Install your first debusine instance

In this tutorial, you will install your first debusine server and your first debusine worker. To provide a reproducible experience in a well defined environment, you will install both in the same virtual machine running Debian 12 (bookworm).


We will use Incus to manage this virtual machine. Given that incus is an LXD fork, you might be able to easily translate the samples for LXD. If you are more familiar with other virtualization tools (libvirt and virt-manager, virtualbox, etc.), feel free to use those and to adapt the instructions.

Incus can also be used to execute job from debusine, but in this section we only (optionally) use it to host debusine itself.

Configure the hypervisor to host the debusine instance (with Incus)

If you have never used Incus, you have to install it and configure it:

$ sudo apt install incus
Incus has been installed. You must run `sudo incus admin init` to
perform the initial configuration of Incus.
Be sure to add user(s) to either the 'incus-admin' group for full
administrative access or the 'incus' group for restricted access,
then have them logout and back in to properly setup their access.

$ sudo incus admin init --auto


Incus is very recent and is not present in any stable Debian releases. You can find the package in Debian Testing and Debian Unstable, and soon in bookworm-backports (backports for Debian 12). For the time being, you can also use the upstream packages from


On a headless server, especially if you use the upstream Incus repository, you can do a more minimal incus install with:

$ sudo apt install --no-install-recommends incus

To make the system-wide incus daemon fully controllable by your user, run this command:

$ sudo adduser $USER incus-admin
info: Adding user `sample-user' to group `incus-admin' ...
$ newgrp incus-admin


The newgrp incus-admin command starts a new shell where you immediately have the newly granted group. Otherwise you have to close your session and start a new one to get the new privilege.

Install the debusine virtual machine

With incus, there’s no installation involved, as we can simply rely on the pre-built images provided by the linux containers project. So you can instantiate and start a new virtual machine with this single command:

$ incus launch images:debian/bookworm/cloud debusine --vm --device root,size=50GiB
Creating debusine
Starting debusine

From there, you can execute any command within the virtual machine with incus execute debusine -- $COMMAND (replacing $COMMAND with the command of your choice). You can thus easily start a shell inside the virtual machine:

$ incus exec debusine -- bash
root@debusine:~# cat /etc/debian_version


Note that you can only execute a command once the virtual machine has finished to boot (it can take up to a few tens of seconds). In the mean time, the above command might return an error (Error: VM agent isn’t currently running).

All the commands in this tutorial that start with the root@debusine prompt are to be executed in such a shell inside the virtual machine.

In order to work properly, the debusine server needs to have a fully qualified domain name and unfortunately Incus doesn’t set one for us. Let’s fix this by granting the debusine.internal name on top of the plain unqualified hostname (debusine):

root@debusine:~# sed -i -e "s/$HOSTNAME/debusine.internal &/" /etc/hosts
root@debusine:~# hostname -f

Install the packages

First you want to configure APT with debusine’s upstream package repository:

root@debusine:~# cat >/etc/apt/sources.list.d/debusine.list <<END
deb [trusted=yes] ./
root@debusine:~# apt update

Then you install a bunch of packages:

  • the two packages for the debusine server and the worker

  • some Debian tools that are required for the worker to be able to perform some useful tasks

  • the postgresql database server

  • the redis database server

  • the nginx webserver

root@debusine:~# apt install debusine-server debusine-worker \
 postgresql redis nginx \
 sbuild autopkgtest lintian piuparts mmdebstrap qemu-system
0 upgraded, 673 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 470 MB of archives.
After this operation, 2232 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]


If you are also running docker on the same computer, you might discover at this point that the network is not functional inside the virtual machine. This is usually due to docker configuring restrictions in the local firewall when the service has to enable IPv4 forwarding. See the incus documentation for possible solutions.

Create and initialize the database

Debusine needs a PostgreSQL database and you need to initialize it with the proper tables for debusine:

root@debusine:~# sudo -u postgres createuser debusine-server
could not change directory to "/root": Permission denied
root@debusine:~# sudo -u postgres createdb --owner debusine-server debusine
could not change directory to "/root": Permission denied
root@debusine:~# sudo -u debusine-server debusine-admin migrate
Operations to perform:
  Apply all migrations: admin, auth, contenttypes, db, sessions
Running migrations:
  Applying contenttypes.0001_initial... OK
  Applying sessions.0001_initial... OK

At this point, the debusine server is functional but we haven’t enabled its web interface yet.

Configure the webserver

You will now configure the webserver:

root@debusine:~# rm -f /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default
root@debusine:~# cp /usr/share/doc/debusine-server/examples/nginx-vhost.conf \
root@debusine:~# systemctl restart nginx

Test the access to the web interface

Now it’s time to ensure that you can open debusine’s web interface.

The default configuration of the debusine server assumes that you will access it through the fully qualified name obtained with hostname -f in the virtual machine.

On your machine, you can lookup the IPv4 address assigned to your virtual machine and then associate it with the same hostname by creating an entry in /etc/hosts and open your web browser on the corresponding URL:

$ DEBUSINE_HOSTNAME=$(incus exec debusine -- hostname -f)
$ IPV4=$(incus list debusine -c 4 -f csv | awk '{print $1}')
$ echo "$IPV4 $DEBUSINE_HOSTNAME" | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts debusine.internal
$ xdg-open http://$DEBUSINE_HOSTNAME/

The debusine server is running:


You notice a login button, but you don’t know what credentials to enter. Let’s fix this. Go back in the server virtual machine and use the debusine-admin create_user USERNAME EMAIL command to create yourself a user in the system:

root@debusine:~# sudo -u debusine-server debusine-admin create_user \

The password that has been assigned to the newly created user is displayed on standard output. Go back to the web browser, and try it out!

Configure the worker

While the server part is now ready, the worker isn’t yet. First step is to configure the worker so that it connects to the server and make itself available:

root@debusine:~# cp /usr/share/doc/debusine-worker/examples/config.ini \
root@debusine:~# sed -i -e "s/localhost/debusine.internal/" \
root@debusine:~# systemctl restart debusine-worker


The sample configuration file uses http://localhost/api as the server URL and we change it to http://debusine.internal/api for consistency.

Finally, you approve the worker on the server side:

root@debusine:~# sudo -u debusine-server debusine-admin list_workers
Name               Registered                        Connected    Token hash                                                        Enabled
-----------------  --------------------------------  -----------  ----------------------------------------------------------------  ---------
debusine-internal  2024-01-24T15:40:44.703488+00:00  -            6a37e2b73500ff1ac0dfad0c4ea462a72f19b69abe1338da188773aa83351b80  False

Number of workers: 1
root@debusine:~# sudo -u debusine-server debusine-admin manage_worker enable debusine-internal

The worker is now ready to process work requests. You can start to experiment with debusine’s features. For this, you can follow the tutorial Getting started with debusine.