Install Baresoil on your Computer

This article contains instructions for installing Baresoil on a Linux, MacOS, or Windows computer, such as a laptop or virtual private server.


You will need the following:

  • a Linux, MacOS, or Windows system,
  • node.js version 6 or higher (8 preferred), and
  • basic system administration and command-line skills.

Installing the following additional software is also highly recommended, but not required for simple development and testing.

If you have existing installations of either Docker or Postgres, they can be re-used without affecting other software that may also be using them.

Install via npm

The Node Package Manager (npm) is installed as part of a standard node.js installation. Baresoil can be installed and updated using the npm command.

npm install -g baresoil@latest

The same command run again will upgrade an existing Baresoil installation to the latest version available.

Run baresoil without any arguments to get a complete list of sub-commands available.

Configure Docker and Postgres (optional)

Baresoilis modular, and can be customized for different environments using various plugins. By default, the server starts in "in-memory" mode, where all data is either stored in-memory while the server runs, or in temporary directories on disk. This mode works without the need for Docker and Postgres to be installed, and is convenient for testing without installing additional software.

For any remotely serious use, however, it is highly recommended that you install Docker Engine and Postgres, and use the prod mode of the server.

Once you have installed Docker Engine and Postgres, run the configure command to interactively configure your system. Run the following commands in an empty directory.

baresoil-server init --provider prod
baresoil-server configure

Start the Server

To start the server in "in-memory" mode, use the following command from any directory:

baresoil-server run

This will start the server in a development-friendly mode, printing diagnostic messages to the console. For development sessions, you will probably want to start the server in a window, and run other CLI commands from a different window.

For additional debugging messages in the console, set the LOG shell environment variable to the value "debug", using the appropriate command for your operating system.

If you have installed Docker and Postgres and configured the prod plugin to use them, then run the same command from the same directory where you ran the configure step.

Once the server has started, open the following URL in a browser: http://localhost:8086/. You should see a screen resembling the following:

Default server page
Default server page

Press Ctrl + C to stop the server.

Next: deploy an app to your server.