Configuring the backend

Introduction

Commento's backend is configured by a set of environment variables. If you're executing the binary from the command line, you can set environment variables:

$ export COMMENTO_ORIGIN=commento.example.com  # no whitespace around =
$ ./commento

If you're running Commento with Docker Compose, you can do this with the environment: keyword as shown here. If you prefer plain Docker, the -e flag sets environment variables, as shown here.

You can also configure Commento using a configuration file specified with COMMENTO_CONFIG_FILE. You can find specifications for this file in the section on configuration files.

Confiuration settings

Required
COMMENTO_ORIGIN

This should be set to the subdomain or the IP address hosting Commento. All API requests will go to this server. This may include subdirectories if Commento is hosted behind a reverse proxy, for example. Include the protocol in the value to use HTTP/HTTPS.

COMMENTO_ORIGIN=http://commento.example.com

Required
COMMENTO_POSTGRES

A PostgreSQL server URI, including the database name.

COMMENTO_POSTGRES=postgres://user:pass@ip:5432/commento?sslmode=disable

Optional
COMMENTO_CONFIG_FILE

A configuration file for Commento. See the section on the configuration file for more details. Useful to store secrets and credentials. No config file will be loaded by default, if left unspecified.

COMMENTO_CONFIG_FILE=/etc/commento.env

Optional
COMMENTO_BIND_ADDRESS

The address to bind the Commento server to. Useful if the server has multiple network interfaces. If not specified, this value defaults to COMMENTO_ORIGIN.

COMMENTO_BIND_ADDRESS=172.0.0.17

Optional
COMMENTO_PORT

The port to bind the Commento server to. Defaults to 8080.

0 - 65535

When in Docker

You don't need to set COMMENTO_BIND_ADDRESS and COMMENTO_PORT if you're running Commento in Docker. Instead, set the external bind address and port with Docker's -p flag.


Optional
COMMENTO_CDN_PREFIX

Useful if you'd like to use a CDN with Commento (like AWS Cloudfront, for example) for faster delivery of static assets. You must set the CDN's origin value as COMMENTO_ORIGIN. If not specified, a CDN is not used.

COMMENTO_CDN_PREFIX=http://d111111abcdef8.cloudfront.net

Optional
COMMENTO_FORBID_NEW_OWNERS

Used to disable new dashboard registrations. Useful if you are the only person using Commento on your server. Does not impact the creation of accounts for your readers. Defaults to false.

true, false

Optional
COMMENTO_STATIC

If you want to store the binary in a different directory from the static assets, set this directory to point to the static assets (HTML, JS, CSS, email templates and database migrations). Defaults to the same directory as the binary.

COMMENTO_STATIC=/usr/local/share/commento

Optional
COMMENTO_GZIP_STATIC

If set to true, all static content will be served GZipped if the client's browser supports compression. Defaults to false.

true, false

Optional
COMMENTO_SMTP_HOST
COMMENTO_SMTP_PORT
COMMENTO_SMTP_USERNAME
COMMENTO_SMTP_PASSWORD
COMMENTO_SMTP_FROM_ADDRESS

SMTP credentials and configuration the server should use to send emails. By default, all settings are empty and email features such as email notification and reset password are turned off.

COMMENTO_SMTP_HOST=smtp.gmail.com
COMMENTO_SMTP_PORT=587
COMMENTO_SMTP_USERNAME=example@gmail.com
COMMENTO_SMTP_PASSWORD=hunter2
COMMENTO_SMTP_FROM_ADDRESS=no-reply@example.com

Optional
COMMENTO_AKISMET_KEY

Akismet API key. Create a key in your Akismet dashboard. By default, Akismet integration is turned off when this value is left empty.

COMMENTO_AKISMET_KEY=836d01853fd6

Optional
COMMENTO_GOOGLE_KEY
COMMENTO_GOOGLE_SECRET

Google OAuth configuration. Create a new project in the Google developer console to generate a set of credentials. By default, Google login is turned off when these values are left empty.

COMMENTO_GOOGLE_KEY=961031300431-0fe76kc72xvo0otts78ug2aqmi4is067.apps.googleusercontent.com
COMMENTO_GOOGLE_SECRET=XmaKz7gRkWw3MQgoAHmApuwb

Optional
COMMENTO_GITHUB_KEY
COMMENTO_GITHUB_SECRET

GitHub OAuth configuration. Create a new OAuth app in GitHub developer settings to generate a set of credentials. By default, GitHub login is turned off when these values are left empty.

COMMENTO_GITHUB_KEY=uk3juvzyyejgxhbym1sqkn3t
COMMENTO_GITHUB_SECRET=2fbdc6bdbb7c02119fd8fa70b7bdcfa7af8e2c

Optional
COMMENTO_GITLAB_KEY
COMMENTO_GITLAB_SECRET

Google OAuth configuration. Create a new application in your GitLab settings to generate a set of credentials. By default, GitLab login is turned off when these values are left empty.

COMMENTO_GITLAB_KEY=78433742e6bad8fdf11261716daf6d1729c805d534a09707342d986cd52093d4
COMMENTO_GITLAB_SECRET=cf73049b59f63915bbdc318b1e2e8ecbbf5b8bafb18f1dd84d68adf8951b762b

Optional
COMMENTO_TWITTER_KEY
COMMENTO_TWITTER_SECRET

Twitter OAuth configuration. Create an app in the Twitter developer dashboard to generate a set of credentials. By default, Twitter login is turned off when these values are left empty.

COMMENTO_TWITTER_KEY=HsWM4q8lcKNiv6idWvRdeSjS
COMMENTO_TWITTER_SECRET=9j60WfN3LG6GAMbU5LCch1HQ6tT4ytiOzO95rM3DVD5dXHFT

Configuration file

With the COMMENTO_CONFIG_FILE environment variable, you can specify a configuration file. You can use this file to store secrets and credentials without exposing them in the ./commento invocation command. For example, a Docker secret can be created and mounted inside the container's filesystem, and Commento can read from this file.

Precedence

If you're specifying a configuration file using COMMENTO_CONFIG_FILE, note that it will have lower precedence than environment variables.

The format for the configutation file is quite simple:

  • Each configuration value is specified in one line
  • Leading and trailing whitespaces on each line are ignored
  • All lines starting with a # are treated as comments and ignored
  • All empty lines are ignored
  • Each valid configuration line must contain an = symbol, specifying COMMENTO_KEY=value

Here is an example file:

# Set binding values
COMMENTO_ORIGIN=http://commento.example.com
COMMENTO_PORT=80

# Set PostgreSQL settings
COMMENTO_POSTGRES=postgres://commento:commento@127.0.0.1:5432/commento?sslmode=disable

# Set the SMTP credentials
COMMENTO_SMTP_HOST=smtp.gmail.com
COMMENTO_SMTP_PORT=587
COMMENTO_SMTP_USERNAME=example@gmail.com
COMMENTO_SMTP_PASSWORD=hunter2
COMMENTO_SMTP_FROM_ADDRESS=no-reply@commento.io

# Set Google OAuth credentials
COMMENTO_GOOGLE_KEY=204475040454-chmuz29vz2xldxnlcmnvbnrlbn.apps.googleusercontent.com
COMMENTO_GOOGLE_SECRET=09HTEVfU0VDUkVUPTh4

Say we store this file in /etc/commento.env. Then, we can include this file when running Commento:

$ export COMMENTO_CONFIG_FILE=/etc/commento.env
$ ./commento

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