How to Install Gitea on Debian 9

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Gitea is an alternative open source, self-hosted version control system powered by Git. Gitea is written in Golang and is a lightweight solution to be hosted on any platform.


  • New Vultr Debian 9 instance.
  • Non-root user with sudo privileges.
  • Nginx
  • Git
  • MariaDB

Step 1: Install Nginx

Update your package list.

sudo apt update

Install Nginx.

sudo apt -y install nginx

Once the install is complete, run the following commands to start and enable the Nginx service.

sudo systemctl enable nginx.servicesudo systemctl start nginx.service

Step 2: Install Git

This can be done with the following command.

sudo apt -y install git

Step 3: Install MariaDB Database Server

Gitea supports the following databases servers.

  • MariaDB/MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • SQLite
  • TiDB

For this tutorial we will be using the MariaDB server and client.

sudo apt -y install mariadb-server mariadb-client

Once complete, make sure MariaDB is enabled and running.

sudo systemctl enable mariadb.servicesudo systemctl start mariadb.service

After that, run the command below to secure the MariaDB server by creating a root password and disallowing remote root access.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the EnterSet root password? [Y/n]: YNew password: Enter passwordRe-enter new password: Repeat passwordRemove anonymous users? [Y/n]: YDisallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: YRemove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  YReload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

Restart MariaDB.

sudo systemctl restart mariadb.service

Type the command below to login to the MariaDB console.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then type the password you created above to login. You will see the MariaDB welcome message.

Create a database called gitea.


Create a database user called giteauser with a new password.

CREATE USER 'giteauser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Make sure you replace new_password_here with a strong and complex password.

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON gitea.* TO 'giteauser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 4: Prepare the Gitea Environment

Create a user to run Gitea.

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

Create the required directory structure.

sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/gitea/{custom,data,indexers,public,log}sudo chown git:git /var/lib/gitea/{data,indexers,log}sudo chmod 750 /var/lib/gitea/{data,indexers,log}sudo mkdir /etc/giteasudo chown root:git /etc/giteasudo chmod 770 /etc/gitea

Step 5: Install Gitea

The Gitea binary can be downloaded by the running the following commands.

sudo wget -O gitea sudo chmod +x gitea

Copy the binary to a global location.

sudo cp gitea /usr/local/bin/gitea

Step 6: Create a service file to start Gitea automatically

Create a linux service file.

sudo touch /etc/systemd/system/gitea.service

Using a text editor of your choice, open this newly create file and populate if with the following.

[Unit]Description=Gitea (Git with a cup of tea)After=syslog.targetAfter=network.targetAfter=mariadb.service[Service]# Modify these two values and uncomment them if you have# repos with lots of files and get an HTTP error 500 because# of that####LimitMEMLOCK=infinity#LimitNOFILE=65535RestartSec=2sType=simpleUser=gitGroup=gitWorkingDirectory=/var/lib/gitea/ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/gitea web -c /etc/gitea/app.iniRestart=alwaysEnvironment=USER=git HOME=/home/git GITEA_WORK_DIR=/var/lib/gitea# If you want to bind Gitea to a port below 1024 uncomment# the two values below####CapabilityBoundingSet=CAP_NET_BIND_SERVICE#AmbientCapabilities=CAP_NET_BIND_SERVICE[Install]

Enable and start Gitea at boot.

sudo systemctl daemon-reloadsudo systemctl enable giteasudo systemctl start gitea

Ensure Gitea is running.

sudo systemctl status gitea

Step 7: Configure Nginx as a reverse proxy

Delete the default nginx configuration file.

sudo rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

Create a reverse proxy configuration for Gitea.

sudo touch /etc/nginx/sites-available/git

Populate the file with the following configuration, make sure you replace with your domain name or IP address.

upstream gitea {    server;}server {    listen 80 default_server;    listen [::]:80 default_server;    server_name;    root /var/lib/gitea/public;    access_log off;    error_log off;    location / {      try_files maintain.html $uri $uri/index.html @node;    }    location @node {      client_max_body_size 0;      proxy_pass http://localhost:3000;      proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;      proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;      proxy_set_header Host $http_host;      proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;      proxy_max_temp_file_size 0;      proxy_redirect off;      proxy_read_timeout 120;    }}

Enable the Gitea Nginx reverse proxy configuration.

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/git /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/git

Then reload the Nginx Service.

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

Next, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address.


Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the Gitea setup.

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