Installation from source

You should install go and set up your go environment correctly. In particular, it is recommended to set the $GOPATH environment variable and to add the go bin directory or directories ${GOPATH//://bin:}/bin to the $PATH. See the Go wiki entry for GOPATH.

Note: When executing make tasks that require external tools, like make misspell-check, Gitea will automatically download and build these as necessary. To be able to use these, you must have the "$GOPATH/bin" directory on the executable path. If you don’t add the go bin directory to the executable path, you will have to manage this yourself.

Note 2: Go version 1.11 or higher is required. However, it is recommended to obtain the same version as our continuous integration, see the advice given in Hacking on Gitea


First, retrieve the source code. The easiest way is to use the Go tool. Use the following commands to fetch the source and switch into the source directory. Go is quite opinionated about where it expects its source code, and simply cloning the Gitea repository to an arbitrary path is likely to lead to problems - the fixing of which is out of scope for this document.

go get -d -u
cd "$GOPATH/src/"

Decide which version of Gitea to build and install. Currently, there are multiple options to choose from. The master branch represents the current development version. To build with master, skip to the build section.

To work with tagged releases, the following commands can be used:

git branch -a
git checkout v1.9.3

To validate a Pull Request, first enable the new branch (xyz is the PR id; for example 2663 for #2663):

git fetch origin pull/xyz/head:pr-xyz

To build Gitea from source at a specific tagged release (like v1.9.3), list the available tags and check out the specific tag.

List available tags with the following.

git tag -l
git checkout v1.9.3  # or git checkout pr-xyz


Since all required libraries are already bundled in the Gitea source, it’s possible to build Gitea with no additional downloads apart from Make (See here how to get Make). Various make tasks are provided to keep the build process as simple as possible.

Depending on requirements, the following build tags can be included.

  • bindata: Build a single monolithic binary, with all assets included.
  • sqlite sqlite_unlock_notify: Enable support for a SQLite3 database. Suggested only for tiny installations.
  • pam: Enable support for PAM (Linux Pluggable Authentication Modules). Can be used to authenticate local users or extend authentication to methods available to PAM.

Bundling assets into the binary using the bindata build tag can make development and testing easier, but is not ideal for a production deployment. To include assets, they must be built separately using the generate make task e.g.:

TAGS="bindata" make generate build

In the default release build of our continuous integration system, the build tags are: TAGS="bindata sqlite sqlite_unlock_notify". The simplest recommended way to build from source is therefore:

TAGS="bindata sqlite sqlite_unlock_notify" make generate build


After following the steps above, a gitea binary will be available in the working directory. It can be tested from this directory or moved to a directory with test data. When Gitea is launched manually from command line, it can be killed by pressing Ctrl + C.

./gitea web

Changing the default CustomPath, CustomConf and AppWorkDir

Gitea will search for a number of things from the CustomPath. By default this is the custom/ directory in the current working directory when running Gitea. It will also look for its configuration file CustomConf in $CustomPath/conf/app.ini, and will use the current working directory as the relative base path AppWorkDir for a number configurable values.

These values, although useful when developing, may conflict with downstream users preferences.

One option is to use a script file to shadow the gitea binary and create an appropriate environment before running Gitea. However, when building you can change these defaults using the LDFLAGS environment variable for make. The appropriate settings are as follows

  • To set the CustomPath use LDFLAGS="-X \"\""
  • For CustomConf you should use -X \"\"
  • For AppWorkDir you should use -X \"\"

Add as many of the strings with their preceding -X to the LDFLAGS variable and run make build with the appropriate TAGS as above.

Running gitea help will allow you to review what the computed settings will be for your gitea.