Build image names use '_' as word separator.

2. Push

Built images needs to be pushed to your repository defined in compose file (you need to authenticate)

mantis <ENVIRONEMNT --push

3. Deployment

Deployment to your remote server is being executed by calling simple command:

mantis <ENVIRONMENT> --deploy

The deployment process consists of multiple steps:

  • If using --mode=ssh, mantis uploads mantis config, environment files and compose file to server
  • pulling docker images from repositories
  • zero-downtime deployment of running containers (if any)
  • calling docker compose up to start containers
  • removing numeric suffixes from container names (if scale==1)
  • reloading webserver (if found suitable extension)
  • cleaning docker resources (without volumes)

Docker container names use '-' as word separator (docker compose v2 convention).

4. Inspect

Once deployed, you can verify the container status:

mantis <ENVIRONEMNT> --status

list all docker networks:

mantis <ENVIRONMENT> --networks

and also check all container logs:

mantis <ENVIRONEMNT> --logs

If you need to follow logs of a specific container, you can do it by passing container name to command:

mantis <ENVIRONMENT> --logs:<container-name>

5. Another useful commands

Sometimes, instead of calling whole deployment process, you just need to call compose commands directly:

mantis <ENVIRONEMNT> --up
mantis <ENVIRONEMNT> --down
mantis <ENVIRONEMNT> --restart
mantis <ENVIRONEMNT> --stop
mantis <ENVIRONEMNT> --kill
mantis <ENVIRONEMNT> --start

Commands over a single container:

mantis <ENVIRONMENT> --bash:container-name
mantis <ENVIRONMENT> --sh:container-name
mantis <ENVIRONMENT> --run:params

Zero-downtime deployment

Mantis has own zero-downtime deployment implementation without any third-party dependencies. It uses docker compose service scaling and docker health-checks.

Works as follows:

  • a new service container starts using scaling
  • mantis waits until the new container is healthy by checking its health status. If not health-check is defined, it waits X seconds defined by start period
  • reloads webserver (to proxy requests to new container)
  • once container is healthy or start period ends the old container is stopped and removed
  • new container is renamed to previous container's name
  • webserver is reloaded again

Release notes

Mantis uses semantic versioning. See more in changelog.

Project details

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