In this work, we report on a highly variable, compact, and light high-vacuum sputter deposition unit designed for in situ experiments using synchrotron radiation facilities. The chamber can be mounted at various synchrotron beamlines for scattering experiments in grazing incidence geometry. The sample position and the large exit window allow to perform x-ray experiments up to large q values. The sputtering unit is easy to mount on existing experimental setups and can be remote-controlled. In this paper, we describe in detail the design and the performance of the new sputtering chamber and present the installation of the apparatus at different 3rd generation light sources. Furthermore, we describe the different measurement options and present some selected results. The unit has been successfully commissioned and is now available for users at PETRA III at DESY.