Last Updated: September 2022

We recommend you take time before you start your Tethys Portal installation to collect the information that you will need throughout the installation process. This information includes usernames, passwords, SSL certificates, and server attributes. Planning for these ahead of time will make it more likely that you will setup the server securely, rather than using default values for things like passwords when you are prompted for them throughout the installation process.

Server Access

  • Login Credentials: You will most likely be using SSH to access the server so have your credentials handy. Obtain SSH keys from your server admin if those are required to log on to the server.

  • Sudo Access: The account you use to install will need sudo access to be able to install the needed software.

Server Attributes

  • SERVER_DOMAIN_NAME: You will need to obtain a public domain name for the server. Contact your IT department or search the documentation for the hosting provider for how this is to be done.

  • SSL Certificate: Decide on a strategy for obtaining and managing SSL certificates if you plan to set up HTTPS. See the Configure HTTPS tutorial for suggested approaches.

Important Directories

There are several directories that you will need to create and be aware of throughout the installation process. The following list describes each one along with the recommended locations for each.

  • TETHYS_HOME (~/.tethys): Directory that stores configuration for Tethys Portal. To change this from the default value you need to permanently set the TETHYS_HOME environment variable.

  • STATIC_ROOT (/var/www/tethys/static): Directory where all static files will be copied to to be hosted by NGINX.

  • TETHYS_WORKSPACES_ROOT (/var/www/tethys/workspaces): Directory where all workspace directories will be copied to for easier backup and management of workspace files.

  • APP_SOURCES_ROOT (/var/www/tethys/apps): Location where app source code should be stored on the server.


Since files in the public / static directories of your app are copied to a different directory during a production installation, any changes to files in these directories at runtime will not be reflected in the STATIC_ROOT directory. You should not use the public / static directory for dynamic operations. Instead, use the workspaces directories for dynamic file storage.

Usernames and Passwords

Take time before you start your installation to decide on usernames and generate secure passwords for the various accounts that will be required during the installation. There are many secure password generation websites that make it easy to create more secure passwords: Random Password Generator, Last Pass Password Generator, Secure Password Generator, Pronounceable Password Generator, or my favorite, xkpass.

In particular create the following usernames and passwords and store them in a secure place:

Tethys Portal Admin

  • PORTAL_SUPERUSER_USERNAME: The username for the primary Tethys Portal administrator.

  • PORTAL_SUPERUSER_EMAIL: Email address for the primary Tethys Portal administrator (likely your email address).

  • PORTAL_SUPERUSER_PASSWORD: The password for the Tethys Portal administrator.

Postgres Password

  • POSTGRES_PASSWORD: Password of the postgres user for your database. postgres is the default superuser for PostgreSQL databases, so make this a strong password.

Tethys Database User

  • TETHYS_DB_USERNAME: Username for the Tethys database user. This user only has access to the Tethys Portal database.

  • TETHYS_DB_PASSWORD: Password for the Tethys database user.

Tethys Database Superuser

  • TETHYS_DB_SUPER_USERNAME: Username for the Tethys database superuser.

  • TETHYS_DB_SUPER_PASSWORD: Password for the Tethys database superuser. This user is another superuser like postgres, so make the password strong.

Email Support

If you plan to enable the email capabilities to allow users to reset their forgotten passwords, you'll need to identify an email address to use as the "From" field. Users will be able to reply to these emails, so if your organization has a "noreply" email address, that would be ideal.

  • DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL: The "FROM" email address of sender that will be shown on forgotten password emails (e.g.: "" or "<>").

  • EMAIL_FROM: The "FROM" email alias or name of sender that will be shown on forgotten emails (e.g.: "My App Portal").

Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux)

If you plan to enable SELinux on your CentOS server, read up on SELinux. Here are a few links to get you started: Security-Enhanced Linux, CentOS SELinux, RedHat SELinux


Copy this table into a text file or spreadsheet and fill in your values. The installation guide refers to these parameters where they are needed.



















Keep the document with your table in a safe location and only share it with trusted individuals in your organization.


  • Read the Guide: Read through the entire Production Installation Guide before attempting your install so you can anticipate everything you will need.

  • Plan Ahead: Decide on usernames and passwords right now so you aren't tempted to use an insecure, default value.

  • Don't Rush It: Set aside at least a full day to setup your production portal and an additional day for each app.

  • Avoid the Copy-Paste Temptation: Be sure you understand what the commands do before you run them. Don't just run through the guide copying and pasting every code block you see.

  • Use the Internet: Use your preferred search engine to look up problems when they occur and use the tips in our Troubleshooting guide.