ChatOps is a term that refers to conversation-driven development. What that means is the ability to perform development tasks such as deployments from a chatting window by interacting with a chat bot to interpret and orchestrate such commands for you. In this tutorial, we are going to demonstrate how to implement GitHub deployments in using the open source Hubot chat bot.


  1. Install Hubot
  2. Install the GTalk adapter for Hubot from
  3. Install the Hubot GitHub deployments module from hubot-github-deployments


Hubot is an internal automation assistant developed by GitHub. Although it only comes with a few functions out of the box, it is an extensible and scriptable bot. There are hundreds of scripts written and maintained by the community and it’s easy to write your own and customize like we’re going to do in this tutorial.

Installing Hubot

You will need node.js and npm. Once those are installed, you can install the Hubot generator:

  • npm install -g yo generator-hubot
  • git pull   #pull the hubot-deploy from github using
  • cd hubot-deploy-master/
  • npm update * npm install

Next, from your home directory create a new directory using mkdir and switch to this directory. Then execute the following:

  • run yo hubot inside this directory
  • proceed with the installation process by adding the needed answers in order to test the installation
  • execute bin/hubot from the created directory.


If you got an error like this:
ERROR hubot-heroku-alive included, but missing HUBOT_HEROKU_KEEPALIVE_URL

Try the following steps to fix:

  • cd <your-hubot-project-dir>
  • \npm uninstall hubot-heroku-keepalive --save\
  • edit “external-scripts.json” and remove “hubot-heroku-keepalive”

Installing the GTalk Adapter

After making sure that Hubot is installed, you need to install the GTalk adapter. GTalk is the Jabber-based instant messaging service provided by Google. You should report any issues or submit pull requests to the GTalk adapter repository.

You will need to edit the package.json file for your Hubot and add the hubot-gtalk adapter dependency.

"dependencies": {
    "hubot-gtalk": ">= 0.0.1",
    "hubot": ">= 2.0.0",

Save the file, and commit the changes to your Hubot’s GitHub repository.

If you’re deploying to Heroku, you will need to edit the Procfile and change the -a campfire option to -a gtalk. If you’re deploying locally, however, you will need to use -a gtalk when running Hubot.

Now launch Hubot using bin/hubot -gtalk.

In some cases the system will generate an error saying that the node-stringprep is not installed, in which case you can install it using:

yo install node-stringprep using npm install node-stringprep

Configuring the GTalk Adapter

The GTalk adapter requires only the following environment variables:

  • HUBOT_GTALK_USERNAME: the username (email) of the account that Hubot will use to connect to GTalk.
  • HUBOT_GTALK_PASSWORD: the password of the account that Hubot will use to connect to GTalk.

Testing GTalk

In order to test the GTalk installation:

  • Uncomment these 2 lines in “scripts/”
    • robot.hear /badger/i, (res) ->
  • Send a chat message to the robot email containing the word “badger”. You should get this reply:

Hubot GitHub Deployments

This module allows you to create payloads to send to the GitHub Deployment API, then check the status of the deployments. Combined with a deployment tool that listens to organizational or repository DeploymentEvent webhooks, this module can help automate this process via ChatOps.


In your Hubot repository, run:

npm install hubot-github-deployments --save

Then add hubot-github-deployments to your external-scripts.json file:


You must update line 111 in “/node_modules/hubot-github-deployments/src/” and remove the “.toLowerCase()” because GTalk does not support the concept of rooms like other chat tools.


Type the following in the console:

export HUBOT_GITHUB_REPO=user/repo

Chat Commands

Now that you’re done, you can send the following commands from the GTalk chat window:

  • deploy status – List the statuses of most recent deployments.
  • deploy status <id> – List the status of a particular deployment.
  • deploy list targets – List available deployment targets.
  • deploy list branches <search> – List available branches, filtered by an optional search term.
  • deploy <branch or SHA> to <server> – Creates a GitHub deployment of a branch/SHA to a server.