Installing Hermine


Getting last version of code

Clone the project with the command:

git clone

Installing the dependencies

You should run Hermine in a Python virtual environnement. Using poetry, you can create the virtual environment and install the dependencies with:

cd hermine/
poetry install

Running the server

You have to first activate your Python virtual environment. With poetry, it means:

poetry shell

For the first run, you have to edit your database credentials:

cp hermine/hermine/ hermine/hermine/

and adapt the file you just created.

By default, it uses a simple SQlite database. To use another database, please refer to Django’s documentation.

Create the database structure:

python hermine/ migrate

Then create a user with admin privileges:

python hermine/ createsuperuser

And then launch the django development server:

python hermine/ runserver

You can then point your browser to and log in as superuser to create new users, or directly to to use the application.

For production, you should use an uWSGI server rather than the Django development server. Refer to the Django documentation.

Docker Compose

Hermine provides a Docker Compose configuration with the following services :

Two profiles are available :

  • an https profile where Caddy is configured with automatic HTTPS. It can easily be deployed on a VPS.

  • a localhost profile to use Hermine on a local machine (but not suited for development, where you should not use Docker)

Configuration is made through a .env file which should be placed at the root of the project.

By default, a superadmin user is created with admin / admin credential. You can update these credentials from

In case you need to access the django-admin tool from outside Docker, you should use : docker exec -it hermine_django_1 /opt/hermine/

HTTPS profile

You just need to set HERMINE_SECRET and HERMINE_HOST environment variables before you can start the containers. The easiest way to do so is to write it in a .env file.

# configure secret key
# optional : configure HOST if you use something else than localhost:80
echo "" >> .env
# disable debug mode
echo "PRODUCTION=true" >> .env
# start the services in background
docker-compose --profile https up -d

Hermine should be accessible at Caddy automatically sets up and renew HTTPS certificates.

To update your instance :

cd hermine/
git switch main && git pull
docker-compose --profile https up -d --build

Localhost profile

You must set PORT insted of HERMINE_HOST variable.

# configure secret key
# configure port
echo "PORT=9000" >> .env
# disable debug mode
echo "PRODUCTION=true" >> .env
# start the services in background
docker-compose --profile localhost up -d

Manual production install

You can install yourself dependencies and services for running Hermine. You need a system running Python 3.8 server. Using a PostgreSQL server rather than the default SQLite is recommended for production.


You can use an OAuth2 server as authentication backend by uncommenting and adjusting the OAUTH_CLIENT entry in your file. When using Docker, these elements have to be set in your .env file. Further information can be found in Python Social Auth’s documentation on which Hermine relies.

Users will be created on the fly at authentication by the OAuth server.

Health check

Hermine provides two test endpoints which you can use in your monitoring system.

/ping always send a 200 response, and can be used to check server availability.

/ready do the same but also tries to connect to Hermine database. It sends a 200 response if it succeeds.

Display version

You can display a version in the footer, using your own versionning convention.

You need to add a file in the application path containing one line with the version you want to display, and set this variable in your settings ( :

# Path to the current version to be displayed in the footer 
VERSION_FILE_PATH = "hermine/hermine/VERSION.txt"

For example, you can generate your file by adding in the .gitlabci building the Docker image :

LAST_COMMIT=$(git log -1 --pretty="%ad")
echo "Last Updated: $LAST_COMMIT ($GITLAB_UPSTREAM_BRANCH)" > hermine/VERSION.txt