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Installing Gitea on Raspberry Pi 3 b+ with nginx and automatic backups

Setup Gitea on Raspberry Pi (3b+)

These instructions are based on this article:

Setup Raspberry Pi with minimal Raspbian image. You need to connect to the HDMI port and set the following:

Use Noobs to install Raspian.

Open menu Preferences > Raspberry Pi Settings

There you need to enable the SSH server and you should change the hostname.

Then configure the correct timezone:

Now log in via ssh and execute the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install zip git -y

Install nginx

# Might need to update sources.list if nginx package isn't found.
sudo pico /etc/apt/sources.list
# uncomment last line
sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install nginx -y

Create a new user:

sudo adduser --disabled-login --gecos 'Gitea' git

Install latest release of Go

git clone
cd update-golang
sudo ./

Updating version of Go

From the pi user issue the following command. sudo ./

Then you will need to rebuild Gitea to use the updated version of Go.

Change to user git:

sudo su - git

Set environment variables

You will eventually need to add these environmental variables to each user pi, git, root

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/go/bin
export GOPATH=/home/git
export PATH=$PATH:$GOPATH/bin
export PATH=$PATH:$GOPATH/src/gitea

Clone gitea and checkout latest tag

cd $GOPATH/src
git clone
cd ./gitea

# Checkout the latest tag.
#git checkout $(git describe --tags $(git rev-list --tags --max-count=1))
#git checkout $(git ls-remote --refs --tags | awk '!/~|-dev|-rc/' | cut --delimiter='/' --fields=3 | sort --version-sort | tail --lines=1)
git checkout $(git ls-remote --refs --tags | awk '!/~|-dev|-rc/' | awk '{print $2}' | awk -F '/' '{print $3}' | sort --version-sort | tail --lines=1)

Now type exit to go back to pi user

Build gitea under root user

sudo su - root

Reset environment variables above with root user

Install NVM

curl -o- | bash

Now type exit and close the terminal window, then open a new terminal window

This is so the NVM path variables will work.

Now install node lts/erbium and build.

sudo su - root
cd $GOPATH/src/gitea

# Install Node
nvm ls
nvm install node --lts/erbium
nvm use lts/erbium

# Build can take 30-40 minutes or more
TAGS="bindata sqlite sqlite_unlock_notify" make build

Now type exit to go back to pi user.

Configure Gitea and Nginx

Create/Edit /etc/systemd/system/gitea.service and add the following content:

After=mariadb.service mysqld.service postgresql.service memcached.service redis.service

# 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=/home/git/src/gitea/gitea web
Environment=USER=git HOME=/home/git

# Start gitea:
sudo systemctl enable gitea
sudo systemctl start gitea

Create/Edit /etc/nginx/sites-available/gitea and insert the following:

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name gitea;
    location / {
        client_max_body_size 364M;
        proxy_pass http://localhost:3000;
        proxy_connect_timeout 600;
        proxy_send_timeout 600;
        proxy_read_timeout 600;
        send_timeout 600;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;

Then enable the gitea nginx-site and restart the nginx server:

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/gitea /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/gitea
sudo service nginx restart

Update Gitea

sudo su - git

# Load environmental variables to $PATH as above

cd $GOPATH/src/gitea/
git fetch --all --tags

# Checkout the latest tag.
# git checkout $(git describe --tags $(git rev-list --tags --max-count=1))
# git checkout $(git ls-remote --refs --tags | awk '!/~|-dev|-rc/' | cut --delimiter='/' --fields=3 | sort --version-sort | tail --lines=1)
git checkout $(git ls-remote --refs --tags | awk '!/~|-dev|-rc/' | awk '{print $2}' | awk -F '/' '{print $3}' | sort --version-sort | tail --lines=1)

sudo su - root

# Load environmental variables to $PATH as above

cd $GOPATH/src/gitea
nvm use lts/erbium

# Build can take up to 30 minutes or so.
TAGS="bindata sqlite sqlite_unlock_notify" make build

# If pre-built frontend files are present it is possible to only build the backend.
TAGS="bindata" make backend

sudo systemctl restart gitea

Create backup-script

Now we want to create a backup script that is run by crontab every day. To do so, create a new file called and insert the following content (replace YOUR_SERVER/YOUR/DIR as well as USER and PASSWORD):


# Create directory if it does not exist
mkdir -p git

# Mount NAS directory
sudo mount -t cifs //<your-nas>/Git git -o user=<your-nas-user>,pass=<your-password>

# Create backup directory if it does not exist and cd into it
mkdir -p git/gitea-backups

# Run the backup job
sudo zip -r "git/gitea-backups/gitea-backup-$(date +"%Y-%m-%d %H-%M-%S").zip" /home/git/src/gitea/custom /home/git/src/gitea/data /home/git/gitea-repositories

# Remove all files, keeping the last recent one and cd back
cd git/gitea-backups
ls -t1 . | tail -n +3 | xargs -d '\n' rm -f
cd ../..

# Allow changing the backup dir and files
sudo chmod -R 777 git/gitea-backups

# Clean up everything
sudo umount git
rmdir git

Now chmod +x and create a new crontab entry:

crontab -e

# Now add the following line:
0 0 * * * /home/pi/

This calls our script everyday at 0:00 AM, creates a gogs dump and copies it to our network share.

Virtual memory exhausted: Cannot allocate memory

sudo nano /etc/dphys-swapfile

Default value in Raspbian is: CONF_SWAPSIZE=100

Change to: CONF_SWAPSIZE=2048

Restart swapfile service

sudo /etc/init.d/dphys-swapfile stop
sudo /etc/init.d/dphys-swapfile start

Check memory+swap free -m

You should probably switch the swapsize back once the installation is complete to avoid potential disk issues.

You should find your instance of Gitea at http://localhost:3000, where localhost is the LAN IP of your Raspberry Pi. On your Raspberry Pi you should find it at http://gitea:3000

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djonmayer commented May 10, 2020

What is the best way to restore the backup?

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afragen commented Jun 26, 2020

Updated instructions for latest versions of Gitea.

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unbraind commented Oct 15, 2020

i got the following error while building "node lts/dubnium":

FATAL ERROR: MarkCompactCollector: young object promotion failed Allocation failed - JavaScript heap out of memory
make: *** [Makefile:651: public/js/index.js]

I already increased the swap file but I still get the same error

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afragen commented Oct 15, 2020

I’m sorry but somehow increasing your memory allocation is needed. I don’t know how to tell you to do this. The instructions above currently work for me, at least they did at last update 😉

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unbraind commented Oct 16, 2020

I managed to get it working but I'm not sure, what exactly helped
I think it built successfully when I put the following in my .bashrc:
export NODE_OPTIONS=--max_old_space_size=1024

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