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Website engine for Kerbal Space Program mods.


This describes a bare-metal setup. For a local development setup using Docker, see

Quick overview:

  1. Install and set up the dependencies
  2. Clone SpaceDock repository
  3. Activate the virtualenv
  4. Install pip requirements
  5. Build frontend
  6. Configure SpaceDock
  7. SQL
  8. Site configuration

Install the dependencies

You'll need these things: (Names taken from Ubuntu's package repository)

  • python3, python3-dev for uwsgi, python3-pip, python3-virtualenv
  • nodejs, npm
  • postgresql (or postgresql-client if the database is on another server)
  • redis-tools

Use the packages your OS provides, or build them from source. For an up to date NodeJS distribution, see and

Set up services

Do a quick sanity check on all of those things.

$ python3 --version
  Python 3.8.10
$ node --version
$ npm --version
$ pip --version
  pip 21.2.3
$ virtualenv --version
  virtualenv 20.0.17
$ psql --version
  psql (PostgreSQL) 12.7 (Ubuntu 12.7-0ubuntu0.20.04.1)
$ redis-cli --version
  redis-cli 5.0.7

YMMV if you use versions that differ from these.

Prepare a connection string that looks like this when you're done, prepare PostgreSQL accordingly:


The connection string for localhost can look like this:


SpaceDock needs to be able to create/alter/insert/update/delete in the database you give it.

You also need to start up Redis on the default port if you want to send emails.

Clone SpaceDock

Find a place you want the code to live.

$ git clone git://
$ cd SpaceDock

Activate virtualenv

$ virtualenv -p python3 .
$ source bin/activate

If you are on a system where python3 is not the name of your Python executable, add --python=/path/to/python3 to the virtualenv command to fix that.

pip requirements

If you use systemd/ or Docker, this will be done automatically for you.

$ pip install -r requirements.txt


$ ./

Configure SpaceDock

$ cp alembic.ini.example alembic.ini
$ cp config.ini.example config.ini

Edit config.ini and alembic.ini to your liking.

Postgres Configuration

Depending on your environment, you may need to tell postgres to trust localhost connections. This setting is in the pg_hba.conf file, usually located in /etc/postgresql/[version]/main/. An example of what the config should look like:

local   all    all                    trust
host    all    all    trust
host    all    all    ::1/128         trust    #may or may not be needed for IPv6 aware installs

Site Configuration

What you do from here depends on your site-specific configuration. If you just want to run the site for development, you can source the virtualenv and run


To run it in production, you probably want to use gunicorn behind an nginx proxy. There's a sample nginx config in the configs/ directory here, but you'll probably want to tweak it to suit your needs. Here's how you can run gunicorn, put this in your init scripts:

/path/to/SpaceDock/bin/gunicorn app:app -b

The -b parameter specifies an endpoint to use. You probably want to bind this to localhost and proxy through from nginx. I'd also suggest blocking the port you choose from external access. It's not that gunicorn is bad, it's just that nginx is better.

To get an admin user you have to register a user first and then run this (replace <username> with your username):

source bin/activate

from KerbalStuff.objects import *
from KerbalStuff.database import db
u = User.query.filter(User.username == "<username>").first()
u.admin = True
u.confirmation = None

When running in a production environment, run python at least once and then read the SQL stuff below before you let it go for good.


If you want to send emails (like registration confirmation, mod updates, etc), you need to have redis running and then start the KerbalStuff mailer daemon. You can run it like so:

celery -A KerbalStuff.celery:app worker --loglevel=info

Of course, this only works if you've filled out the smtp options in config.ini and you have sourced the virtualenv.

SQL Stuff

We use alembic for schema migrations between versions. The first time you run the application, the schema will be created. However, you need to tell alembic about it. Run the application at least once, then:

$ cd /path/to/SpaceDock/
$ source bin/activate
$ python
>>> from alembic.config import Config
>>> from alembic import command
>>> alembic_cfg = Config("alembic.ini")
>>> command.stamp(alembic_cfg, "head")
>>> exit()

Congrats, you've got a schema in place. Run alembic upgrade head after pulling the code to update your schema to the latest version. Do this before you restart the site.


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