How to Install Gitea on Ubuntu Linux

Laptop on table with keyboard and mouse
Laptop on table with keyboard and mouse

Gitea is an open-source version control platform similar to GitHub. It’s probably the easiest, fastest, and painless way to set up a self-hosted Git service.

Gitea is a clone of Gogs and is 100% open-source and free of charge. All source code is available under the MIT License on GitHub. It is robust, scalable, and a great alternative to git services.

Gitea has rich features like issues and time tracking, repository branching, file locking, tagging, merging, and many other features that you will find in a typical source control platform.

Gitea streamlines your collaborative workflows. Visualize, prioritize, coordinate, and track your progress with Gitea’s flexible project management tools.

This brief tutorial will show students and new users how to easily install Gitea on Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04.

To install Gitea on Ubuntu, follow the steps below

Install Git and Create Git User

Before continuing below, run the command to install the git package on Ubuntu.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install git

After installing Git, run the commands below to create a Git user to run Gitea services. To do that, run the commands below

sudo adduser --system --group --disabled-password --shell /bin/bash --home /home/git --gecos 'Git Version Control' git

You should see a similar message below:

Adding system user `git' (UID 122) .
Adding new group `git' (GID 127) .
Adding new user `git' (UID 122) with group `git' .
Creating home directory `/home/git' .

Next, continue below and install MariaDB

Install MariaDB

Gitea requires a database server to store its content. And MariaDB is a great place to start looking for an open-source database server.

To install MariaDB run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing MariaDB, the commands below can stop, start and enable the MariaDB service to start up when the server boots.

Run these on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mysql.service
sudo systemctl start mysql.service
sudo systemctl enable mysql.service

Run these on Ubuntu 18.10 and 18.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

After that, run the commands below to secure the MariaDB server by creating a root password and disallowing remote root access.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

Restart MariaDB server

Once you’ve installed all the packages required for Gitea to function, continue below to start configuring the servers. First, run the commands below to create a blank Gitea database and database user.

To log on to the MariaDB database server, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Change the GLOBAL innodeb_file_per_table to On.

SET GLOBAL innodb_file_per_table = ON;

Then create a database called giteadb


Create a database user called teaser with a new password

CREATE USER 'giteauser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON giteadb.* TO 'giteauser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Next, run the commands below to update the database character set.

ALTER DATABASE giteadb CHARACTER SET = utf8mb4 COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_ci;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Next, run the commands below to open the MariaDB default config file.

sudo nano /etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/50-server.cnf

Then add the lines below and save.

innodb_file_format = Barracuda
innodb_large_prefix = 1
innodb_default_row_format = dynamic

Restart MariaDB after that.

sudo systemctl restart mariadb.service
sudo systemctl restart mysql.service

Continue below to download the Gitea package.

Install Gitea Packages

After creating the user account, run the commands below to download Gitea’s latest package. You can find its latest version from the link below:

Run the commands below to download version 1.8.0. You can replace the version number with the latest if it becomes available.

cd /tmp

After downloading the file, move it into the /usr/local/bin directory and make it executable.

sudo mv gitea-1.8.0-linux-amd64 /usr/local/bin/gitea
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/gitea

Next, create this folder for Gitea to use, then update their permissions using the commands below.

sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/gitea/{custom,data,indexers,public,log}
sudo chown git:git /var/lib/gitea/{data,indexers,log}
sudo chmod 750 /var/lib/gitea/{data,indexers,log}
sudo mkdir /etc/gitea
sudo chown root:git /etc/gitea
sudo chmod 770 /etc/gitea

After that, run the commands below to create the Gitea systemd script.

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/gitea.service

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it.

Description=Gitea (Git with a cup of tea)

# Modify these two values and uncomment them if you have
# repos with lots of files and get an HTTP error 500 because
# of that
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/gitea web -c /etc/gitea/app.ini
Environment=USER=git HOME=/home/git GITEA_WORK_DIR=/var/lib/gitea
# If you want to bind Gitea to a port below 1024 uncomment
# the two values below


After that, reload systemd and start the Gitea service

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable gitea
sudo systemctl start gitea

To check gitea’s status, run the commands below:

sudo systemctl status gitea

You should see a similar message below

● gitea.service - Gitea (Git with a cup of tea)
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/gitea.service; enabled; vendor preset: en
   Active: active (running) since Fri 2019-04-26 10:52:32 CDT; 11s ago
 Main PID: 7118 (gitea)
    Tasks: 6 (limit: 4683)
   CGroup: /system.slice/gitea.service
           └─7118 /usr/local/bin/gitea web -c /etc/gitea/app.ini

Apr 26 10:52:32 ubuntu1804 gitea[7118]: 2019/04/26 10:52:32 [T] Log path: /var/l
Apr 26 10:52:32 ubuntu1804 gitea[7118]: 2019/04/26 10:52:32 [I] Gitea v1.8.0 bui

Next, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address followed by port 3000


Type in the database connection info and continue with the setup.

Gitea Ubuntu setup

Set up the backend admin account as well.

Gitea Ubuntu setup

Login and enjoy!

After the installation, you should be able to log on and use Gitea as a git service.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed and configured the Gitea git server on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 systems.

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1 Comment

  1. Hello,
    I’ve enjoyed your tutorial. One big mistake that took me almost an hour to resolve is that there is an error in the service definition (/etc/systemd/system/gitea.service).
    My instance of Gitea failed to start until I’ve realized that there is HOME=/home/git in
    Environment=USER=gitea HOME=/home/git GITEA_WORK_DIR=/var/lib/gitea
    line instead of HOME=/home/gitea
    I just hope that I can spare some users from my research 🙂

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