The darcs repository web UI and hosting app. This is the latest darcsden trunk, which also runs (fork of simon's darcsden)  (


darcsden is a darcs repository hosting platform, providing a web application for browsing and managing repos, users, and issues, and a SSH server for push/pull and quick repository creation.


To install:

"cabal install darcsden" will install darcsden and darcsden-ssh executables with generic settings. In particular, the web app's base url will be "http://localhost:8900", and multi-user features will be enabled.

For more control, get the darcsden source, adjust src/DarcsDen/Settings.hs, and run "cabal install" in the top source directory. There are also several optional build flags in darcsden.cabal, mainly to assist with building on windows.

To run darcsden you also need:

  • Redis (for storing web session data)
  • CouchDB (for storing user/repo/repository data)

Both should be running on their default port, or you can change that in Settings.hs. You should configure them by running:

darcsden --install

You should have a "darcsden" user account (for running the app and owning the files), with a ssh key:

adduser --system --home /home/darcsden --shell /bin/bash --group --gecos DarcsDen darcsden
sudo -u darcsden ssh-keygen

To avoid obscure errors due to mixed file ownership in ~/.darcs/cache, always run darcsden as the darcsden user, with $HOME set properly. So if using sudo, include the -H flag, like this:

sudo -Hu darcsden COMMAND...

The directory where you start the web app should contain darcsden's public/ directory. Or you can run it behind a web server that'll serve /public/* requests from that directory.

Some features require extra configuration to work:

  • OAuth:

    • Create developer applications for the oauth services:
    • Github:
    • Google:
    • Set callback urls:
    • Github: same as your baseUrl
    • Google: multiple callbacks:
      • baseUrl ++ "register/google/response"
      • baseUrl ++ "login/google/response"
      • baseUrl ++ "sync/google/response"
    • Enter Client ID and Client secret into environment variables:
    • Github: Add these lines to your shell startup export GITHUB_CLIENT_ID=your_client_id export GITHUB_CLIENT_SECRET=your_client_secret
    • Google: Add these lines to your shell startup export GOOGLE_CLIENT_ID=your_client_id export GOOGLE_CLIENT_SECRET=your_client_secret
  • Forgot Password:
    • Configure your default sendmail to be able to send emails
    • Edit sendEmail, and sendName to the email address you can use
  • Webdriver Tests:
    • Download and start selenium server from
    • run ./dist/build/darcsden-test/darcsden-test
    • If you wish to run oauth tests:
      • Configure oauth
      • Add a test google and github account by adding the appropriate environment variables:
      • run ./dist/build/darcsden-test/darcsden-test --oauth

To start:

For a quick test, run:

sudo -Hu darcsden darcsden

and visit http://localhost:8900 (or other url configured in Settings.hs) in your web browser.

This package provides separate executables for the web and SSH servers, darcsden and darcsden-ssh respectively. You could run them manually while logged in as the darcsden user via screen or dtach. Or, configure them as daemons. See darcsden.god, or these sample supervisord.conf entries:

command=sudo -EHu darcsden /path/to/darcsden

command=sudo -EHu darcsden /path/to/darcsden-ssh 22

Here's a sample apache vhost config:

<VirtualHost *:80>
RewriteEngine on
ProxyPreserveHost On
ProxyErrorOverride On
RewriteRule ^/(.*)$1 [P]


darcsden indirectly depends on two external libraries: OpenSSL and pcre.

The -f-ssh flag can be used to disable the ssh server and remove the dependency on OpenSSL.

The -f-closing flag disables the ability for checkins to automatically close issues, removing the dependency on pcre.

OpenSSL can be installed from - download "Win32 OpenSSL v1.0.1e" or whatever similar version is current. [At the time of writing, darcs doesn't work with 64 bit Windows, but if this changes then a 64 bit version can be downloaded from the same location.]

Pick a directory to install it to, e.g. c:/OpenSSL-Win32 - and install HsOpenSSL with cabal install HsOpenSSL --extra-include-dirs="c:/OpenSSL-Win32/include" --extra-lib-dirs="c:/Win32OpenSSL"

Running as a Windows service:

darcsden depends on having CouchDB and redis running, so it also makes sense to install these as services, though it's not essential.

redis can be setup as a Windows service using

The redis service name is redis-instance.

CouchDB comes as a service already.

The CouchDB service name is something like "Apache CouchDB01cd861ad1dbd850", look for "CouchDB" in the output of "sc query" to get the exact name.

To install darcsden as a Windows service given the above names for the redis and CouchDB services, identify the path to darcsden.exe and to the darcsden source tree. Then alter the following command appropriately and run it all on one line:

sc create DarcsDen binPath= "c:.exe --root c:--service" start= auto depend= redis-instance/"Apache CouchDB01cd861ad1dbd850"

To uninstall the service, use "sc delete DarcsDen".


darcsden is a small, clean codebase that is fun to hack on. Discussion takes place on the #darcs IRC channel, and useful changes will quickly be deployed at, providing a tight dogfooding/feedback loop. Here's how to contribute a patch there:

  1. register at
  2. add your ssh key in settings so you can push
  3. fork your own branch: , fork
  4. copy to your machine: darcs get
  5. make changes, darcs record
  6. push to hub: darcs push --set-default
  7. your change will appear at
  8. discuss on #darcs, or ping me (sm, to merge it


Alex Suraci created darcsden. Simon Michael led this release, which includes contributions from Alp Mestanogullari, Jeffrey Chu, Ganesh Sittampalam, and BSRK Aditya (sponsored by Google's Summer of Code). And last time I forgot to mention two 1.0 contributors: Bertram Felgenhauer and Alex Suraci.

darcsden depends on Darcs, Snap, GHC, and other fine projects from the Haskell ecosystem, as well as Twitter Bootstrap, JQuery, and many more.