Setting up RhodeCode

First, you will need to create a RhodeCode configuration file. Run the following command to do this:

paster make-config RhodeCode production.ini
  • This will create the file production.ini in the current directory. This configuration file contains the various settings for RhodeCode, e.g proxy port, email settings, usage of static files, cache, celery settings and logging.

Next, you need to create the databases used by RhodeCode. I recommend that you use postgresql or sqlite (default). If you choose a database other than the default ensure you properly adjust the db url in your production.ini configuration file to use this other database. RhodeCode currently supports postgresql, sqlite and mysql databases. Create the database by running the following command:

paster setup-rhodecode production.ini

This will prompt you for a “root” path. This “root” path is the location where RhodeCode will store all of its repositories on the current machine. After entering this “root” path setup-rhodecode will also prompt you for a username and password for the initial admin account which setup-rhodecode sets up for you.

setup process can be fully automated, example for lazy:

paster setup-rhodecode production.ini --user=marcink --password=secret --repos=/home/marcink/my_repos
  • The setup-rhodecode command will create all of the needed tables and an admin account. When choosing a root path you can either use a new empty location, or a location which already contains existing repositories. If you choose a location which contains existing repositories RhodeCode will simply add all of the repositories at the chosen location to it’s database. (Note: make sure you specify the correct path to the root).
  • Note: the given path for mercurial repositories must be write accessible for the application. It’s very important since the RhodeCode web interface will work without write access, but when trying to do a push it will eventually fail with permission denied errors unless it has write access.

You are now ready to use RhodeCode, to run it simply execute:

paster serve production.ini
  • This command runs the RhodeCode server. The web app should be available at the This ip and port is configurable via the production.ini file created in previous step
  • Use the admin account you created above when running setup-rhodecode to login to the web app.
  • The default permissions on each repository is read, and the owner is admin. Remember to update these if needed.
  • In the admin panel you can toggle ldap, anonymous, permissions settings. As well as edit more advanced options on users and repositories

Optionally users can create rcextensions package that extends RhodeCode functionality. To do this simply execute:

paster make-rcext production.ini

This will create rcextensions package in the same place that your ini file lives. With rcextensions it’s possible to add additional mapping for whoosh, stats and add additional code into the push/pull/create/delete repo hooks. For example for sending signals to build-bots such as jenkins. Please see the file inside rcextensions package for more details.

Using RhodeCode with SSH

RhodeCode currently only hosts repositories using http and https. (The addition of ssh hosting is a planned future feature.) However you can easily use ssh in parallel with RhodeCode. (Repository access via ssh is a standard “out of the box” feature of mercurial and you can use this to access any of the repositories that RhodeCode is hosting. See PublishingRepositories)

RhodeCode repository structures are kept in directories with the same name as the project. When using repository groups, each group is a subdirectory. This allows you to easily use ssh for accessing repositories.

In order to use ssh you need to make sure that your web-server and the users login accounts have the correct permissions set on the appropriate directories. (Note that these permissions are independent of any permissions you have set up using the RhodeCode web interface.)

If your main directory (the same as set in RhodeCode settings) is for example set to /home/hg and the repository you are using is named rhodecode, then to clone via ssh you should run:

hg clone ssh://

Using other external tools such as mercurial-server or using ssh key based authentication is fully supported.

Note: In an advanced setup, in order for your ssh access to use the same permissions as set up via the RhodeCode web interface, you can create an authentication hook to connect to the rhodecode db and runs check functions for permissions against that.

Setting up LDAP support

RhodeCode starting from version 1.1 supports ldap authentication. In order to use LDAP, you have to install the python-ldap package. This package is available via pypi, so you can install it by running

using easy_install:

easy_install python-ldap

using pip:

pip install python-ldap


python-ldap requires some certain libs on your system, so before installing it check that you have at least openldap, and sasl libraries.

LDAP settings are located in admin->ldap section,

Here’s a typical ldap setup:

Connection settings
Enable LDAP          = checked
Host                 =
Port                 = 389
Account              = <account>
Password             = <password>
Connection Security  = LDAPS connection
Certificate Checks   = DEMAND

Search settings
Base DN              = CN=users,DC=host,DC=example,DC=org
LDAP Filter          = (&(objectClass=user)(!(objectClass=computer)))
LDAP Search Scope    = SUBTREE

Attribute mappings
Login Attribute      = uid
First Name Attribute = firstName
Last Name Attribute  = lastName
E-mail Attribute     = mail

If your user groups are placed in a Organisation Unit (OU) structure the Search Settings configuration differs:

Search settings
Base DN              = DC=host,DC=example,DC=org
LDAP Filter          = (&(memberOf=CN=your user group,OU=subunit,OU=unit,DC=host,DC=example,DC=org)(objectClass=user))
LDAP Search Scope    = SUBTREE
Enable LDAP : required
Whether to use LDAP for authenticating users.
Host : required
LDAP server hostname or IP address. Can be also a comma separated list of servers to support LDAP fail-over.
Port : required
389 for un-encrypted LDAP, 636 for SSL-encrypted LDAP.
Account : optional
Only required if the LDAP server does not allow anonymous browsing of records. This should be a special account for record browsing. This will require LDAP Password below.
Password : optional
Only required if the LDAP server does not allow anonymous browsing of records.
Connection Security : required

Defines the connection to LDAP server

No encryption
Plain non encrypted connection
LDAPS connection
Enable ldaps connection. It will likely require Port to be set to a different value (standard LDAPS port is 636). When LDAPS is enabled then Certificate Checks is required.
START_TLS on LDAP connection
START TLS connection
Certificate Checks : optional

How SSL certificates verification is handled - this is only useful when Enable LDAPS is enabled. Only DEMAND or HARD offer full SSL security while the other options are susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks. SSL certificates can be installed to /etc/openldap/cacerts so that the DEMAND or HARD options can be used with self-signed certificates or certificates that do not have traceable certificates of authority.

A serve certificate will never be requested or checked.
A server certificate is requested. Failure to provide a certificate or providing a bad certificate will not terminate the session.
A server certificate is requested. Failure to provide a certificate does not halt the session; providing a bad certificate halts the session.
A server certificate is requested and must be provided and authenticated for the session to proceed.
The same as DEMAND.
Base DN : required
The Distinguished Name (DN) where searches for users will be performed. Searches can be controlled by LDAP Filter and LDAP Search Scope.
LDAP Filter : optional
A LDAP filter defined by RFC 2254. This is more useful when LDAP Search Scope is set to SUBTREE. The filter is useful for limiting which LDAP objects are identified as representing Users for authentication. The filter is augmented by Login Attribute below. This can commonly be left blank.
LDAP Search Scope : required

This limits how far LDAP will search for a matching object.

Only allows searching of Base DN and is usually not what you want.
Searches all entries under Base DN, but not Base DN itself.
Searches all entries below Base DN, but not Base DN itself. When using SUBTREE LDAP Filter is useful to limit object location.
Login Attribute : required

The LDAP record attribute that will be matched as the USERNAME or ACCOUNT used to connect to RhodeCode. This will be added to LDAP Filter for locating the User object. If LDAP Filter is specified as “LDAPFILTER”, Login Attribute is specified as “uid” and the user has connected as “jsmith” then the LDAP Filter will be augmented as below

First Name Attribute : required
The LDAP record attribute which represents the user’s first name.
Last Name Attribute : required
The LDAP record attribute which represents the user’s last name.
Email Attribute : required
The LDAP record attribute which represents the user’s email address.

If all data are entered correctly, and python-ldap is properly installed users should be granted access to RhodeCode with ldap accounts. At this time user information is copied from LDAP into the RhodeCode user database. This means that updates of an LDAP user object may not be reflected as a user update in RhodeCode.

If You have problems with LDAP access and believe You entered correct information check out the RhodeCode logs, any error messages sent from LDAP will be saved there.

Active Directory

RhodeCode can use Microsoft Active Directory for user authentication. This is done through an LDAP or LDAPS connection to Active Directory. The following LDAP configuration settings are typical for using Active Directory

Base DN              = OU=SBSUsers,OU=Users,OU=MyBusiness,DC=v3sys,DC=local
Login Attribute      = sAMAccountName
First Name Attribute = givenName
Last Name Attribute  = sn
E-mail Attribute     = mail

All other LDAP settings will likely be site-specific and should be appropriately configured.

Authentication by container or reverse-proxy

Starting with version 1.3, RhodeCode supports delegating the authentication of users to its WSGI container, or to a reverse-proxy server through which all clients access the application.

When these authentication methods are enabled in RhodeCode, it uses the username that the container/proxy (Apache/Nginx/etc) authenticated and doesn’t perform the authentication itself. The authorization, however, is still done by RhodeCode according to its settings.

When a user logs in for the first time using these authentication methods, a matching user account is created in RhodeCode with default permissions. An administrator can then modify it using RhodeCode’s admin interface. It’s also possible for an administrator to create accounts and configure their permissions before the user logs in for the first time.

Container-based authentication

In a container-based authentication setup, RhodeCode reads the user name from the REMOTE_USER server variable provided by the WSGI container.

After setting up your container (see Apache’s WSGI config), you’d need to configure it to require authentication on the location configured for RhodeCode.

In order for RhodeCode to start using the provided username, you should set the following in the [app:main] section of your .ini file:

container_auth_enabled = true

Proxy pass-through authentication

In a proxy pass-through authentication setup, RhodeCode reads the user name from the X-Forwarded-User request header, which should be configured to be sent by the reverse-proxy server.

After setting up your proxy solution (see Apache virtual host reverse proxy example, Apache as subdirectory or Nginx virtual host example), you’d need to configure the authentication and add the username in a request header named X-Forwarded-User.

For example, the following config section for Apache sets a subdirectory in a reverse-proxy setup with basic auth:

<Location /<someprefix> >
  SetEnvIf X-Url-Scheme https HTTPS=1

  AuthType Basic
  AuthName "RhodeCode authentication"
  AuthUserFile /home/web/rhodecode/.htpasswd
  require valid-user

  RequestHeader unset X-Forwarded-User

  RewriteEngine On
  RewriteCond %{LA-U:REMOTE_USER} (.+)
  RewriteRule .* - [E=RU:%1]
  RequestHeader set X-Forwarded-User %{RU}e

In order for RhodeCode to start using the forwarded username, you should set the following in the [app:main] section of your .ini file:

proxypass_auth_enabled = true


If you enable proxy pass-through authentication, make sure your server is only accessible through the proxy. Otherwise, any client would be able to forge the authentication header and could effectively become authenticated using any account of their liking.

Integration with Issue trackers

RhodeCode provides a simple integration with issue trackers. It’s possible to define a regular expression that will fetch issue id stored in commit messages and replace that with an url to this issue. To enable this simply uncomment following variables in the ini file:

issue_pat = (?:^#|\s#)(\w+)
issue_server_link ={repo}/issue/{id}
issue_prefix = #

issue_pat is the regular expression that will fetch issues from commit messages. Default regex will match issues in format of #<number> eg. #300.

Matched issues will be replace with the link specified as issue_server_link {id} will be replaced with issue id, and {repo} with repository name. Since the # is striped issue_prefix is added as a prefix to url. issue_prefix can be something different than # if you pass ISSUE- as issue prefix this will generate an url in format:

<a href="">ISSUE-300</a>

Hook management

Hooks can be managed in similar way to this used in .hgrc files. To access hooks setting click advanced setup on Hooks section of Mercurial Settings in Admin.

There are 4 built in hooks that cannot be changed (only enable/disable by checkboxes on previos section). To add another custom hook simply fill in first section with <name>.<hook_type> and the second one with hook path. Example hooks can be found at rhodecode.lib.hooks.

Changing default encoding

By default RhodeCode uses utf8 encoding, starting from 1.3 series this can be changed, simply edit default_encoding in .ini file to desired one. This affects many parts in rhodecode including committers names, filenames, encoding of commit messages. In addition RhodeCode can detect if chardet library is installed. If chardet is detected RhodeCode will fallback to it when there are encode/decode errors.

Setting Up Celery

Since version 1.1 celery is configured by the rhodecode ini configuration files. Simply set use_celery=true in the ini file then add / change the configuration variables inside the ini file.

Remember that the ini files use the format with ‘.’ not with ‘_’ like celery. So for example setting BROKER_HOST in celery means setting in the config file.

In order to start using celery run:

paster celeryd <configfile.ini>


Make sure you run this command from the same virtualenv, and with the same user that rhodecode runs.

HTTPS support

There are two ways to enable https:

  • Set HTTP_X_URL_SCHEME in your http server headers, than rhodecode will recognize this headers and make proper https redirections
  • Alternatively, change the force_https = true flag in the ini configuration to force using https, no headers are needed than to enable https

Nginx virtual host example

Sample config for nginx using proxy:

upstream rc {
    # add more instances for load balancing

## gist alias
server {
   listen          443;
   access_log      /var/log/nginx/gist.access.log;
   error_log       /var/log/nginx/gist.error.log;

   ssl on;

   ssl_session_timeout 5m;

   ssl_protocols SSLv3 TLSv1;
   ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;

   rewrite ^/(.+)$$1;
   rewrite (.*);

server {
   listen          443;
   access_log      /var/log/nginx/rhodecode.access.log;
   error_log       /var/log/nginx/rhodecode.error.log;

   ssl on;

   ssl_session_timeout 5m;

   ssl_protocols SSLv3 TLSv1;
   ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;

   ## uncomment root directive if you want to serve static files by nginx
   ## requires static_files = false in .ini file
   #root /path/to/installation/rhodecode/public;
   include         /etc/nginx/proxy.conf;
   location / {
        try_files $uri @rhode;

   location @rhode {
        proxy_pass      http://rc;


Here’s the proxy.conf. It’s tuned so it will not timeout on long pushes or large pushes:

proxy_redirect              off;
proxy_set_header            Host $host;
proxy_set_header            X-Url-Scheme $scheme;
proxy_set_header            X-Host $http_host;
proxy_set_header            X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header            X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
proxy_set_header            Proxy-host $proxy_host;
proxy_buffering             off;
proxy_connect_timeout       7200;
proxy_send_timeout          7200;
proxy_read_timeout          7200;
proxy_buffers               8 32k;
client_max_body_size        1024m;
client_body_buffer_size     128k;
large_client_header_buffers 8 64k;

Apache virtual host reverse proxy example

Here is a sample configuration file for apache using proxy:

<VirtualHost *:80>

        <Proxy *>
          Order allow,deny
          Allow from all

        #important !
        #Directive to properly generate url (clone url) for pylons
        ProxyPreserveHost On

        #rhodecode instance
        ProxyPass /
        ProxyPassReverse /

        #to enable https use line below
        #SetEnvIf X-Url-Scheme https HTTPS=1


Additional tutorial

Apache as subdirectory

Apache subdirectory part:

<Location /<someprefix> >
  SetEnvIf X-Url-Scheme https HTTPS=1

Besides the regular apache setup you will need to add the following line into [app:main] section of your .ini file:

filter-with = proxy-prefix

Add the following at the end of the .ini file:

use = egg:PasteDeploy#prefix
prefix = /<someprefix>

then change <someprefix> into your chosen prefix

Apache’s WSGI config

Alternatively, RhodeCode can be set up with Apache under mod_wsgi. For that, you’ll need to:

  • Install mod_wsgi. If using a Debian-based distro, you can install the package libapache2-mod-wsgi:

    aptitude install libapache2-mod-wsgi
  • Enable mod_wsgi:

    a2enmod wsgi
  • Create a wsgi dispatch script, like the one below. Make sure you check the paths correctly point to where you installed RhodeCode and its Python Virtual Environment.

  • Enable the WSGIScriptAlias directive for the wsgi dispatch script, as in the following example. Once again, check the paths are correctly specified.

Here is a sample excerpt from an Apache Virtual Host configuration file:

WSGIDaemonProcess pylons \
    threads=4 \
WSGIScriptAlias / /home/web/rhodecode/dispatch.wsgi
WSGIPassAuthorization On


when running apache as root please add: user=www-data group=www-data into above configuration


Running RhodeCode in multiprocess mode in apache is not supported, make sure you don’t specify processes=num directive in the config

Example wsgi dispatch script:

import os
os.environ["HGENCODING"] = "UTF-8"
os.environ['PYTHON_EGG_CACHE'] = '/home/web/rhodecode/.egg-cache'

# sometimes it's needed to set the curent dir

import site

from paste.deploy import loadapp
from paste.script.util.logging_config import fileConfig

application = loadapp('config:/home/web/rhodecode/production.ini')

Note: when using mod_wsgi you’ll need to install the same version of Mercurial that’s inside RhodeCode’s virtualenv also on the system’s Python environment.

Other configuration files

Some example init.d scripts can be found in init.d directory: