Installation from binary

Install Forgejo and Git, create git user

NOTE: this guide assumes that you’ll host on the server with the domain

First, download the Forgejo binary for your CPU architecture and maybe verify the GPG signature, as described on the Forgejo download page.

Next, copy the downloaded Forgejo binary to /usr/local/bin/ (renaming it to just “forgejo”) and make it executable:

NOTE: when a line starts with #, it means the command ‘foo —bar’ must be run as root (or with sudo).

# cp forgejo-7.0.0-linux-amd64 /usr/local/bin/forgejo # chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/forgejo

Make sure git and git-lfs are installed: # apt install git git-lfs

Create a user git on the system. Forgejo will run as that user, and when accessing git through SSH (which is the default), this user is part of the URL (for example in git clone the git before the @ is the user you’ll create now). On Debian, Ubuntu and their derivatives that’s done with:

# adduser --system --shell /bin/bash --gecos 'Git Version Control' \
  --group --disabled-password --home /home/git  git

On Linux distributions not based on Debian/Ubuntu (this should at least work with Red Hat derivatives like Fedora, CentOS etc.), run this instead:

# groupadd --system git

# adduser --system --shell /bin/bash --comment 'Git Version Control' \
   --gid git --home-dir /home/git --create-home git

Create directories Forgejo will use

Now create the directories Forgejo will use and set access rights appropriately:

# mkdir /var/lib/forgejo
# chown git:git /var/lib/forgejo && chmod 750 /var/lib/forgejo

This is the directory Forgejo will store its data in, including your Git repositories.

# mkdir /etc/forgejo
# chown root:git /etc/forgejo && chmod 770 /etc/forgejo

This is the directory Forgejo’s config, called app.ini, is stored in. Initially it needs to be writable by Forgejo, but after the installation you can make it read-only for Forgejo because then it shouldn’t modify it anymore.

Optional: Set up database

When using sqlite as Forgejo’s database, nothing needs to be done here.

If you need a more powerful database, you can use MySQL/MariaDB or PostgreSQL (apparently sqlite is good enough for at least 10 users, but might even suffice for more).

See Forgejo’s Database Preparation guide for setup instructions.

Install systemd service for Forgejo

Forgejo provides a systemd service script. Download it to the correct location: # wget -O /etc/systemd/system/forgejo.service

If you’re not using sqlite, but MySQL or MariaDB or PostgreSQL, you’ll have to edit that file (/etc/systemd/system/forgejo.service) and uncomment the corresponding Wants= and After= lines. Otherwise it should work as it is.

Now enable and start the Forgejo service, so you can go on with the installation: # systemctl enable forgejo.service # systemctl start forgejo.service

Forgejo’s web-based configuration

You should now be able to access Forgejo in your local web browser, so open

If it doesn’t work:

  • Make sure the forgejo service started successfully by checking the output of # systemctl status forgejo.service If that indicates an error but the log lines underneath are too incomplete to tell what caused it, # journalctl -n 100 --unit forgejo.service will print the last 100 lines logged by Forgejo.

You should be greeted by Forgejo’s “Initial Configuration” screen. The settings should be mostly self-explanatory, some hints:

  • Select the correct database (SQLite3, or if you configured something else in the “Set up database” step above, select that and set the corresponding options)
  • Server Domain should be (or whatever you’re actually using), Forgejo Base URL should be (assuming you won’t change HTTP_PORT a different value than 3000)
  • Check the Server and Third-Party Service Settings settings for settings that look relevant for you.
  • It may make sense to create the administrator account right now (Administrator Account Settings), even more so if you disabled self-registration.
  • Most settings can be changed in /etc/forgejo/app.ini later, so don’t worry about them too much.

Once you’re done configuring, click Install Forgejo and a few seconds later you should be on the dashboard (if you created an administrator account) or at the login/register screen, where you can create an account to then get to the dashboard.

So far, so good, but we’re not quite done yet - some manual configuration in the app.ini is needed.

Further configuration in Forgejo’s app.ini

Stop the forgejo service: # systemctl stop forgejo.service

While at it, make /etc/forgejo/ and the app.ini read-only for the git user (Forgejo doesn’t write to it after the initial configuration): # chmod 750 /etc/forgejo && chmod 640 /etc/forgejo/app.ini

Now (as root) edit /etc/forgejo/app.ini

NOTE: You’ll probably find the Configuration Cheat Sheet and the Example app.ini that contains all options incl. descriptions helpful.

The following changes are recommended if dealing with many large files:

  • Forgejo allows uploading files to Git repositories through the web interface. By default the file size for uploads is limited to 3MB per file, and 5 files at once. To increase it, under the [repository] section, add a [repository.upload] section with a line like FILE_MAX_SIZE = 4095 (that would be 4095MB, about 4GB) and MAX FILES = 20 It’ll look somehow like this:

    ROOT = /var/lib/forgejo/data/forgejo-repositories
    ;; max size for files to the repo via web interface, in MB,
    ;; defaults to 3 (this sets a limit of about 4GB)
    FILE_MAX_SIZE = 4095
    ;; by default 5 files can be uploaded at once, increase to 20
    MAX_FILES = 20

    Similar restrictions restrictions exist for attachments to issues/pull requests, configured in the [attachment] sections MAX_SIZE (default 4MB) and MAX_FILES (default 5) settings.

  • By default LFS data uploads expire after 20 minutes - this can be too short for big files, slow connections or slow LFS storage (git-lfs seems to automatically restart the upload then - which means that it can take forever and use lots of traffic).. If you’re going to use LFS with big uploads, increase thus limit, by adding a line LFS_HTTP_AUTH_EXPIRY = 180m (for 180 minutes) to the [server] section.

  • Similarly there are timeouts for all kinds of git operations, that can be too short. Increasing all those git timeouts by adding a [git.timeout] section below the [server] section:

    ;; Git Operation timeout in seconds
    ;; increase the timeouts, so importing big repos (and presumably
    ;; pushing large files?) hopefully won't fail anymore
    DEFAULT = 3600 ; Git operations default timeout seconds
    MIGRATE = 6000 ; Migrate external repositories timeout seconds
    MIRROR  = 3000 ; Mirror external repositories timeout seconds
    CLONE   = 3000 ; Git clone from internal repositories timeout seconds
    PULL    = 3000 ; Git pull from internal repositories timeout seconds
    GC      = 600  ; Git repository GC timeout seconds

    They are increased by a factor 10 (by adding a 0 at the end); probably not all these timeouts need to be increased (and if, then maybe not this much)… use your own judgement.

  • By default LFS files are stored in the filesystem, in /var/lib/forgejo/data/lfs. In the [lfs] section you can change the PATH = ... line to store elsewhere, but you can also configure Forgejo to store the files in an S3-like Object-Storage.

  • If you want to use the systemwide sendmail, enable sending E-Mails by changing the [mailer] section like this:

    ;; send mail with systemwide "sendmail"
    ENABLED = true
    PROTOCOL = sendmail
    FROM = "Forgejo Git" <>
  • By default Forgejo will listen to the port 3000 but that can be changed to 80 with HTTP_PORT like this:

    HTTP_PORT = 80

When you’re done editing the app.ini, save it and start the forgejo service again: # systemctl start forgejo.service

You can test sending a mail by clicking the user button on the upper right of the Forgejo page (“Profile and Settings”), then Site Administration, then Configuration and under Mailer Configuration type in your mail address and click Send Testing Email.

General hints for using Forgejo

Sometimes you may want/need to use the Forgejo command line interface. Keep in mind that:

  • You need to run it as git user, for example with $ sudo -u git forgejo command --argument
  • You need to specify the Forgejo work path, either with the --work-path /var/lib/forgejo (or -w /var/lib/forgejo) commandline option or by setting the FORGEJO_WORK_DIR environment variable ($ export FORGEJO_WORK_DIR=/var/lib/forgejo) before calling forgejo
  • You need to specify the path to the config (app.ini) with --config /etc/forgejo/app.ini (or -c /etc/forgejo/app.ini).

So all in all your command might look like: $ sudo -u git forgejo -w /var/lib/forgejo -c /etc/forgejo/app.ini admin user list

For convenience, you could create a /usr/local/bin/ with the following contents:

sudo -u git forgejo -w /var/lib/forgejo -c /etc/forgejo/app.ini "$@"

and make it executable: # chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/

Now if you want to call forgejo on the commandline (for the default system-wide installation in /var/lib/forgejo), just use e.g. $ admin user list instead of the long line shown above.

You can always call forgejo and its subcommands with -h or --help to make it output usage information like available options and (sub)commands, for example $ forgejo admin user -h to show available subcommands to administrate users on the commandline.