Installing Fossil SCM on a server

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This will install Fossil and set it up using cgi-bin to serve multiple repositories.

This installation is on a Ubuntu server. The instructions should also work for Debian.

These instructions are dependent upon Apache 2 is already installed on the server.

The userid for Apache is www-data and the WebRoot directory is /var/www

This will work with the normal default configuration enabled. (It has the information about cgi in it already)

The Overview:

Update the server

Install Fossil SCM

Create a directory to hold the Fossil repositories

Create a cgi-bin script to run fossil and display the repository

Create a Fossil repository.

Launch the Fossil repository and update the password and General information on the site.

Setup Fossil:

Note: All these command need to be run as the root user. On Debian: su - and put in password. On Ubuntu: sudo su and put in password.

On the server:

apt-get update

apt-get install fossil

cd  /var/www

mkdir fossils

Create a fossilsnotfound.html file in the webroot directory (usually /var/www/) and put in some text about "That repostory is not here, check the url again".:

vi fossilsnotfound.html

Insert the following text or something similar:

<h1>That repository is not here, check the url again.</h1>

Now create the cgi-bin script to connect to the Fossil repositories:

cd /usr/lib/cgi-bin

Create a new file called: repo:

vi repo

And type the following in that file replacing <your domain name> with the domain name for your server (i.e.


directory: /var/www/fossils

notfound: http://<your domain name>/fossilnotfound.html

Then change the permissions:

chmod +x repo

That will set up Fossil to run multiple repositories.

Create the Fossil Repositories:

For the following, pretend the project name is mynewapplication. So, wherever you see <mynewapplication>, replace it with the real name of the project you will be working on. Now to create a repository, do this:

cd /var/www/fossils

fossil new <mynewapplication>.fossil            // Note: the output of this command will display an admin-userid (usually "root") and password. Write this down, you will need it.

chown www-data:www-data <mynewapplication>.fossil

Open a browser and enter the url: http://<domain of the site>/cgi-bin/repo/<mynewapplication>

This should open up the Fossil Web interface.

Log in with the admin-userid (usually "root") and password, go to the Admin section and change the password for the admin-userid to something you will remember.

Then go to config/setup to update the Project name and other information

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