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This guide explains how to deploy an instance of LibCrowds using NGINX and supervisor. It assumes that you are starting with a fresh Ubuntu server.

For details of how to deploy the PYBOSSA backend see the PYBOSSA documentation. You should also ensure that your PYBOSSA instance is configured according to the Configuring PYBOSSA guide.


Before we begin, it is important to note that both LibCrowds and PYBOSSA should be served from the same domain. This is because LibCrowds uses SSR, so the PYBOSSA session cookie needs to be shared with the LibCrowds server (rather than the client) and this will only work properly if both applications are served from the same domain. Subdomains are fine, so you can still run your applications on different servers.

If you don't do this, the application will still run but, as it will not be possible to fully render certain pages on the server, you will see some strange behaviour with users appearing to not be signed in when the application first loads. You might also notice errors when attempting to navigate directly to restricted pages (such as the various administration dashboards).

You will also need to add SESSION_COOKIE_DOMAIN = according to the Configuring PYBOSSA guide.

With that in mind, let's setup a LibCrowds server.

Install Node.js and npm

LibCrowds requires Node.js >= 8.0.0 to run.

Update and upgrade the package index:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Go to your home directory and retrieve the installation script:

cd ~
curl -sL -o

Run the script:

sudo bash

Install Node.js and the build-essential package:

sudo apt-get install nodejs
sudo apt-get install build-essential

Install git

LibCrowds is distributed under version control using git, install it by running:

sudo apt-get install git-core

Download and build LibCrowds

Run the following commands to clone the LibCrowds repository into /var/www/libcrowds:

mkdir /var/www
git clone /var/www/libcrowds

Enter the directory:

cd /var/www/libcrowds

Install LibCrowds' dependencies:

npm install

Copy the configuration template (see Configuring LibCrowds for details of how to edit this file):

cp local.config.js.tmpl local.config.js

Build the application:

npm run build


If the installation or build process is getting killed before finishing it is possible that your don't have enough memory on the server and you may want to consider upgrading the server or adding some swap space.

Setting up NGINX

To serve the site using NGINX, first install it:

sudo apt-get install nginx

Remove the default server configuration:

sudo rm -r /etc/nginx/sites-available/default

Edit a new server configuration file:

vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/libcrowds

Copy in the following and save the file:

map $sent_http_content_type $expires {
    "text/html"                 epoch;
    "text/html; charset=utf-8"  epoch;
    default off;

server {
  listen 80 default_server;
  listen [::]:80 default_server;

  client_body_buffer_size 10K;
  client_header_buffer_size 1k;
  client_max_body_size 10m;
  large_client_header_buffers 2 1k;

  gzip             on;
  gzip_comp_level  2;
  gzip_types       text/plain application/xml text/css application/javascript;
  gzip_min_length  1000;
  gzip_proxied     expired no-cache no-store private auth;

  location / {
    expires $expires;
    proxy_redirect                      off;
    proxy_set_header Host               $host;
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP          $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For    $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto  $scheme;
    proxy_read_timeout                  1m;
    proxy_connect_timeout               1m;
    proxy_pass                ;

Enable the LibCrowds configuration:

ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/libcrowds /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/libcrowds

Restart the server:

sudo service nginx restart

Setting Up Supervisor

Supervisor is used to run LibCrowds in the background and restart it when the server boots up.

sudo apt-get install supervisor

Edit a new Supervisor program configuration:

vim /etc/supervisor/conf.d/libcrowds.conf

Copy in the following and save the file:

command=npm run start

Restart supervisor:

sudo service supervisor stop
sudo service supervisor start

Your LibCrowds server should now be running at

See Configuring LibCrowds for details of all core LibCrowds settings.

Or, find out how to setup your first Collection Microsite.