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Stand Alone

Standalone Server/VPS

This process was tested on Ubuntu 18.04LTS. It should work on any Debian-based system.

Get the code

git clone [your-site-directory]

Basic installation steps.

These are the basic packages needed before you can start the installation process.

  • python3-pip and python3-venv - install using sudo apt-get install python3-pip python3-venv
  • postgresql version 12.x use sudo apt-get install postgresql postgresql-contrib postgresql-server-dev-12
  • to install nodejs version v16.x, use nodesource. Add the PPA to your sources list by running this script: curl -sL | sudo -E bash - then sudo apt-get install nodejs

Python virtual environment

Create the virtual environment, specify the python binary to use and the directory. Then source the activate script to activate the virtual environment. The last line tells Django what settings to use.

$ python3 -m venv venv/hypha
$ source venv/hypha/bin/activate
$ export DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=hypha.settings.production

Inside your activated virtual environment you will use plain python and pip commands. Everything inside the virtual environment is python 3 since we specified that when we created it.

Install Python packages

Next, install the required packages using:

$ pip install -r requirements.txt

Install Node packages

All the needed Node packages are listed in package.json. Install them with this command.

$ npm install

The Postgres database

Postgresql is the database used. Start the server you installed above using sudo service postgresql start, then log into the postgres superuser, sudo su - postgres and enter the postgresql cli with psql. In the CLI, use these commands:

  • Also, make sure that this user has trust access in pg_hba.conf.

These settings can be restricted later as required.

Running the app

The application needs a secret key: export SECRET_KEY='SOME SECRET KEY HERE'.

To begin with, set the export SECURE_SSL_REDIRECT=false to prevent SSL redirect. When you've set up SSL for your server, you can change that setting later.

Then use the following commands to test run the server:

  • npm run build
  • python collectstatic --noinput
  • python createcachetable
  • python migrate --noinput
  • python clear_cache --cache=default --cache=wagtailcache
  • python createsuperuser
  • python wagtailsiteupdate server.domain apply.server.domain 80
  • python runserver runs development server at [](

You should see the home page of the server. That's great. You can stop the server, and then we can then take the next steps.

Deploy with nginx/gunicorn

Make sure gunicorn is installed it should be. Do a test run with gunicorn: gunicorn --bind<some port> hypha.wsgi:application This might not work. It's OK if it doesn't work - you can go on anyway.

To make gunicorn start automatically with systemd see

Set up DNS so that server.domain and apply.server.domain point to the server you've installed the application. Install nginx if you haven't already sudo apt-get install nginx. You'll need to add two new config files for nginx in /etc/nginx/sites-available:


server {
    listen 80;
    server_name server.domain;

    client_max_body_size 2621440;

    location /media/ {
        alias /path/to/application/hypha/media/;

    location /static/ {
        alias /path/to/application/hypha/static/;

    location / {
        proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
        proxy_pass http://unix:/run/gunicorn.sock;



server {
    listen 80;
    server_name apply.server.domain;

    client_max_body_size 2621440;

    location /media/ {
        alias /path/to/application/hypha/media/;

    location /static/ {
        alias /path/to/application/hypha/static/;

    location / {
        proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
        proxy_pass http://unix:/run/gunicorn.sock;

The client_max_body_size configuration directive is very important. Hypha uploads files to the server in 2.5MB chunks. However, by default, nginx limits uploads to 1MB chunks. The result is that users of a Hypha system running "behind" nginx will see file upload failures for any file larger than 1MB. Using the client_max_body_size directive in the nginx server context is, therefore, required to make it possible for users to upload files that are bigger than 1MB in size.

Symbolically link these to sites-enabled: sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/public /etc/nginx/sites-enabled && sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/apply /etc/nginx/sites-enabled. Then restart nginx using sudo systemctl restart nginx.

You should then be able to access your application at http://server.domain and http://apply.server.domain.

Adding SSL using a Let's Encrypt certificate.

It's very easy to add SSL via a Let's Encrypt certificate.

See instructions at

Follow the instructions, and you're done.


The Django Administration panel is connected to the 'apply' domain: so access that via http://apply.server.domain/django-admin/ use the email address and password you set in the python createsuperuser step above. step above.

The Apply dashboard is here: http://apply.server.domain/dashboard/. The Apply Wagtail admin: http://apply.server.domain/admin


Here is a list of settings that can be set as environment variables or in a hypha/settings/ file.

None optional:

CACHE_CONTROL_MAX_AGE:                         14400
COOKIE_SECURE:                                 true
DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE:                        hypha.settings.production
ORG_EMAIL:                                     [email protected]
ORG_LONG_NAME:                                 Long name of your organisation
ORG_SHORT_NAME:                                Short org name
PROJECTS_AUTO_CREATE:                          false
PROJECTS_ENABLED:                              true
SECRET_KEY:                                    [KEY]
SEND_MESSAGES:                                 true
SERVER_EMAIL:                                  [email protected]


ANYMAIL_WEBHOOK_SECRET:                        [KEY]
AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID:                             [KEY]
AWS_DEFAULT_ACL:                               None
AWS_MIGRATION_ACCESS_KEY_ID:                   [KEY]
AWS_QUERYSTRING_EXPIRE:                        600
AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY:                         [KEY]
BASIC_AUTH_ENABLED:                            true
BASIC_AUTH_LOGIN:                              [USER]
BASIC_AUTH_PASSWORD:                           [PASS]
CLOUDFLARE_API_ZONEID:                         [KEY]
CLOUDFLARE_BEARER_TOKEN:                       [KEY]
MAILCHIMP_API_KEY:                             [KEY]-us10
MAILCHIMP_LIST_ID:                             [ID]
MAILGUN_API_KEY:                               [KEY]
SEND_READY_FOR_REVIEW:                         false
SLACK_DESTINATION_ROOM:                        #notify

Last update: 2023-09-30