You need a database to use Gitea. Gitea supports PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, and MSSQL. This page will guide into preparing database. Only PostgreSQL and MySQL will be covered here since those database engines are widely-used in production.

Database instance can be on same machine as Gitea (local database setup), or on different machine (remote database).

Note: All steps below requires that the database engine of your choice is installed on your system. For remote database setup, install the server part on database instance and client part on your Gitea server. In addition, make sure you use same engine version for both server and client for some engine features to work. For security reason, protect root (MySQL) or postgres (PostgreSQL) database superuser with secure password. The steps assumes that you run Linux for both database and Gitea servers.

MySQL

  1. On database instance, login to database console as root:

    mysql -u root -p
    

    Enter the password as prompted.

  2. Create database user which will be used by Gitea, authenticated by password. This example uses 'gitea' as password. Please use a secure password for your instance.

    For local database:

    SET old_passwords=0;
    CREATE USER 'gitea' IDENTIFIED BY 'gitea';
    

    For remote database:

    SET old_passwords=0;
    CREATE USER 'gitea'@'192.0.2.10' IDENTIFIED BY 'gitea';
    

    where 192.0.2.10 is the IP address of your Gitea instance.

    Replace username and password above as appropriate.

  3. Create database with UTF-8 charset and collation. Make sure to use utf8mb4 charset instead of utf8 as the former supports all Unicode characters (including emojis) beyond Basic Multilingual Plane. Also, collation chosen depending on your expected content. When in doubt, use either unicode_ci or general_ci.

    CREATE DATABASE giteadb CHARACTER SET 'utf8mb4' COLLATE 'utf8mb4_unicode_ci';
    

    Replace database name as appropriate.

  4. Grant all privileges on the database to database user created above.

    For local database:

    GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON giteadb.* TO 'gitea';
    FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
    

    For remote database:

    GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON giteadb.* TO 'gitea'@'192.0.2.10';
    FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
    
  5. Quit from database console by exit.

  6. On your Gitea server, test connection to the database:

    mysql -u gitea -h 203.0.113.3 -p giteadb
    

    where gitea is database username, giteadb is database name, and 203.0.113.3 is IP address of database instance. Omit -h option for local database.

    You should be connected to the database.

PostgreSQL

  1. PostgreSQL uses md5 challenge-response encryption scheme for password authentication by default. Nowadays this scheme is not considered secure anymore. Use SCRAM-SHA-256 scheme instead by editing the postgresql.conf configuration file on the database server to:

    password_encryption = scram-sha-256
    

    Restart PostgreSQL to apply the setting.

  2. On the database server, login to the database console as superuser:

    su -c "psql" - postgres
    
  3. Create database user (role in PostgreSQL terms) with login privilege and password. Please use a secure, strong password instead of 'gitea' below:

    CREATE ROLE gitea WITH LOGIN PASSWORD 'gitea';
    

    Replace username and password as appropriate.

  4. Create database with UTF-8 charset and owned by the database user created earlier. Any libc collations can be specified with LC_COLLATE and LC_CTYPE parameter, depending on expected content:

    CREATE DATABASE giteadb WITH OWNER gitea TEMPLATE template0 ENCODING UTF8 LC_COLLATE 'en_US.UTF-8' LC_CTYPE 'en_US.UTF-8';
    

    Replace database name as appropriate.

  5. Allow the database user to access the database created above by adding the following authentication rule to pg_hba.conf.

    For local database:

    local    giteadb    gitea    scram-sha-256
    

    For remote database:

    host    giteadb    gitea    192.0.2.10/32    scram-sha-256
    

    Replace database name, user, and IP address of Gitea instance with your own.

    Note: rules on pg_hba.conf are evaluated sequentially, that is the first matching rule will be used for authentication. Your PostgreSQL installation may come with generic authentication rules that match all users and databases. You may need to place the rules presented here above such generic rules if it is the case.

    Restart PostgreSQL to apply new authentication rules.

  6. On your Gitea server, test connection to the database.

    For local database:

    psql -U gitea -d giteadb
    

    For remote database:

    psql "postgres://gitea@203.0.113.3/giteadb"
    

    where gitea is database user, giteadb is database name, and 203.0.113.3 is IP address of your database instance.

    You should be prompted to enter password for the database user, and connected to the database.

Database Connection over TLS

If the communication between Gitea and your database instance is performed through a private network, or if Gitea and the database are running on the same server, this section can be omitted since the security between Gitea and the database instance is not critically exposed. If instead the database instance is on a public network, use TLS to encrypt the connection to the database, as it is possible for third-parties to intercept the traffic data.

Prerequisites

  • You need two valid TLS certificates, one for the database instance (database server) and one for the Gitea instance (database client). Both certificates must be signed by a trusted CA.
  • The database certificate must contain TLS Web Server Authentication in the X509v3 Extended Key Usage extension attribute, while the client certificate needs TLS Web Client Authentication in the corresponding attribute.
  • On the database server certificate, one of Subject Alternative Name or Common Name entries must be the fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) of the database instance (e.g. db.example.com). On the database client certificate, one of the entries mentioned above must contain the database username that Gitea will be using to connect.
  • You need domain name mappings of both Gitea and database servers to their respective IP addresses. Either set up DNS records for them or add local mappings to /etc/hosts (%WINDIR%\System32\drivers\etc\hosts in Windows) on each system. This allows the database connections to be performed by domain name instead of IP address. See documentation of your system for details.

PostgreSQL

The PostgreSQL driver used by Gitea supports two-way TLS. In two-way TLS, both database client and server authenticate each other by sending their respective certificates to their respective opposite for validation. In other words, the server verifies client certificate, and the client verifies server certificate.

  1. On the server with the database instance, place the following credentials:

    • /path/to/postgresql.crt: Database instance certificate
    • /path/to/postgresql.key: Database instance private key
    • /path/to/root.crt: CA certificate chain to validate client certificates
  2. Add following options to postgresql.conf:

    ssl = on
    ssl_ca_file = '/path/to/root.crt'
    ssl_cert_file = '/path/to/postgresql.crt'
    ssl_key_file = '/path/to/postgresql.key'
    ssl_min_protocol_version = 'TLSv1.2'
    
  3. Adjust credentials ownership and permission, as required by PostgreSQL:

    chown postgres:postgres /path/to/root.crt /path/to/postgresql.crt /path/to/postgresql.key
    chmod 0600 /path/to/root.crt /path/to/postgresql.crt /path/to/postgresql.key
    
  4. Edit pg_hba.conf rule to only allow Gitea database user to connect over SSL, and to require client certificate verification.

    For PostgreSQL 12:

    hostssl    giteadb    gitea    192.0.2.10/32    scram-sha-256    clientcert=verify-full
    

    For PostgreSQL 11 and earlier:

    hostssl    giteadb    gitea    192.0.2.10/32    scram-sha-256    clientcert=1
    

    Replace database name, user, and IP address of Gitea instance as appropriate.

  5. Restart PostgreSQL to apply configurations above.

  6. On the server running the Gitea instance, place the following credentials under the home directory of the user who runs Gitea (e.g. git):

    • ~/.postgresql/postgresql.crt: Database client certificate
    • ~/.postgresql/postgresql.key: Database client private key
    • ~/.postgresql/root.crt: CA certificate chain to validate server certificate

    Note: Those file names above are hardcoded in PostgreSQL and it is not possible to change them.

  7. Adjust credentials, ownership and permission as required:

    chown git:git ~/.postgresql/postgresql.crt ~/.postgresql/postgresql.key ~/.postgresql/root.crt
    chown 0600 ~/.postgresql/postgresql.crt ~/.postgresql/postgresql.key ~/.postgresql/root.crt
    
  8. Test the connection to the database:

    psql "postgres://gitea@example.db/giteadb?sslmode=verify-full"
    

    You should be prompted to enter password for the database user, and then be connected to the database.

MySQL

While the MySQL driver used by Gitea also supports two-way TLS, Gitea currently supports only one-way TLS. See issue #10828 for details.

In one-way TLS, the database client verifies the certificate sent from server during the connection handshake, and the server assumes that the connected client is legitimate, since client certificate verification doesn’t take place.

  1. On the database instance, place the following credentials:

    • /path/to/mysql.crt: Database instance certificate
    • /path/to/mysql.key: Database instance key
    • /path/to/ca.crt: CA certificate chain. This file isn’t used on one-way TLS, but is used to validate client certificates on two-way TLS.
  2. Add following options to my.cnf:

    [mysqld]
    ssl-ca = /path/to/ca.crt
    ssl-cert = /path/to/mysql.crt
    ssl-key = /path/to/mysql.key
    tls-version = TLSv1.2,TLSv1.3
    
  3. Adjust credentials ownership and permission:

    chown mysql:mysql /path/to/ca.crt /path/to/mysql.crt /path/to/mysql.key
    chmod 0600 /path/to/ca.crt /path/to/mysql.crt /path/to/mysql.key
    
  4. Restart MySQL to apply the setting.

  5. The database user for Gitea may have been created earlier, but it would authenticate only against the IP addresses of the server running Gitea. To authenticate against its domain name, recreate the user, and this time also set it to require TLS for connecting to the database:

    DROP USER 'gitea'@'192.0.2.10';
    CREATE USER 'gitea'@'example.gitea' IDENTIFIED BY 'gitea' REQUIRE SSL;
    GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON giteadb.* TO 'gitea'@'example.gitea';
    FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
    

    Replace database user name, password, and Gitea instance domain as appropriate.

  6. Make sure that the CA certificate chain required to validate the database server certificate is on the system certificate store of both the database and Gitea servers. Consult your system documentation for instructions on adding a CA certificate to the certificate store.

  7. On the server running Gitea, test connection to the database:

    mysql -u gitea -h example.db -p --ssl
    

    You should be connected to the database.