Fossil Self-Hosting Repositories

Fossil Self-Hosting Repositories

Fossil has self-hosted since 2007-07-21. As of 2017-07-25 there are three publicly accessible repositories for the Fossil source code:


The canonical repository is (1). Repositories (2) and (3) automatically stay in synchronization with (1) via a cron job that invokes "fossil sync" at regular intervals. Repository (2) also publishes a GitHub mirror of Fossil as a demonstration of how that can be done.

Note that the two secondary repositories are more than just read-only mirrors. All three servers support full read/write capabilities. Changes (such as new tickets or wiki or check-ins) can be implemented on any of the three servers and those changes automatically propagate to the other two servers.

Server (1) runs as a CGI script on a Linode 8192 located in Dallas, TX - on the same virtual machine that hosts SQLite and over a dozen other smaller projects. This demonstrates that Fossil can run on a low-power host processor. Multiple fossil-based projects can easily be hosted on the same machine, even if that machine is itself one of several dozen virtual machines on single physical box. The CGI script that runs the canonical Fossil self-hosting repository is as follows:

repository: /fossil/fossil.fossil

Server (3) ran for 10 years as a CGI script on a shared hosting account at Hurricane Electric in Fremont, CA. This server demonstrated the ability of Fossil to run on an economical shared-host web account with no privileges beyond port 80 HTTP access and CGI. It is not necessary to have a dedicated computer with administrator privileges to run Fossil. As far as we are aware, Fossil is the only full-featured configuration management system that can run in such a restricted environment. The CGI script that ran on the Hurricane Electric server was the same as the CGI script shown above, except that the pathnames are modified to suit the environment:

repository: /home/hwaci/fossil/fossil.fossil

In recent years, virtual private servers have become a more flexible and less expensive hosting option compared to shared hosting accounts. So on 2017-07-25, server (3) was moved onto a $5/month "droplet" VPS from Digital Ocean located in San Francisco.

Server (3) is synchronized with the canonical server (1) by running a command similar to the following via cron:

/usr/local/bin/fossil all sync -u

Server (2) is a Linode 4096 located in Newark, NJ and set up just like the canonical server (1) with the addition of a cron job for synchronization. The same cron job also runs the fossil git export command after each sync in order to mirror all changes to GitHub.