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Thomas Buck e6bd74153d creating domain list for letsencrypt dynamically. some other small fixes. 4 days ago
filter_plugins ZNC password hash and salt generation was not working. Now using builtin znc tool to generate it. Also changed znc config options slightly. 2 years ago
group_vars Properly setup hostname 2 years ago
roles creating domain list for letsencrypt dynamically. some other small fixes. 4 days ago
.gitignore add sslletsencrypt and sslselfsigned roles for internal servers 5 months ago Updated README. Adding AUTHORS, CONTRIBUTING, and LICENSE documents. 6 years ago add kanboard role 2 months ago
hosts removing some unneeded stuff 4 months ago
requirements.txt Support multiple domains for letsencrypt 2 years ago
site.yml modified vpn role to allow routing to private net 5 months ago


Forked from Sovereign on GitHub.


What You’ll Need

  1. A VPS (or bare-metal server if you wanna ball hard). My VPS is hosted at Linode. You’ll probably want at least 512 MB of RAM between Apache, Solr, and PostgreSQL. Mine has 1024.
  2. 64-bit Debian 9 or 10. (You can use whatever distro you want, but deviating from Debian will require more tweaks to the playbooks. See Ansible’s different packaging modules.)

You do not need to acquire an SSL certificate. The SSL certificates you need will be obtained from Let’s Encrypt automatically when you deploy your server.


On the remote server

The following steps are done on the remote server by sshing into it and running these commands.

Install required packages

apt-get install sudo python

Prep the server

For goodness sake, change the root password:


Create a user account for Ansible to do its thing through:

useradd deploy
passwd deploy
mkdir /home/deploy

Authorize your ssh key if you want passwordless ssh login (optional):

mkdir /home/deploy/.ssh
chmod 700 /home/deploy/.ssh
nano /home/deploy/.ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 400 /home/deploy/.ssh/authorized_keys
chown deploy:deploy /home/deploy -R

Or, in short:

ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/id_ecdsa deploy@hostname

Also, enable passwordless sudo for the deploy user:

echo 'deploy ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL' > /etc/sudoers.d/deploy

Your new account will be automatically set up for passwordless sudo. Or you can just add your deploy user to the sudo group.

adduser deploy sudo

On your local machine

Ansible (the tool setting up your server) runs locally on your computer and sends commands to the remote server.


Download this repository somewhere on your machine, either through Clone or Download > Download ZIP above, wget, or git as below. Also install the dependencies for password generation as well as ansible itself.

git clone
cd sovereign
sudo pip install -r ./requirements.txt

Or, if you’re on Arch, instead of using pip, install the required stuff manually:

sudo pacman -Syu ansible python-jmespath python-passlib

Configure your installation

Modify the settings in the group_vars/sovereign folder to your liking. If you want to see how they’re used in context, just search for the corresponding string. All of the variables in group_vars/sovereign must be set for sovereign to function.

Finally, replace the in the file hosts. If your SSH daemon listens on a non-standard port, add a colon and the port number after the IP address. In that case you also need to add your custom port to the task Set firewall rules for web traffic and SSH in the file roles/common/tasks/ufw.yml.

Set up DNS

If you’ve just bought a new domain name, point it at Linode’s DNS Manager or similar. Most VPS services (and even some domain registrars) offer a managed DNS service that you can use for this at no charge. If you’re using an existing domain that’s already managed elsewhere, you can probably just modify a few records.

Create A and AAAA or CNAME records which point to your server’s IP address:

  • (for Web hosting)
  • (for email client automatic configuration)
  • (for web stats)
  • (for Selfoss)
  • (for NextCloud)
  • (for gitea)
  • (for monit)
  • (for riot)
  • (for mastodon)
  • (for commento)
  • (for grafana)
  • (for dokuwiki)
  • (for jitsi)
  • (for kanboard)

Run the Ansible Playbooks

First, make sure you’ve got Ansible installed. This should already be done by running the pip requirements.txt from above.

To run the whole dang thing:

ansible-playbook -i ./hosts --ask-sudo-pass site.yml

If you chose to make a passwordless sudo deploy user, you can omit the --ask-sudo-pass argument.

Finish DNS set-up

Create an MX record for which assigns as the domain’s mail server. To ensure your emails pass DKIM checks you need to add a txt record. The name field will be mail._domainkey.EXAMPLE.COM. The value field contains the public key used by DKIM. The exact value needed can be found in the file /var/lib/rspamd/dkim/EXAMPLE.COM.mail.txt. For DMARC you’ll also need to add a txt record. The name field should be _dmarc.EXAMPLE.COM and the value should be v=DMARC1; p=reject. We will also add a txt record for SPF. This is now legacy, but some providers need it, so we provide an empty policy.

For my DNS provider, that zonefile looks like this:

@               IN MX 10 mail
@               IN TXT   "v=spf1 ?all"
_dmarc          IN TXT   "v=DMARC1; p=reject;"
mail._domainkey IN TXT   "v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=INSERT_PUBLIC_KEY_HERE"

Correctly set up reverse DNS for your server and make sure to validate that it’s all working, for example by sending an email to and reviewing the report that will be emailed back to you.

Miscellaneous Configuration

Sign in to the ZNC web interface and set things up to your liking. It isn’t exposed through the firewall, so you must first set up an SSH tunnel:

ssh -L 6643:localhost:6643

Then proceed to http://localhost:6643 in your web browser. The same goes for the RSpamD web interface on port 11334.

To access the gitea admin CLI, execute it like this:

sudo -u git /usr/local/bin/gitea admin create-user --admin --config /etc/gitea/app.ini --name USERNAME --password PASSWORD --email MAIL

To re-new the LetsEncrypt certificates, for example after adding a new role that needs another subdomain, call:

sudo certbot delete -c /etc/letsencrypt/cli.conf --cert-name DOMAIN

Then re-run the whole sovereign playbook, or at least the letsencrypt part of it.