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Installation guide

For production, we provide deb packages for Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic on the AMD64 platform.

The package can be installed inside a Docker container using allegro/ralph and allegro/ralph-static-nginx images.

This is a quick introduction on how to install Ralph on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic.

We introduced some changes in the Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic package:

  • Ralph now uses Python 3.6
  • settings are located in /etc/ralph
  • database settings are configured via debconf prompts during a fresh installation
  • ralphctl command has been introduced for Ralph management
  • Ralph runs as a systemd service

The settings are just environment variables that are passed to Ralph and then used as Django settings.

Ralph installation

The steps below can be executed on any clean installation Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic.

curl -sL | sudo apt-key add -
sudo sh -c "echo 'deb bionic main' >  /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ralph.list"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mysql-server nginx ralph-core

When prompted, input Ralph database settings. For testing purposes, chosing the default settings will be fine. You can review the settings later in /etc/ralph/conf.d/database.conf.

Nginx configuration

Configure nginx by editing /etc/nginx/sites-available/default file and pasting the following:

server {

    listen 80;
    client_max_body_size 512M;

    proxy_set_header Connection "";
    proxy_http_version 1.1;
    proxy_connect_timeout  300;
    proxy_read_timeout 300;

    access_log /var/log/nginx/ralph-access.log;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/ralph-error.log;

    location /static {
        alias /usr/share/ralph/static;
        access_log        off;
        log_not_found     off;
        expires 1M;

    #location /media {
    #    alias /var/local/ralph/media;
    #    add_header Content-disposition "attachment";

    location / {
        include /etc/nginx/uwsgi_params;
        proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;

After that, restart nginx:

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Database configuration

Once Ralph is installed, you can create Ralph database and a database user:

sudo mysql
mysql> create user 'ralph_ng'@'' identified by 'ralph_ng';
mysql> grant all privileges on ralph_ng.* to 'ralph_ng'@'';
mysql> create database ralph_ng;

Create the database schema, create Ralph superuser and populate the database with some data:

sudo ralphctl migrate
sudo ralphctl createsuperuser
sudo ralphctl demodata

Starting Ralph

Now just a finishing touch:

sudo ralphctl sitetree_resync_apps
sudo systemctl enable ralph.service
sudo systemctl start ralph.service

And you are all set. Navigate to your new Ralph installation. Just follow this link: http://localhost.


If something goes wrong, you can take a peek at these log files:


Next steps

Once you familiarize yourself with Ralph, you can use the example above as an inspiration for creating the configuration that suits your needs.

It would porbably be a good idea to have the database located on a different host with a password different than the default one and use a load balancer for ssl traffic termination (or just to configure nginx to use ssl).

Don't forget to read our quick start:!


Create the database.

> mysql -u root
> CREATE database ralph default character set 'utf8';


We are working on some sane configuration management files. Currently, we just read some environment variables, so just paste somewhere in your ~/.profile following environment variables customizing it to your needs.

cat ~/.profile

export DATABASE_NAME=ralph
export DATABASE_USER=someuser
export DATABASE_PASSWORD=somepassword
export PATH=/opt/ralph/ralph-core/bin/:$PATH
export RALPH_DEBUG=1


  1. Type ralph migrate to create tables in your database.
  2. Type ralph sitetree_resync_apps to reload menu.
  3. Type ralph createsuperuser to add new user.

Run your ralph instance with ralph runserver

Now, point your browser to the http://localhost and log in. Happy Ralphing!

Docker installation (experimental)

You can find experimental docker-compose configuration in directory. Be aware, it is still a beta.


Install docker and docker-compose first.

Create compose configuration

Copy docker-compose.yml.tmpl outside ralph sources to docker-compose.yml and tweak it.


Then build ralph:

docker-compose build

To initialize database run:

docker-compose run --rm web /root/

Notice that this command should be executed only once, at the very beginning.

If you need to populate Ralph with some demonstration data run:

docker-compose run --rm web ralph demodata


Run ralph at the end:

docker-compose up -d

Ralph should be accessible at (or if you are using boot2docker at $(boot2docker ip)). Documentation is available at

If you are upgrading ralph image (source code) run:

docker-compose run --rm web /root/

Migration from Ralph 2

If you used Ralph 2 before and want to save all your data see Migration from Ralph 2 guide