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Production guide


Please don't install PeerTube for production on a device behind a low bandwidth connection (example: your ADSL link). If you want information about the appropriate hardware to run PeerTube, please see the FAQ.

🔨 Dependencies

Follow the steps of the dependencies guide.

👷 PeerTube user

Create a peertube user with /var/www/peertube home:

$ sudo useradd -m -d /var/www/peertube -s /bin/bash -p peertube peertube

Set its password:

$ sudo passwd peertube

On FreeBSD

$ sudo pw useradd -n peertube -d /var/www/peertube -s /usr/local/bin/bash -m
$ sudo passwd peertube

or use adduser to create it interactively.

🗃️ Database

Create the production database and a peertube user inside PostgreSQL:

$ cd /var/www/peertube
$ sudo -u postgres createuser -P peertube

Here you should enter a password for PostgreSQL peertube user, that should be copied in production.yaml file. Don't just hit enter else it will be empty.

$ sudo -u postgres createdb -O peertube -E UTF8 -T template0 peertube_prod

Then enable extensions PeerTube needs:

$ sudo -u postgres psql -c "CREATE EXTENSION pg_trgm;" peertube_prod
$ sudo -u postgres psql -c "CREATE EXTENSION unaccent;" peertube_prod

📄 Prepare PeerTube directory

Fetch the latest tagged version of Peertube:

$ VERSION=$(curl -s | grep tag_name | cut -d '"' -f 4) && echo "Latest Peertube version is $VERSION"

Open the peertube directory, create a few required directories:

$ cd /var/www/peertube
$ sudo -u peertube mkdir config storage versions
$ sudo -u peertube chmod 750 config/

Download the latest version of the Peertube client, unzip it and remove the zip:

$ cd /var/www/peertube/versions
$ # Releases are also available on
$ sudo -u peertube wget -q "${VERSION}/peertube-${VERSION}.zip"
$ sudo -u peertube unzip -q peertube-${VERSION}.zip && sudo -u peertube rm peertube-${VERSION}.zip

Install Peertube:

$ cd /var/www/peertube
$ sudo -u peertube ln -s versions/peertube-${VERSION} ./peertube-latest
$ cd ./peertube-latest && sudo -H -u peertube yarn install --production --pure-lockfile

🔧 PeerTube configuration

Copy the default configuration file that contains the default configuration provided by PeerTube. You must not update this file.

$ cd /var/www/peertube
$ sudo -u peertube cp peertube-latest/config/default.yaml config/default.yaml

Now copy the production example configuration:

$ cd /var/www/peertube
$ sudo -u peertube cp peertube-latest/config/production.yaml.example config/production.yaml

Then edit the config/production.yaml file according to your webserver and database configuration (webserver, database, redis, smtp and sections in particular). Keys defined in config/production.yaml will override keys defined in config/default.yaml.

PeerTube does not support webserver host change. Even though PeerTube CLI can help you to switch hostname there's no official support for that since it is a risky operation that might result in unforeseen errors.

🚚 Webserver

We only provide official configuration files for Nginx.

Copy the nginx configuration template:

$ sudo cp /var/www/peertube/peertube-latest/support/nginx/peertube /etc/nginx/sites-available/peertube

Then set the domain for the webserver configuration file. Replace [peertube-domain] with the domain for the peertube server.

$ sudo sed -i 's/${WEBSERVER_HOST}/[peertube-domain]/g' /etc/nginx/sites-available/peertube
$ sudo sed -i 's/${PEERTUBE_HOST}/' /etc/nginx/sites-available/peertube

Then modify the webserver configuration file. Please pay attention to the alias keys of the static locations. It should correspond to the paths of your storage directories (set in the configuration file inside the storage key).

$ sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/peertube

Activate the configuration file:

$ sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/peertube /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/peertube

To generate the certificate for your domain as required to make https work you can use Let's Encrypt:

$ sudo systemctl stop nginx
$ sudo certbot certonly --standalone --post-hook "systemctl restart nginx"
$ sudo systemctl reload nginx

Now you have the certificates you can reload nginx:

$ sudo systemctl reload nginx

Certbot should have installed a cron to automatically renew your certificate. Since our nginx template supports webroot renewal, we suggest you to update the renewal config file to use the webroot authenticator:

$ # Replace authenticator = standalone by authenticator = webroot
$ # Add webroot_path = /var/www/certbot
$ sudo vim /etc/letsencrypt/renewal/

FreeBSD On FreeBSD you can use Dehydrated security/dehydrated for Let's Encrypt

$ sudo pkg install dehydrated

⚗️ TCP/IP Tuning

On Linux

$ sudo cp /var/www/peertube/peertube-latest/support/sysctl.d/30-peertube-tcp.conf /etc/sysctl.d/
$ sudo sysctl -p /etc/sysctl.d/30-peertube-tcp.conf

Your distro may enable this by default, but at least Debian 9 does not, and the default FIFO scheduler is quite prone to "Buffer Bloat" and extreme latency when dealing with slower client links as we often encounter in a video server.

🧱 systemd

If your OS uses systemd, copy the configuration template:

$ sudo cp /var/www/peertube/peertube-latest/support/systemd/peertube.service /etc/systemd/system/

Check the service file (PeerTube paths and security directives):

$ sudo vim /etc/systemd/system/peertube.service

Tell systemd to reload its config:

$ sudo systemctl daemon-reload

If you want to start PeerTube on boot:

$ sudo systemctl enable peertube


$ sudo systemctl start peertube
$ sudo journalctl -feu peertube

FreeBSD On FreeBSD, copy the startup script and update rc.conf:

$ sudo install -m 0555 /var/www/peertube/peertube-latest/support/freebsd/peertube /usr/local/etc/rc.d/
$ sudo sysrc peertube_enable="YES"


$ sudo service peertube start

🧱 OpenRC

If your OS uses OpenRC, copy the service script:

$ sudo cp /var/www/peertube/peertube-latest/support/init.d/peertube /etc/init.d/

If you want to start PeerTube on boot:

$ sudo rc-update add peertube default

Run and print last logs:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/peertube start
$ tail -f /var/log/peertube/peertube.log

🧑‍💻 Administrator

The administrator username is root and the password is automatically generated. It can be found in PeerTube logs (path defined in production.yaml). You can also set another password with:

$ cd /var/www/peertube/peertube-latest && NODE_CONFIG_DIR=/var/www/peertube/config NODE_ENV=production npm run reset-password -- -u root

Alternatively you can set the environment variable PT_INITIAL_ROOT_PASSWORD, to your own administrator password, although it must be 6 characters or more.

🎉 What now?

Now your instance is up you can:


PeerTube instance

Check the changelog (in particular BREAKING CHANGES!):


The password it asks is PeerTube's database user password.

$ cd /var/www/peertube/peertube-latest/scripts && sudo -H -u peertube ./
$ sudo systemctl restart peertube # Or use your OS command to restart PeerTube if you don't use systemd


Make a SQL backup

$ SQL_BACKUP_PATH="backup/sql-peertube_prod-$(date -Im).bak" && \
    cd /var/www/peertube && sudo -u peertube mkdir -p backup && \
    sudo -u postgres pg_dump -F c peertube_prod | sudo -u peertube tee "$SQL_BACKUP_PATH" >/dev/null

Fetch the latest tagged version of Peertube:

$ VERSION=$(curl -s | grep tag_name | cut -d '"' -f 4) && echo "Latest Peertube version is $VERSION"

Download the new version and unzip it:

$ cd /var/www/peertube/versions && \
    sudo -u peertube wget -q "${VERSION}/peertube-${VERSION}.zip" && \
    sudo -u peertube unzip -o peertube-${VERSION}.zip && \
    sudo -u peertube rm peertube-${VERSION}.zip

Install node dependencies:

$ cd /var/www/peertube/versions/peertube-${VERSION} && \
    sudo -H -u peertube yarn install --production --pure-lockfile

Copy new configuration defaults values and update your configuration file:

$ sudo -u peertube cp /var/www/peertube/versions/peertube-${VERSION}/config/default.yaml /var/www/peertube/config/default.yaml
$ diff /var/www/peertube/versions/peertube-${VERSION}/config/production.yaml.example /var/www/peertube/config/production.yaml

Change the link to point to the latest version:

$ cd /var/www/peertube && \
    sudo unlink ./peertube-latest && \
    sudo -u peertube ln -s versions/peertube-${VERSION} ./peertube-latest


Check changes in nginx configuration:

$ cd /var/www/peertube/versions
$ diff "$(ls --sort=t | head -2 | tail -1)/support/nginx/peertube" "$(ls --sort=t | head -1)/support/nginx/peertube"


Check changes in systemd configuration:

$ cd /var/www/peertube/versions
$ diff "$(ls --sort=t | head -2 | tail -1)/support/systemd/peertube.service" "$(ls --sort=t | head -1)/support/systemd/peertube.service"

Restart PeerTube

If you changed your nginx configuration:

$ sudo systemctl reload nginx

If you changed your systemd configuration:

$ sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Restart PeerTube and check the logs:

$ sudo systemctl restart peertube && sudo journalctl -fu peertube

Things went wrong?

Change peertube-latest destination to the previous version and restore your SQL backup:

$ OLD_VERSION="v0.42.42" && SQL_BACKUP_PATH="backup/sql-peertube_prod-2018-01-19T10:18+01:00.bak" && \
    cd /var/www/peertube && sudo -u peertube unlink ./peertube-latest && \
    sudo -u peertube ln -s "versions/peertube-$OLD_VERSION" peertube-latest && \
    sudo -u postgres pg_restore -c -C -d postgres "$SQL_BACKUP_PATH" && \
    sudo systemctl restart peertube