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How to Install Supabase on Ubuntu 20.04

Author: Matthew Griffin

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 14, 2022
Databases Ubuntu


In this tutorial, you will learn how to install and configure Supabase on Ubuntu 20.04. You will also learn how to secure your Supabase instance with secure secrets and a reverse proxy.

Supabase is a Firebase alternative that offers a PostgreSQL database, user authentication, storage, and a real-time API through a web interface. Supabase also has open-source API libraries that allow for easy interaction with other applications.


Before you begin, you should:

You will also need a domain name that points to your server. This is because the SSL certificate generator Certbot/Let's Encrypt) does not offer SSL certificates for IP addresses. You will need to create a domain name that points to your server. It is also possible to use HTTP instead, but this is not recommended.


Nginx, Certbot, and Git

  1. Install Nginx and Git.

    $ sudo apt install nginx git
  2. Uninstall any old versions of Certbot and Docker.

    $ sudo apt remove certbot docker containerd runc
  3. Update the snap installer.

    $ sudo snap install core; sudo snap refresh core
  4. Install Certbot using snap.

    $ sudo snap install --classic certbot
  5. Run Certbot and follow the prompts to enter your domain name and redirect all traffic to HTTPS.

    $ sudo certbot certonly --standalone
  6. Take note of your certificate and private key paths when provided. It will be different depending on the domain used.

    Certificate Path: /etc/letsencrypt/live/
    Private Key Path: /etc/letsencrypt/live/

If you used a different SSL provider, ensure the certificate and private key files are stored somewhere on your system and that you know the full file path to them.


  1. Install Docker using snap.

    $ sudo snap install docker
  2. Clone the Supabase repository.

    $ git clone --depth 1
  3. Open the docker folder.

    $ cd supabase/docker
  4. Copy the .env.example file to .env.

    $ cp .env.example .env
  5. Open the .env file in your text editor.

    $ nano .env
  6. Open a strong password generator like Bitwarden in your browser, and generate a new password. It should contain more than 25 characters.
  7. Replace the POSTGRES_PASSWORD value in the .env file with the password you generated.

  8. Generate another password with more than 32 characters and no special characters. Replace the JWT_SECRET value in the .env file with the newly generated password.

    JWT_SECRET=<new password>
  9. Use your JWT_SECRET to generate an ANON_KEY on the Supabase website. Copy and paste your JWT_SECRET, switch the Preconfigured Payload type to ANON_KEY, press Generate JWT, and copy the Generated Token result into the ANON_KEY value in the .env file.
    ANON_KEY=<generated key>
  10. Do the same for the SERVICE_KEY value while using the same JWT_SECRET. Paste it as the SERVICE_ROLE_KEY value in the .env file.

    SERVICE_ROLE_KEY=<generated key>
  11. Close your text editor and save your changes by using CTRL + X, then Y, followed by ENTER.

  12. Navigate to the volumes/api folder and open kong.yml in your text editor.

    $ cd volumes/api
    $ nano kong.yml
  13. Under consumers, replace the anon user's key with the ANON_KEY value from the .env file.

    - username: anon
      - key: [anon key]
  14. Replace the service_role user's key with the SERVICE_ROLE_KEY value from the .env file.

    - username: anon
      - key: [anon key]
    - username: service_role
      - key: [service_role key]
  15. Close your text editor again by using CTRL + X, then Y, followed by ENTER.

  16. Run Supabase by using docker-compose in detached mode. This may take 10-15 minutes.

    $ sudo docker-compose up -d
  17. Check that Supabase is running by using docker. The status should be Up.

    $ sudo docker ps
    Up x seconds/minutes

You have now successfully installed Supabase and have obtained a signed SSL certificate.

Securing Supabase with an Nginx Reverse Proxy

You can now use your SSL certificate and Nginx to secure your Supabase installation. Make sure to replace with your chosen domain name or IP address.

  1. Remove the Nginx default configuration file.

    $ sudo rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default
  2. Create and open the new configuration file in Nginx's sites-available directory in your text editor.

    $ sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/supabase
  3. Paste the following into the file and replace with your domain name or IP address. Ensure that the ssl_certificate and ssl_certificate_key lines point to your SSL certificate.

    upstream supabase {
      server localhost:3000;
    server {
      listen 443 ssl http2;
      gzip on;
      ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
      ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
      ssl_session_cache builtin:1000 shared:SSL:10m; 
      ssl_session_cache shared:MySSL:10m;
      ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
      ssl_ciphers HIGH:!aNULL:!eNULL:!EXPORT:!CAMELLIA:!DES:!MD5:!PSK:!RC4;
      ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
    # REST API
    location ~ ^/rest/v1/(.*)$ {
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_pass http://kong:8000;
        proxy_redirect off;
    # Authentication
    location ~ ^/auth/v1/(.*)$ {
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_pass http://kong:8000;
        proxy_redirect off;
    # Realtime
    location ~ ^/realtime/v1/(.*)$ {
        proxy_redirect off;
        proxy_pass http://kong:8000;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection $connection_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Host $host;

    This Nginx configuration will serve Supabase on port 443, and will use the SSL certificate and private key you generated earlier. It will also point the /rest/v1/, /auth/v1/ and /realtime/v1/ routes to the Kong API server.

  4. Exit your text editor and save changes by pressing CTRL + X, then Y, followed by ENTER.

  5. Create a link to the new configuration file in Nginx's sites-enabled directory.

    $ sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/supabase /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/supabase.conf
  6. Test the configuration file. If the test is successful, you will see the syntax is ok, and the test is successful messages.

    $ sudo nginx -t
    nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
    nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful
  7. Reload Nginx to apply your changes.

    $ sudo /etc/init.d/nginx reload

Finishing Steps

You should now navigate to your Supabase installation.

From there you can configure your database, authentication, and file storage.

Congratulations, you have successfully installed Supabase and secured it using an SSL certificate and an Nginx reverse proxy.

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