Gogs on Raspberry PI

Mar 5, 2019

Programming System Administration Tutorial

By: Brandon Quakkelaar

In a previous article I configured a headless Raspberry Pi for Wifi and SSH. Next, I’ll set up a personal Gogs server on it.

Change the Password

First things first, change the password for the pi user to something different than raspberry.

$ passwd
Changing password for pi.
(current) UNIX password:
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully

Please tweet your new password to @quakkels /s

Arrange the Prerequisites

Next, I’ll make sure the prerequisites are set up. Since Raspbian is based on Debian I can use the Debian/Ubuntu commands. I’m skipping the database step because I’m happy with this Gogs instance using SQLite3.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install git

Before proceeding farther, I’m going to create a brand new user specifically for Gogs. This new user will be everything Gogs.

$ sudo adduser iamgogs 

Note: If I were a more experienced Gogs administrator I would have created a user named git since that’s Gogs’ best practice and it’s less work later on. Scripts and default configuration use git as the Gogs user by default.

Be prepared to have a password ready for the new iamgogs user.

Add the iamgogs user to the sudo group.

$ sudo usermod -aG sudo iamgogs

Now switch to the iamgogs user with:

$ su - iamgogs

And test the sudo ability by running any command as sudo:

$ sudo pwd

Install Gogs from Binary

From here, I could install Go and proceed to install from source. But instead, to keep the number of steps to a minimum, I’m going to install from binary.

Being currently logged in as the iamgogs user, I’ll use the wget command to download the Raspberry PI build from this download page. Use wget with the url for the binary built specifically for Raspberry PI.

$ wget {raspberrypibinaryurl}

Now that I’ve got it downloaded, I can unzip it using the unzip command.

$ unzip {gogszipfilename}

If you run the ls command you should see the new gogs folder that was extracted into the iamgogs home directory.

And now for something completely expected…

Configuring and Running Gogs on Raspberry PI

Running and configuring the Gogs server is handled by the Gogs install process. There’s lots of information online about manually creating and editing custom app.ini configuration file, but it looks like (for the most recent versions of Gogs) all I need to do is run the gogs executable from the $HOME/gogs folder with the web parameter.

$ cd $HOME/gogs
$ ./gogs web

I saw server information appear in the console. Since my Raspberry Pi is set up for headless operation, I don’t have the benefit of being able to access Gogs via a graphical web browser over localhost. So, from my windows machine, I navigated to {IpAddressOfRPi}:3000 and was greeted by a pleasant installation form which I filled out. Upon submitting the form, I had an admin account and a functioning Gogs server.

I’m nearing the end of this Gogs journey, but I still need to set this up as a service running in the background. Otherwise I’m stuck with this SSH session running Gogs forever.

I was able to find some instructions for configuring a Gogs service with systemd that seemed straightforward enough.

Copy the systemd service file from Gogs to the appropriate folder

$ sudo cp /home/iamgogs/scripts/systemd/gogs.service /lib/systemd/system/gogs.service

Then I edited the new file.

$ sudo nano /lib/systemd/system/gogs.service

I updated the values for:

Since my Gogs user is iamgogs rather than git I needed to make sure the paths and users got updated accordingly. Once the file is updated and saved I tested to make sure it was working with:

$ sudo systemctl start gogs.service

After switching over to my windows machine and confirming the site loads in the browser, I returned to my ssh session to make sure systemd will automatically start the Gogs service on reboot.

$ sudo systemctl enable gogs.service

And then a final test to make sure Gogs will start automatically when the RPi boots:

$ sudo reboot

Lo and behold, it works.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send comments to blog@quakkels.com.