I started using Heroku for one of the projects recently. In past, I have
used Openshift, Webfaction (and AWS long time ago). Each of these gave
some kind of
ssh access. By ssh access, I mean access to
the running system.
Heroku is different.
Heroku gives you
bash access. At first, it may seem
similar to the ssh access, but it is not. Each time you run
heroku run bash --app my_app Heroku creates a new
instance of the shell. The filesystem is ephemeral i.e. if you have two
bash shells are running, and if you write something
/tmp from one instance, it won’t be visible to the
Since there is no “instance” running (at least in a traditional sense) one can’t send or receive files from the application “instance”
The only way to “send” files to application instance is to have those
files committed to
git and push them to Heroku. After
all, that is how you update the code on Heroku.
Now, that’s a problem.
One might ask “why” would I want to send files to Heroku which are not
Here is an example:
I have scripts that create some artifacts by reading the CSV file as an
input. I may need to run these scripts from time to time with different
CSV files each time. The input files are temporary in nature. They may
also contain sensitive information which I do not want to commit to
Normally, I would
ftp the files to
ssh to the instance and run the script by
pointing it to
As explained earlier, this does not work for Heroku
So I created a support ticket with Heroku, and here is an option they suggested.
First “login” to Heroku via
heroku run bash --app my_app
This is not the most optimal way.
cat myfile.csv on my local machine, and then
copy/paste to the Heroku terminal session, after the
Finally, I type in
EOF manually, to finish the input.
This is not the most optimal solution, e.g. for long files, this could be a problem.
While there could be side effects due to how terminals handle
“copy/paste”, this seems to be the only option if one doesn’t want
the files in
Now that I am able to run the script on Heroku, I need to save the output from the script. Most of the times, this is not a problem. I use the “copy/paste from the terminal” But sometimes, the output is so long that it scrolls past and does not fit the terminal window’s buffer.
Normally, I would redirect the output to a file (in /tmp) and FTP off the server, but again, it doesn’t work with Heroku.
I came across this post on SO.
So there is this service that would accept files from anyone, anywhere, called transfer.sh. You can check the details on their site.
I was a bit hesitant letting someone-I-don’t-know, host my files, but it was only the log output, that did not contain any sensitive data.
If you have any sensitive data, you can encrypt it, before uploading
You can also control the duration for which your files are accessible. The default is 14 days.
I understand that neither of these solutions is optimal, but they work in a pinch.
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