Launching an App

Last Updated October 2014

Pagoda Box makes launching web applications easy. This doc will walk you through the different methods for launching an app and some code tips. After reading it, you should be familiar with

  • Launching an app from the dashboard
  • Preparing an app for Pagoda Box
  • Seeing your app live on Pagoda Box and drooling in delight

Video Overview

Create Your Boxfile

First things first—you need to know about the Boxfile. All configuration related to your app’s deployment and infrastructure lives your Boxfile. In short, the Boxfile tells Pagoda Box what services your app needs and how they should be configured. Boxfiles are required in order to launch an app on Pagoda Box. Without one, we do not know what services to create for your app.

For an in-depth look at the Boxfile, check out our Boxfile documentation. If you want a little help creating your Boxfile, we have a Boxfile Builder that will walk you through the process.

Create an App

To create an app, click the "Launch New App" button on your dashboard homepage.

When launching an app, you have two different options: New Project or using a Quickstart.

New Project

The "New Project" option will create your app with an empty git repo ready to recieve your code. You can then use git to push your code into the empty repo and deploy your app.


Quickstarts are one-click applications, pre-configured to work out of the box on Pagoda Box. They're a great way to get an app up without touching a line of code. We provide some simple demo quickstarts that can be launched before verifying your user account. If your account is verified, you can pick from a whole list of community-provided quickstarts, or one of your own.

Select the quickstart you'd like to use, provide an app name, then move on to the next step of selecting whether this will be a tinker or production app.

For more information on Quickstarts, check out these docs:

Coding a Quickstart
Creating a Quickstart
Using a Quickstart

Tinker or Production App?

Next you need to specify whether you want your app to be a Tinker or Production app. Tinker apps are free, but do have some limitations. The Tinker & Production Apps doc explains the details of each. Select the option you'd like and click "Launch App".

If you're forking a quickstart, we will immediately launch the app and deploy the code. If you're using a new project, we will give you access to your app's dashboard with instructions on how to push your code to Pagoda Box.

Push Your Code to Pagoda Box

Git is used to push and deploy code on Pagoda Box. In your dashboard, click the "Push Your Code" button to view the instructions for pushing code to your app. Simply follow the instructions provided to push and deploy your code to Pagoda Box.

If you're new to Git, the following links may be helpful:

Git Basics
Basics of Using Git with Pagoda Box

The Deep Dive
Official Git Documentation

Things to Note When Launching Apps

Repo Size Limitations

Repos have a hard size limit of 3.5GB.

Code services are not created until code is pushed to Pagoda Box. New code services are always created on cloud instances, which have 4GB of disk. Pagoda Box requires a 512MB disk buffer to allow room for binaries, possible logs, etc. If you have more the 3.5GB of code in your repo, that along with the required disk buffer will exceed the disk space available and your app's build will fail.

Make Sure Your App Runs Locally First

The first thing you want to do is make sure that your code is running correctly on your local computer. If it's not running locally, chances are it won't run in a live environment. This is easily done using a local webserver and database management software. There's plenty of options out there, depending on your operating system.

Auto-Installers Will Not Work on Pagoda Box

Many popular frameworks use auto install scripts. Keep in mind that Pagoda Box is a read-only environment, so auto-installers that generate or modify source code will not work. Source code modifications need to be made locally then deployed to Pagoda Box. The vast majority of auto-installers will not run on Pagoda Box.

Understand the Pagoda Box Environment

Pagoda Box is not your traditional hosting company. To give you the most flexibility possible, we do things very differently. We highly recommended that you read through the Understanding the Environment doc to get an overall understanding of how Pagoda Box works and how it's different than other hosts.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or corrections, let us know.