I got slicehost recently to host osspinions, and started getting into using capistrano and deprec to deploy the app and set up the box. You can think of capistrano as a remote control enabled make, and deprec as bunch of tasks build on capistrano that automates the setting up of everything from your user account to deploying your rails app - for ubuntu only. I was really impressed, just 4 commands installed everything up to the rails stack. But the deployment of the app was harder, a lot harder, in fact. I had to install ferret(which I just more recently ditched), FreeImage for image science, and rcov as a gem, and ruby-openid as a gem as well. These things are the ones that I could not stuff into the vendor directory and have it work. After that, for ferret I had to use symlinks to share the index directory, and for uploaded files I had to symlink them too because the deprec setup is such that every deployment you do creates a brand new directory for the new release. This is good in many ways, but it also creates some complications. I heard the guys on the slicehost podcast talk about this and they pretty much confirmed as much: it's hard to make deprec work for everybody because everybody does things differently, Oh well. Capistrano, on the other hand, is pretty nice. I wrote a python script at my last job to build and deploy a Java app, and if I had came across capistrano then, I would have definitely used it instead and would have saved me a lot of work.