Installing Without Docker

This project is still young and isn't, at the moment, very stable, so please proceed with caution when running in production. This method of installation is more involved, and therefore is for more experienced admins. Docker install is recommended This install method assumes you already have ssl configured with certificates available

Server setup

  • Get a domain name and set up DNS for your server. You'll need to point the nameservers of your domain on your DNS provider to the server where you'll be hosting BookWyrm. Here are instructions for DigitalOcean
  • Set your server up with appropriate firewalls for running a web application (this instruction set is tested against Ubuntu 20.04). Here are instructions for DigitalOcean
  • Set up an email service (such as Mailgun) and the appropriate SMTP/DNS settings. Use the service's documentation for configuring your DNS
  • Install dependencies. W systemie Debian może to wyglądać następująco: apt install postgresql redis nginx python3-venv python3-pip python3-dev libpq-dev

Install and configure BookWyrm

The production branch of BookWyrm contains a number of tools not on the main branch that are suited for running in production, such as docker-compose changes to update the default commands or configuration of containers, and individual changes to container config to enable things like SSL or regular backups. Not all of these changes effect the dockerless install, however the production branch is still recommended

Instructions for running BookWyrm in production without Docker:

  • Make and enter directory you want to install bookwyrm too. For example /opt/bookwyrm: mkdir /opt/bookwyrm && cd /opt/bookwyrm
  • Get the application code: git clone ./
  • Switch to the production branch: git checkout production
  • Create your environment variables file, cp .env.example .env, and update the following:
    • SECRET_KEY | A difficult to guess, secret string of characters
    • DOMAIN | Your web domain
    • POSTGRES_PASSWORD | Set a secure password for the database
    • POSTGRES_HOST | Set to localhost (the machine running your db)
    • POSTGRES_USER | Set to bookwyrm (recommended) or something custom (configured later)
    • POSTGRES_DB | Set to bookwyrm
    • REDIS_ACTIVITY_PASSWORD | Set to nothing (fine on a local machine with a firewall)
    • REDIS_ACTIVITY_HOST | Set to localhost (the machine running redis)
    • REDIS_BROKER_PASSWORD | Set to nothing (fine on a local machine with a firewall)
    • REDIS_BROKER_HOST | Set to localhost (the machine running redis)
    • EMAIL_HOST_USER | The "from" address that your app will use when sending email
    • EMAIL_HOST_PASSWORD | The password provided by your email service
  • Configure nginx
    • Copy the server_config to nginx's conf.d: cp nginx/server_config /etc/nginx/conf.d/server_config
    • Make a copy of the production template config and set it for use in nginx: cp nginx/production /etc/nginx/sites-available/bookwyrm.conf
    • Update nginx bookwyrm.conf:
      • Replace with your domain name everywhere in the file (including the lines that are currently commented out)
      • Replace /app/ with your install directory /opt/bookwyrm/ everywhere in the file (including commented out)
      • Usuń znacznik komentarza w wierszach od 18 do 67, aby włączyć przekierowanie HTTPS. You should have two server blocks enabled
      • Change the ssl_certificate and ssl_certificate_key paths to your fullchain and privkey locations
      • Change line 4 so that it says server localhost:8000. You may choose a different port here if you wish
      • If you are running another web-server on your host machine, you will need to follow the reverse-proxy instructions
    • Enable the nginx config: ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/bookwyrm.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/bookwyrm.conf
    • Reload nginx: systemctl reload nginx
  • Setup the python virtual enviroment
    • Make the python venv directory in your install dir: mkdir venv python3 -m venv ./venv
    • Install bookwyrm python dependencies with pip: ./venv/bin/pip3 install -r requirements.txt
  • Make the bookwyrm postgresql database. Make sure to change the password to what you set in the .env config:

    sudo -i -u postgres psql

CREATE USER bookwyrm WITH PASSWORD 'securedbypassword123';


ALTER DATABASE bookwyrm OWNER TO bookwyrm;


  • Migrate the database schema by running venv/bin/python3 migrate
  • Initialize the database by running venv/bin/python3 initdb
  • Create the static by running venv/bin/python3 collectstatic --no-input
  • If you wish to use an external storage for static assets and media files (such as an S3-compatible service), follow the instructions until it tells you to come back here
  • Create and setup your bookwyrm user

    • Make the system bookwyrm user: useradd bookwyrm -r
    • Change the owner of your install directory to bookwyrm: chown -R bookwyrm:bookwyrm /opt/bookwyrm
    • You should now run bookwyrm related commands as the bookwyrm user: sudo -u bookwyrm echo I am the $(whoami) user
  • Generate the admin code with sudo -u bookwyrm venv/bin/python3 admin_code, and copy the admin code to use when you create your admin account.

  • You can get your code at any time by re-running that command. Here's an example output:
Use this code to create your admin account:
  • Make and configure the run script
    • Make a file called and fill it with the following contents

# stop if one process fails
set -e

# bookwyrm
/opt/bookwyrm/venv/bin/gunicorn bookwyrm.wsgi:application --bind &

# celery
/opt/bookwyrm/venv/bin/celery -A celerywyrm worker -l info -Q high_priority,medium_priority,low_priority &
/opt/bookwyrm/venv/bin/celery -A celerywyrm beat -l INFO --scheduler django_celery_beat.schedulers:DatabaseScheduler &
# /opt/bookwyrm/venv/bin/celery -A celerywyrm flower &
- Replace `/opt/bookwyrm` with your install dir
- Change `8000` to your custom port number
- Flower has been disabled here because it is not autoconfigured with the password set in the `.env` file
  • You can now run BookWyrm with: sudo -u bookwyrm bash /opt/bookwyrm/
  • The application should be running at your domain. When you load the domain, you should get a configuration page which confirms your instance settings, and a form to create an admin account. Use your admin code to register.
  • You may want to configure BookWyrm to autorun with a systemd service. Here is an example:
# /etc/systemd/system/bookwyrm.service
Description=Bookwyrm Server

ExecStart=/bin/bash /opt/bookwyrm/


Należy skonfigurować zadanie Cron, aby usługa była uruchamiana po ponownym uruchomieniu serwera.

Congrats! You did it!! Configure your instance however you'd like.

Get Involved

See Get Involved for details.