Set up a debusine server


The debusine server waits for workers to connect and receives work requests from the clients. When a work request is received by the server it tries to match a worker for it and sends the work request to the worker.

Initial setup

Install the debusine-server package. All its dependencies are available on Debian 12 ‘bookworm’.

$ sudo apt install debusine-server

If needed configure APT with the appropriate package repository.

To know what the package does during installation see the What the package does on installation section.

Follow the steps below to finalize the set-up:

  1. By default, the package is configured to use a PostgreSQL database using the default local Unix socket and the authentication is done at the user level. The package creates a “debusine-server” Unix account. Create a “debusine” database that can be managed by the “debusine-server” user. This can be done with:

    $ sudo apt install postgresql redis # if you need to install Postgresql/redis
    $ sudo -u postgres createuser debusine-server
    $ sudo -u postgres createdb --owner debusine-server debusine

    The database configuration can be edited in /etc/debusine/server/ .

  2. Debusine server has many configuration options. Review the documentation in /etc/debusine/server/*. If you need to use your own local settings instead of the default ones create a file:

    $ sudo cp -i /etc/debusine/server/ \

    And edit the file /etc/debusine/server/

    Note that you can choose which type of settings are running. By default, is a symbolic link to, but this can be changed to

  3. Initialize the database:

    $ sudo -u debusine-server debusine-admin migrate
  4. Commands can be issued to the server, for example:

    $ sudo -u debusine-server debusine-admin list_tokens

    To see the list of commands:

    $ sudo -u debusine-server debusine-admin help

    The debusine specific commands are under the [server] section.

  5. Configure a webserver (see below for details on how to use Nginx with the default setup of debusine-server using daphne).

    You can run sudo -u debusine-server debusine-admin info to check that Debusine server configuration matches the expectations of your web server setup.

Debusine server commands

debusine-server package provides the command debusine-admin. In the default configuration it is needed to run the command using the debusine-server user. The main reason is the default authentication for the debusine PostgreSQL database. A secondary reason are the permissions of the log files: only writable by debusine-server command.

To see the list of commands:

$ sudo -u debusine-server debusine-admin

It will list all the debusine-admin commands and the Debusine specific ones. The Debusine specific commands are under the [server] section:


You can see the command specific help using --help, for example:

$ sudo -u debusine-server debusine-admin create_token --help

The section debusine-admin command has documentation for each command.

Testing sending emails

debusine-server can send emails when certain events happen. For example, if a work request fails, it can send an email to notify the user that there is a problem.

By default, debusine-server uses the local MTA. To test if it can send, execute the command:

$ sudo -u debusine-server debusine-admin sendtestemail

If the email is not delivered: check /var/log/debusine/server/ files and read the next section for the email settings.

Configuration for sending emails

Enable the settings file if not done before:

$ # if you have not enabled using before:
$ cp -i /etc/debusine/server/ /etc/debusine/server/

By default, Django, sends emails using the local MTA. You can use any SMTP server. For example, edit /etc/debusine/server/ and add:

EMAIL_HOST_PASSWORD = "the_password"

More settings are available in the Django documentation email settings.

See the section testing sending emails to send a test email.

When the test email works: restart debusine-server so the new settings are applied:

Configuration with Nginx

The package provides a debusine-server.service unit for systemd that will run Daphne (HTTP/HTTP2/WebSocket protocol server) and make Debusine available on /var/lib/debusine/server/daphne.sock . There is also a ready-to-use Nginx virtual host pointing to the daphne.sock file to make it available.

  1. Install (or create) the Nginx configuration. debusine-server package provides an example:

    $ sudo apt install nginx
    $ sudo cp /usr/share/doc/debusine-server/examples/nginx-vhost.conf \

    Change the variable “server_name” by the correct one. For testing, if the only “site-available” in Nginx is debusine the default localhost can be left. It is possible to access debusine via IP. Otherwise edit the file:

    $ sudo editor /etc/nginx/sites-available/

    Search for “server_name” and change its value.

  2. Enable the Nginx configuration for the Debusine server:

    $ sudo ln -sf /etc/nginx/sites-available/ /etc/nginx/sites-enabled

    When setting up a new server, the default Nginx server configuration may need to be deleted:

    $ sudo rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default
  3. Restart Nginx:

    $ sudo systemctl restart nginx
  4. If the server’s hostname does not match the HTTP VirtualHost, set DEBUSINE_FQDN in debusine settings:

    $ # if you have not enabled using before:
    $ sudo cp -i /etc/debusine/server/ /etc/debusine/server/
    $ # Then edit the file
    $ sudo editor /etc/debusine/server/

    Set the DEBUSINE_FQDN to your VirtualHost.

    (for testing, you could have a line such as: ALLOWED_HOSTS = ["*"], but do not use it in production)

  5. Restart to apply the new settings:

    $ sudo systemctl restart debusine-server
  6. Verify that Debusine’s welcome page loads on http://your_server (by name or IP).

    If the welcome page cannot be loaded please check /var/log/debusine/server and /var/log/nginx.

What the package does on installation

  • Creates the debusine-server user

  • Collects static files in /var/lib/debusine/server/static/ (to do this manually: sudo -u debusine-server debusine-admin collectstatic)

  • Provides ready-to-customize configuration files for Nginx/daphne (in /etc/nginx/sites-available/debusine-server)

  • Installs a systemd service (debusine-server.service) that uses Daphne to make the Debusine server available on /var/lib/debusine/server/daphne.sock

  • Creates the directories /var/log/debusine/server and /var/lib/debusine-server

  • Install a systemd timer unit to run monthly debusine-admin monthly_cleanup. (see it using systemctl list-timers, disable it for the next boot via systemctl disable debusine-server-monthly-cleanup.timer or stop it now systemctl stop debusine-server-monthly-cleanup.timer).