Headless CMS with automatic JSON API. Featuring auto HTTPS, HTTP/2 Server Push, and flexible server framework written in Go.
Go CSS Other


My friend, "Gotoro"


Current Release GoDoc Go Report Card Sourcegraph Badge

Watch the video introduction

Ponzu is a powerful and efficient open-source HTTP server framework and CMS. It provides automatic, free, and secure HTTP/2 over TLS (certificates obtained via Let's Encrypt), a useful CMS and scaffolding to generate content editors, and a fast HTTP API on which to build modern applications.

Ponzu is released under the BSD-3-Clause license (see LICENSE). (c) Boss Sauce Creative, LLC


With the rise in popularity of web/mobile apps connected to JSON HTTP APIs, better tools to support the development of content servers and management systems are necessary. Ponzu fills the void where you want to reach for Wordpress to get a great CMS, or Rails for rapid development, but need a fast JSON response in a high-concurrency environment.

Because you want to turn this:

$ ponzu gen content song title:"string" artist:"string" rating:"int" opinion:"string":richtext spotify_url:"string"

Into this:

song go-rt

What's inside

  • Automatic & Free SSL/TLS*
  • HTTP/2 and Server Push
  • Rapid development with CLI-controlled code generators
  • User-friendly, extensible CMS and administration dashboard
  • Simple deployment - single binary + assets, embedded DB (BoltDB)
  • Fast, helpful framework while maintaining control


  • Development: self-signed certificates auto-generated
  • Production: auto-renewing certificates fetched from Let's Encrypt


For more detailed documentation, check out the docs


$ go get github.com/ponzu-cms/ponzu/...


Go 1.8+

Since HTTP/2 Server Push is used, Go 1.8+ is required. However, it is not required of clients connecting to a Ponzu server to make HTTP/2 requests.


$ ponzu [flags] command <params>



Creates a 'ponzu' directory, or one by the name supplied as a parameter immediately following the 'new' option in the $GOPATH/src directory. Note: 'new' depends on the program 'git' and possibly a network connection. If there is no local repository to clone from at the local machine's $GOPATH, 'new' will attempt to clone the 'github.com/ponzu-cms/ponzu' package from over the network.


$ ponzu new myProject
> New ponzu project created at $GOPATH/src/myProject

Errors will be reported, but successful commands return nothing.

generate, gen, g

Generate boilerplate code for various Ponzu components, such as content.


            generator      struct fields and built-in types...
             |              |
             v              v    
$ ponzu gen content review title:"string" body:"string":richtext rating:"int"
                     ^                                   ^
                     |                                   |
                    struct type                         (optional) input view specifier

The command above will generate the file content/review.go with boilerplate methods, as well as struct definition, and corresponding field tags like:

type Review struct {
	Title  string   `json:"title"`
	Body   string   `json:"body"`
	Rating int      `json:"rating"`
	Tags   []string `json:"tags"`

The generate command will intelligently parse more sophisticated field names such as 'field_name' and convert it to 'FieldName' and vice versa, only where appropriate as per common Go idioms. Errors will be reported, but successful generate commands return nothing.

Input View Specifiers (optional)

The CLI can optionally parse a third parameter on the fields provided to generate the type of HTML view an editor field is presented within. If no third parameter is added, a plain text HTML input will be generated. In the example above, the argument shown as body:string:richtext would show the Richtext input instead of a plain text HTML input (as shown in the screenshot). The following input view specifiers are implmeneted:

CLI parameter Generates
checkbox editor.Checkbox()
custom generates a pre-styled empty div to fill with HTML
file editor.File()
hidden editor.Input() + uses type=hidden
input, text editor.Input()
richtext editor.Richtext()
select editor.Select()
textarea editor.Textarea()
tags editor.Tags()


From within your Ponzu project directory, running build will copy and move the necessary files from your workspace into the vendored directory, and will build/compile the project to then be run.

Optional flags:

  • -gocmd sets the binary used when executing go build within ponzu build step


$ ponzu build
$ ponzu -gocmd=go1.8rc1 build # useful for testing

Errors will be reported, but successful build commands return nothing.


Starts the HTTP server for the JSON API, Admin System, or both. The segments, separated by a comma, describe which services to start, either 'admin' (Admin System / CMS backend) or 'api' (JSON API), and, optionally, if the server should utilize TLS encryption - served over HTTPS, which is automatically managed using Let's Encrypt (https://letsencrypt.org)

Optional flags:

  • -port sets the port on which the server listens for HTTP requests [defaults to 8080]
  • -httpsport sets the port on which the server listens for HTTPS requests [defaults to 443]
  • --https enables auto HTTPS management via Let's Encrypt (port is always 443)
  • --devhttps generates self-signed SSL certificates for development-only (port is 10443)


$ ponzu run
$ ponzu -port=8080 --https run admin,api
$ ponzu run admin
$ ponzu -port=8888 run api
$ ponzu --devhttps run

Defaults to $ ponzu -port=8080 run admin,api (running Admin & API on port 8080, without TLS)

Note: Admin and API cannot run on separate processes unless you use a copy of the database, since the first process to open it receives a lock. If you intend to run the Admin and API on separate processes, you must call them with the 'ponzu' command independently.


Will backup your own custom project code (like content, addons, uploads, etc) so we can safely re-clone Ponzu from the latest version you have or from the network if necessary. Before running $ ponzu upgrade, you should update the ponzu package by running $ go get -u github.com/ponzu-cms/ponzu/...


$ ponzu upgrade

add, a

Downloads an addon to GOPATH/src and copys it to the Ponzu project's ./addons directory. Must be called from within a Ponzu project directory.


$ ponzu add github.com/bosssauce/fbscheduler

Errors will be reported, but successful add commands return nothing.

version, v

Prints the version of Ponzu your project is using. Must be called from within a Ponzu project directory. By passing the --cli flag, the version command will print the version of the Ponzu CLI you have installed.


$ ponzu version
> Ponzu v0.7.1
$ ponzu --cli version
> Ponzu v0.7.2


  1. Checkout branch ponzu-dev
  2. Make code changes
  3. Test changes to ponzu-dev branch
    • make a commit to ponzu-dev
    • to manually test, you will need to use a new copy (ponzu new path/to/code), but pass the --dev flag so that ponzu generates a new copy from the ponzu-dev branch, not master by default (i.e. $ponzu --dev new /path/to/code)
    • build and run with $ ponzu build and $ ponzu run
  4. To add back to master:
    • first push to origin ponzu-dev
    • create a pull request
    • will then be merged into master

A typical contribution workflow might look like:

# clone the repository and checkout ponzu-dev
$ git clone https://github.com/ponzu-cms/ponzu path/to/local/ponzu # (or your fork)
$ git checkout ponzu-dev

# install ponzu with go get or from your own local path
$ go get github.com/ponzu-cms/ponzu/...
# or
$ cd /path/to/local/ponzu 
$ go install ./...

# edit files, add features, etc
$ git add -A
$ git commit -m 'edited files, added features, etc'

# now you need to test the feature.. make a new ponzu project, but pass --dev flag
$ ponzu --dev new /path/to/new/project # will create $GOPATH/src/path/to/new/project

# build & run ponzu from the new project directory
$ cd /path/to/new/project
$ ponzu build && ponzu run

# push to your origin:ponzu-dev branch and create a PR at ponzu-cms/ponzu
$ git push origin ponzu-dev
# ... go to https://github.com/ponzu-cms/ponzu and create a PR

Note: if you intend to work on your own fork and contribute from it, you will need to also pass -fork=path/to/your/fork (using OS-standard filepath structure), where path/to/your/fork must be within $GOPATH/src, and you are working from a branch called ponzu-dev.

For example:

# ($GOPATH/src is implied in the fork path, do not add it yourself)
$ ponzu --dev -fork=github.com/nilslice/ponzu new /path/to/new/project



The Go gopher was designed by Renee French. (http://reneefrench.blogspot.com) The design is licensed under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attributions license. Read this article for more details: http://blog.golang.org/gopher

The Go gopher vector illustraition by Hugo Arganda @argandas (http://about.me/argandas)

"Gotoro", the sushi chef, is a modification of Hugo Arganda's illustration by Steve Manuel (https://github.com/nilslice).