This article will walk you through how to install and deploy bitwarden to your own server. Because bitwarden is a cross platform application, you can install and deploy it on Linux, macOS, and Windows machines.
Install & deploy bitwarden.
curl -s -o bitwarden.sh \ https://raw.githubusercontent.com/bitwarden/core/master/scripts/bitwarden.sh \ && sudo chmod u+x bitwarden.sh ./bitwarden.sh install ./bitwarden.sh start ./bitwarden.sh updatedb
Invoke-RestMethod -OutFile bitwarden.ps1 ` -Uri https://raw.githubusercontent.com/bitwarden/core/master/scripts/bitwarden.ps1 .\bitwarden.ps1 -install .\bitwarden.ps1 -start .\bitwarden.ps1 -updatedb
Adjust additional configuration settings in
./bwdata/env/global.override.env and restart.
By default, bitwarden will be served through ports 80 (http) and 443 (https) on the localhost machine. You should open these ports so that bitwarden can be accessed from within and/or outside of the network. You can choose different ports during installation if you like.
It you are serving bitwarden to the outside world you will need to configure a domain name with DNS records that point to your host machine (ex. bitwarden.company.com). You should configure this domain before beginning your bitwarden installation.
Alternatively, if you are only testing you can install bitwarden to the “localhost” domain.
bitwarden will be deployed and ran on your machine using an array of Docker containers. bitwarden will work equally well with Docker Community (free) and Enterprise editions. You should evaluate which edition is best for your installation. Additionally, deployment of these containers is orchestrated through the use of Docker Compose. Docker and Docker Compose must first be installed on your machine before beginning a bitwarden installation.
See the following official Docker documentation for more information:
Some Docker installations such as Windows and macOS already come with Docker Compose installed.
For reference, you can find the official bitwarden images hosted on Docker Hub at https://hub.docker.com/u/bitwarden/.
SQL Server requires that Docker be allocated with a minimum of 4 GB of RAM. By default, Docker on macOS and Windows only has 2 GB of RAM allocated. To adjust this, simply go to Docker (click on the docker icon) → Preferences → Advanced. Change the slider to 4 GB (or more), save, and restart Docker. You can read more about this at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/linux/quickstart-install-connect-docker#requirements.
The default docker settings on Linux should be ok, but still requires that the host machine have a minimum of 3.25 GB of RAM.
A future SQL Server update is planned to reduce this RAM requirement by at least 50%.
We’ve made installing bitwarden very simple. Depending in your environment (non-Windows vs. Windows) we provide Bash (Linux and macOS) and PowerShell (Windows) scripts to aide in installing and managing your bitwarden installation. The following steps will include references for both Bash and PowerShell.
Download the main bitwarden script to your machine in the desired location:
All bitwarden assets will be installed in the
./bwdata directory relative to where the main bitwarden script resides.
curl -s -o bitwarden.sh \ https://raw.githubusercontent.com/bitwarden/core/master/scripts/bitwarden.sh \ && sudo chmod u+x bitwarden.sh
Invoke-RestMethod -OutFile bitwarden.ps1 ` -Uri https://raw.githubusercontent.com/bitwarden/core/master/scripts/bitwarden.ps1
Start the installer:
Complete the prompts in the installer.
bitwarden can generate and maintain renewal of a trusted SSL certificate for your domain for completely free provided by Let’s Encrypt and Certbot. Certificate renewal checks occur each time bitwarden is restarted.
dhparam.pemby using OpenSSL with
openssl dhparam -out ./dhparam.pem 2048.
Each bitwarden installation requires a unique installation id and installation key. The installation id and key is used to:
You should not share your installation id or installation key across multiple bitwarden installations. They should be treated as secrets.
You can obtain an installation id and key from https://bitwarden.com/host.
If you would like to take advantage of having push notifications automatically keep your bitwarden client applications synced in real time you can choose to use the bitwarden push notification relay service. This relay service is provided by external bitwarden servers. You should ensure that your machine can communicate with the
https://push.bitwarden.com endpoint. Your bitwarden installation will POST non-sensitive data (reference ids) to the push relay service which will then notify the bitwarden client applications to “phone home” back to your installation for an update.
The use of the push notification relay service is optional. If you do not use this service you will need to keep your client applications in sync manually.
Some features such as a SMTP mail server settings, YubiKey OTP API credentials, etc. are not configured by the installer. You can find the environment file for these settings (and all others) in the following location:
./bwdata/env/global.override.env. Edit this file and REPLACE the placeholders values for them.
globalSettings__yubico__clientId=294620155 globalSettings__yubico__key=owdez88RdxVZuGbZ4fv globalSettings__mail__smtp__host=smtp.sendgrid.net globalSettings__mail__smtp__username=apikey globalSettings__mail__smtp__password=SG.YOUR.API_KEY globalSettings__mail__smtp__ssl=true globalSettings__mail__smtp__port=587 globalSettings__mail__smtp__useDefaultCredentials=false
If you plan to use YubiKeys for two-step login, you can get your YubiKey client id and key at https://upgrade.yubico.com/getapikey/.
Once you’ve completed installing and configuring your bitwarden installation you can start it up:
The first time you start bitwarden it may take some time as it downloads all of the images from Docker Hub.
You can then verify that all containers are up and running correctly:
Finally, you need to initialize and update the bitwarden database:
Congratulations! bitwarden is now up and running at
https://your.domain.com. Visit the web vault in your web browser to confirm. You should register a new account and log in.
The bitwarden main script (
bitwarden.ps1) has the following commands available:
PowerShell users will run the commands with a prefixed
- (switch). For example
|install||Start the installer.|
|start||Start all containers.|
|restart||Restart all containers (same as start).|
|stop||Stop all containers.|
|updatedb||Update/initialize the database.|
|update||Update all containers and the database.|
|updateself||Update this main script.|
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