CyTube 3.0 Installation Guide

bush6 edited this page Mar 7, 2014 · 13 revisions

This guide will walk you through installing and configuring CyTube on a Linux server. If you have questions, feel free to stop by IRC ( calzoneman is the developer behind CyTube, but nuclearace has a lot of experience with it and can answer most of your questions if cal isn't around.

Table of Contents

  1. Requirements
  2. Installation of prerequisites
  3. Installation of CyTube 3.0
  4. Configuration
  5. Running
  6. Maintenance
  7. Importing a CyTube 2.4.6 database


CyTube is relatively lightweight in terms of CPU, memory, and bandwidth usage. However, due to the software used, it will not run on shared webhosting; it requires a VPS or dedicated server. I recommend at least 256MB RAM for a small server (this is for both CyTube and MySQL RAM usage). People have gotten by with less, but having sufficient RAM for MySQL to hold the database in memory will improve performance.

CyTube has a standalone webserver, so it is not necessary to use Apache or another webserver to serve content. You may use a 3rd party webserver in reverse proxy mode if you wish. runs nginx which proxies back good requests to CyTube (and takes care of blocking bad requests and rate limiting before requests even reach CyTube). Configuring a reverse proxy is outside the scope of this guide.

For the purposes of this guide, I will assume you are installing on Linux. I have tested CyTube on Arch, Debian, Ubuntu, and CentOS, on actual hardware, OpenVZ virtualization, and KVM virtualization. It should work on BSD but I don't have access to a BSD machine to write out installation instructions. You will need root access to install the required software.

Installation of prerequisites


Debian / Ubuntu

# apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
# apt-get install build-essential git python mysql-server


# yum update
# yum install git openssl-devel gcc-c++ mysql-server mysql mysql-devel mysql-livs

Please make sure that during the installation of MySQL, you choose a secure password for the root user.


Retrieve the latest source tarball from At the time of writing, this is node-v0.10.26.tar.gz.

WARNING: Do not install the node package in Debian's repository. It is horrendously out of date and will not work. The Arch package nodejs in [community] is kept up to date.

$ tar xf node-v0.10.26.tar.gz
$ cd node-v0.10.26
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

If your processor has multiple cores, you can speed up compilation by passing the -j(#cores) flag to the make step, for example on a quad core make -j4.

Installation of CyTube 3.0

User account

You should set up a user account that the CyTube process will run as. Don't use root. Just don't. You can use your user account, or add a new one (there are plenty of guides on how to add a new user on your favorite distribution).

Cloning from git

cd to the directory where you want your CyTube server. Execute the following command to download the code from the Git repository:

$ git clone -b 3.0

You can optionally specify a folder name after the repository URL to rename the folder something else instead of sync.

NPM dependencies

cd sync
npm install



You will need to log in to your MySQL server as root to create a user and database for CyTube:

$ mysql -u root -p
(Enter password)
> GRANT USAGE ON *.* TO cytube@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'super_secure_password';
> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON cytube.* TO cytube@localhost;

Configuration File

First, copy the template:

cp config.template.yaml config.yaml

Next, edit config.yaml with your favorite text editor. The template is well-commented with what most of the config keys are for, so I will omit explaining all of them in detail, but I would like to make a few general notes:

  • The server dynamically generates links as http://http.domain:http.port/path. If you want to override this, you can set http.full-address to the desired root. For example, runs on port 8080, but I want requests to go through nginx on port 80 rather than, so I have full-address: '' in the http block of my configuration.
  • http.root-domain has to do with the way cookies work. If your server will be accessible from multiple subdomains (e.g.,, then you must set the root domain to the common domain between them (e.g.
  • As a convention, keys called host specify an IP address to bind to (if your server has multiple IP addresses), and keys called domain specify the domain name (e.g.
  • Binding a port number below 1000 requires running the server as root. This is one of the reasons I use nginx as a reverse proxy.


Congratulations, your CyTube server is now configured! You can launch it with node index.js. On the first run, your server will initialize the database, log files, and channel data folders. You should be able to connect to your server on the port specified.

Once you have registered your first account, you can use the following commands to assign yourself site admin rights:

$ mysql -u cytube -p
(enter password)
> UPDATE `users` SET global_rank=255 WHERE name='calzoneman';

Any rank >= 255 has site administrator permissions.


There are a few options for keeping the server running after you close your SSH session:

  • nohup node index.js &
  • screen
  • tmux

nohup, screen, and tmux are all available as packages on major distributions. I have also provided a simple script that will automatically restart the server if it crashes. On my server, I launch it as screen ./


Git updates

CyTube is actively developed and updates frequently to fix bugs and add new features. Git provides a convenient way for you to keep up with these updates. cd to the directory containing CyTube, and execute git pull to retrieve the latest code. If you have made modifications to any files, you may encounter a merge conflict. After pulling, restart the server for changes to take effect.


You should take frequent backups in case something happens to your server. The database and channel data can be backed up like so:

$ mysqldump --quick --skip-lock-tables -u cytube -psupersecretpassword cytube > my_database_backup.sql
$ tar cjf my_channels_backup.tar.bz2 chandump

Importing a CyTube 2.4.6 database

CyTube 3.0 uses a slightly different database format than previous versions. I have provided an import script which will copy data over to the new format.

First, create a new database for CyTube 3:

$ mysql -u root -p
(Enter password)
> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON cytube3.* TO cytube@localhost;

Next, run import.js:

$ node import.js | tee output.txt

The | tee output.txt saves all console output to a file so you can inspect it for errors if necessary. Enter the appropriate database details, and wait for the script to import. It will log everything it imports.

Copy the chandump folder from your old CyTube Directory to your CyTube 3 folder.

Once the import script has finished, you can begin using CyTube 3. Be sure to inspect for errors before you delete any data from your CyTube 2 database!