Installation and setup using Puppet

The whole installation and setup process of Kallithea can be simplified by using Puppet and the rauch/kallithea Puppet module. This is especially useful for getting started quickly, without having to deal with all the Python specialities.


The following instructions assume you are not familiar with Puppet at all. If this is not the case, you should probably skip directly to the Kallithea Puppet module documentation.

Installing Puppet

This installation variant requires a Unix/Linux type server with Puppet 3.0+ installed. Many major distributions have Puppet in their standard repositories. Thus, you will probably be ready to go by running, e.g. apt-get install puppet or yum install puppet, depending on your distro’s favoured package manager. Afterwards, check the Puppet version by running puppet --version and ensure you have at least 3.0.

If your distribution does not provide Puppet packages or you need a newer version, please see the Puppet Reference Manual for instructions on how to install Puppet on your target platform.

Installing the Puppet module

To install the latest version of the Kallithea Puppet module from the Puppet Forge, run the following as root:

puppet module install rauch/kallithea

This will install both the Kallithea Puppet module and its dependency modules.


Be aware that Puppet can do all kinds of things to your systems. Third-party modules (like the kallithea module) may run arbitrary commands on your system (most of the time as the root user), so do not apply them on production machines if you don’t know what you are doing. Instead, use a test system (e.g. a virtual machine) for evaluation purposes.

Applying the module

To trigger the actual installation process, we have to apply the kallithea Puppet class, which is provided by the module we have just installed, to our system. For this, create a file named e.g. kallithea.pp, a Puppet manifest, with the following content:

class { 'kallithea':
  seed_db    => true,
  manage_git => true,

To apply the manifest, simply run the following (preferably as root):

puppet apply kallithea.pp

This will basically run through the usual Kallithea Installation on Unix/Linux and Setup steps, as documented. Consult the module documentation for details on what the module affects. You can also do a dry run by adding the --noop option to the command.

Using parameters for customizing the setup process

The kallithea Puppet class provides a number of parameters for customizing the setup process. You have seen the usage of the seed_db parameter in the example above, but there are more. For example, you can specify the installation directory, the name of the user under which Kallithea gets installed, the initial admin password, etc. Notably, you can provide arbitrary modifications to Kallithea’s configuration file by means of the config_hash parameter.

Parameters, which have not been set explicitly, will be set to default values, which are defined inside the kallithea Puppet module. For example, if you just stick to the defaults as in the example above, you will end up with a Kallithea instance, which

  • is installed in /srv/kallithea, owned by the user kallithea
  • uses the Kallithea default configuration
  • uses the admin user admin with password adminpw
  • is started automatically and enabled on boot

As of Kallithea 0.3.0, this in particular means that Kallithea will use an SQLite database and listen on http://localhost:5000.

See also the full parameters list for more information.

Making your Kallithea instance publicly available

If you followed the instructions above, the Kallithea instance will be listening on http://localhost:5000 and therefore not publicly available. There are several ways to change this.

The direct way

The simplest setup is to instruct Kallithea to listen on another IP address and/or port by using the config_hash parameter of the Kallithea Puppet class. For example, assume we want to listen on all interfaces on port 80:

class { 'kallithea':
  seed_db => true,
  config_hash => {
    "server:main" => {
      'host' => '',
      'port' => '80',

Using Apache as reverse proxy

In a more advanced setup, you might instead want use a full-blown web server like Apache HTTP Server as the public web server, configured such that requests are internally forwarded to the local Kallithea instance (a so called reverse proxy setup). This can be easily done with Puppet as well:

First, install the puppetlabs/apache Puppet module as above by running the following as root:

puppet module install puppetlabs/apache

Then, append the following to your manifest:

include apache

apache::vhost { '':
  docroot             => '/var/www/html',
  manage_docroot      => false,
  port                => 80,
  proxy_preserve_host => true,
  proxy_pass          => [
      path => '/',
      url  => 'http://localhost:5000/',

Applying the resulting manifest will install the Apache web server and setup a virtual host acting as a reverse proxy for your local Kallithea instance.