This guide will walk you through a production installation of Baserow. Specifically this document aims to provide a walkthrough for servers running Ubuntu 18.04.03 LTS. These instructions have been tested with a clean install of Ubuntu 18.04.03 LTS and a user account with root access. Note that without root access, many of the instructions cannot be executed, so root access is necessary in almost all cases.
In order to make sure that we’re getting the correct and new versions of any packages we install, we need to update and upgrade our packages.
$ sudo apt update $ sudo apt upgrade -y
In order to serve web content you will need to open up the HTTP (and HTTPS) ports 80
(and 443). You can do this with a firewall -
ufw might be good place to start if you
are new to firewalls.
Baserow uses PostgreSQL in order to store its user data. You can install PostgreSQL with the following commands:
$ sudo apt install postgresql postgresql-contrib -y $ sudo -u postgres psql postgres=# create database baserow; CREATE DATABASE postgres=# create user baserow with encrypted password 'yourpassword'; CREATE ROLE postgres=# grant all privileges on database baserow to baserow; GRANT postgres=# \q
Make sure that you use a secure password instead of
yourpassword! Also take care that
you use the password you’ve chosen in any upcoming commands that need the PostgreSQL
baserow user password.
In this section, we will install Baserow itself. We will need a new user called
baserow. Baserow uses the
/baserow directory for storing the application itself.
# Create baserow user $ sudo useradd baserow $ sudo passwd baserow Enter new UNIX password: yourpassword Retype new UNIX password: yourpassword # Change to root user $ sudo -i # Clone the baserow project $ mkdir /baserow $ cd /baserow $ git clone https://gitlab.com/bramw/baserow/ .
The password used for the
baserow user does not have to be the same as the one used
with PostgreSQL. Just make sure that you use a secure password and that you remember
it for when you need it later.
In order to use the Baserow application, we will need to create a virtual environment and install some more dependencies like: NodeJS, Yarn, Python 3.
# Install python3, pip & virtualenv $ apt install python3 python3-pip virtualenv libpq-dev libmysqlclient-dev -y # Create virtual environment $ virtualenv -p python3 backend/env # Activate the virtual environment $ source backend/env/bin/activate # Install backend dependencies through pip $ pip3 install -e ./backend # Deactivate the virtual environment $ deactivate # Install NodeJS $ curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_10.x | sudo -E bash - $ apt install nodejs -y # Install yarn $ curl -sS https://dl.yarnpkg.com/debian/pubkey.gpg | sudo apt-key add - $ echo "deb https://dl.yarnpkg.com/debian/ stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yarn.list $ apt update $ apt install yarn -y # Install frontend dependencies through yarn $ cd web-frontend $ yarn install # Build frontend $ ./node_modules/nuxt/bin/nuxt.js build --config-file config/nuxt.config.demo.js
Baserow uses NGINX as a reverse proxy for it’s frontend and backend. Through that, you can easily add SSL Certificates and add more applications to your server if you want to.
# Go back to baserow root directory $ cd /baserow # Install & Start NGINX $ apt install nginx -y $ service nginx start
If you’re unfamiliar with NGINX: NGINX uses so called “virtualhosts” to direct web
traffic from outside of your network to the correct application on your server. These
virtual hosts are defined in
.conf files which are put into the
/etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ directory where NGINX will then process them on startup.
Baserow comes with two configuration files for NGINX. After moving these over, change
server_name value in both of the files. The server name is the domain under
which you want Baserow to be reachable.
Make sure that in the following commands you replace
api.domain.com with your own
backend domain and that you replace
baserow.domain.com with your frontend domain.
# Move virtualhost files to /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ $ cp docs/guides/installation/configuration-files/nginx/* /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ $ rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default # Change the server_name values $ sed -i 's/\*YOUR_DOMAIN\*/api.domain.com/g' /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/baserow-backend.conf $ sed -i 's/\*YOUR_DOMAIN\*/baserow.domain.com/g' /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/baserow-frontend.conf # Then restart nginx so that it processes the configuration files $ service nginx restart
Baserow needs a few environment variables to be set in order to work properly. Here is
a list of the environment variables with explanations for them. This list is solely
for reference, there is no need to set these variables because they will be set
supervisor later on. This list does not describe all environment variables
that can be set. For a better understanding of the available environment variables,
take a look at
We discourage changing the content of the
base.py file since it might be overridden
through a future update with
git pull. It is only mentioned in this guide so that
you’re able to modify your Baserow instance as easily as possible with environment
# Backend Domain & URL PUBLIC_BACKEND_DOMAIN="api.domain.com" PUBLIC_BACKEND_URL="https://api.domain.com" # Frontend Domain & URL PUBLIC_WEB_FRONTEND_DOMAIN="baserow.domain.com" PUBLIC_WEB_FRONTEND_URL="https://baserow.domain.com" # Private Backend URL & Database Password & Database Host PRIVATE_BACKEND_URL="http://localhost" DATABASE_PASSWORD="yourpassword" DATABASE_HOST="localhost" # Django Settings Module & Python Path DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE='baserow.config.settings.base' PYTHONPATH=/baserow:/baserow/plugins/saas/backend/src # Secret Key SECRET_KEY="Something_Secret"
Baserow uses the secret key to generate a variety of tokens (e.g. password reset token, …). In order to generate a unique secret key, you can simply run the following command.
$ cat /dev/urandom | tr -dc 'a-zA-Z0-9' | fold -w 80 | head -n 1
The output will be a alphanumeric string with 80 characters. You can shorten or
lengthen the string by changing the number value in
fold -w 80 to a length you’re
In the “Install & Setup PostgreSQL” Section, we created a database called
for the application. Since we didn’t do anything with that database it is still empty,
which will result in a non-working application since Baserow expects certain tables
and relations to exist in that database. You can create these with the following
# Prepare for creating the database schema $ source backend/env/bin/activate $ export DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE='baserow.config.settings.base' $ export DATABASE_PASSWORD="yourpassword" $ export DATABASE_HOST="localhost" # Create database schema $ baserow migrate $ deactivate
Supervisor is an application that starts and keeps track of processes and will restart them if the process finishes. For Baserow this is used to reduce downtime and in order to restart the application in the unlikely event of an unforseen termination. You can install and configure it with these commands:
# Install supervisor $ apt install supervisor -y # Create folder for baserow logs $ mkdir /var/log/baserow/ # Move configuration files $ cd /baserow $ cp docs/guides/installation/configuration-files/supervisor/* /etc/supervisor/conf.d/
You will need to edit the
(located now at
/etc/supervisor/conf.d/) in order to set the necessary environment
variables. You will need to change at least the following variables which can be found
PUBLIC_WEB_FRONTEND_URL: The URL under which your frontend can be reached from the internet (HTTP or HTTPS)
PUBLIC_BACKEND_URL: The URL under which your backend can be reached from the internet (HTTP or HTTPS)
PUBLIC_WEB_FRONTEND_DOMAIN: The domain under which you frontend can be reached from the internet (same as URL but without
PUBLIC_BACKEND_DOMAIN: The domain under which you backend can be reached from the internet (same as URL but without
SECRET_KEY: The secret key that is used to generate tokens and other random strings
DATABASE_PASSWORD: The password of the
DATABASE_HOST: The host computer that runs the database (usually
After modifying these files you need to make supervisor reread the files and apply the changes.
# Stop NGINX service so that supervisor can take over $ service nginx stop # Read the newly added files $ supervisorctl reread # Apply the read changes $ supervisorctl update # Check if the startup worked correctly $ supervisorctl status
reread oder the
update command fail, try checking the logs at
/var/log/baserow/ - it is possible that another process is listening to one of the
ports which would terminate NGINX, or parts of Baserow.
Since you’re probably serving private data with Baserow, we strongly encourage to use a SSL certificate to encrypt the traffic between the browser and your server. You can do that with the following commands. We will do that with certbot, which retrieves a SSL certificate from the LetsEncrypt Certificate Authority.
If you’re not installing Baserow on a completely new server, you might need to remove
certbot binaries from your machine. Consult the
certbot installation instructions
for more information.
# Install certbot $ sudo snap install core; sudo snap refresh core $ sudo snap install --classic certbot # Make certbot command available $ sudo ln -s /snap/bin/certbot /usr/bin/certbot # Start the certificate retrieval process $ sudo certbot --nginx # Restart nginx so that it reads the configuration created by certbot $ supervisorctl restart nginx
You now have a full installation of Baserow, which will keep the Front- & Backend running even if there is an unforeseen termination of them.