1. Install Packages

PostgreSQL is installed from its upstream repos to get a much more recent version.

apt install -y lsb-release wget gnupg
echo "deb http://apt.postgresql.org/pub/repos/apt/ $(lsb_release -cs)-pgdg main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pgdg.list
wget --quiet -O - https://www.postgresql.org/media/keys/ACCC4CF8.asc | apt-key add -
apt update
apt install -y --install-recommends postgresql-9.6 libpq-dev apache2 libapache2-mod-proxy-uwsgi libapache2-mod-xsendfile python-dev python-virtualenv libxslt1-dev libxml2-dev libffi-dev libpcre3-dev libyaml-dev build-essential redis-server uwsgi uwsgi-plugin-python

If you use Debian, run this command:

apt install -y libjpeg62-turbo-dev

If you use Ubuntu, run this instead:

apt install -y libjpeg-turbo8-dev zlib1g-dev

Afterwards, make sure the services you just installed are running:

systemctl start postgresql.service redis-server.service

2. Create a Database

Let’s create a user and database for indico and enable the necessary Postgres extensions (which can only be done by the Postgres superuser).

su - postgres -c 'createuser indico'
su - postgres -c 'createdb -O indico indico'
su - postgres -c 'psql indico -c "CREATE EXTENSION unaccent; CREATE EXTENSION pg_trgm;"'


Do not forget to setup a cronjob that creates regular database backups once you start using Indico in production!

3. Configure uWSGI & Apache

The default uWSGI and Apache configuration files should work fine in most cases.

ln -s /etc/uwsgi/apps-available/indico.ini /etc/uwsgi/apps-enabled/indico.ini
cat > /etc/uwsgi/apps-available/indico.ini <<'EOF'
uid = indico
gid = www-data
umask = 027

processes = 4
enable-threads = true
socket =
stats = /opt/indico/web/uwsgi-stats.sock
protocol = uwsgi

master = true
auto-procname = true
procname-prefix-spaced = indico
disable-logging = true

plugin = python
single-interpreter = true

touch-reload = /opt/indico/web/indico.wsgi
wsgi-file = /opt/indico/web/indico.wsgi
virtualenv = /opt/indico/.venv

vacuum = true
buffer-size = 20480
memory-report = true
max-requests = 2500
harakiri = 900
harakiri-verbose = true
reload-on-rss = 2048
evil-reload-on-rss = 8192


Replace YOURHOSTNAME in the next files with the hostname on which your Indico instance should be available, e.g. indico.yourdomain.com

cat > /etc/apache2/sites-available/indico-sslredir.conf <<'EOF'
<VirtualHost *:80>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}$1 [R=301,L]

cat > /etc/apache2/sites-available/indico.conf <<'EOF'
<VirtualHost *:443>
    DocumentRoot "/var/empty/apache"

    SSLEngine             on
    SSLCertificateFile    /etc/ssl/indico/indico.crt
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/indico/indico.key
    SSLProtocol           all -SSLv2 -SSLv3
    SSLHonorCipherOrder   on

    XSendFile on
    XSendFilePath /opt/indico
    CustomLog /opt/indico/log/apache/access.log combined
    ErrorLog /opt/indico/log/apache/error.log
    LogLevel error
    ServerSignature Off

        Redirect 301 / https://YOURHOSTNAME/

    AliasMatch "^/(images|fonts)(.*)/(.+?)(__v[0-9a-f]+)?\.([^.]+)$" "/opt/indico/web/static/$1$2/$3.$5"
    AliasMatch "^/(css|dist|images|fonts)/(.*)$" "/opt/indico/web/static/$1/$2"
    Alias /robots.txt /opt/indico/web/static/robots.txt

    SetEnv UWSGI_SCHEME https
    ProxyPass / uwsgi://

    <Directory /opt/indico>
        AllowOverride None
        Require all granted

Now enable the necessary modules and the indico site in apache:

a2enmod proxy_uwsgi rewrite ssl xsendfile
a2dissite 000-default
a2ensite indico indico-sslredir

4. Create an SSL Certificate

First, create the folders for the certificate/key and set restrictive permissions on them:

mkdir /etc/ssl/indico
chown root:root /etc/ssl/indico/
chmod 700 /etc/ssl/indico

If you are just trying out Indico you can simply use a self-signed certificate (your browser will show a warning which you will have to confirm when accessing your Indico instance for the first time).


Do not forget to replace YOURHOSTNAME with the same value you used above

openssl req -x509 -nodes -newkey rsa:4096 -subj /CN=YOURHOSTNAME -keyout /etc/ssl/indico/indico.key -out /etc/ssl/indico/indico.crt

While a self-signed certificate works for testing, it is not suitable for a production system. You can either buy a certificate from any commercial certification authority or get a free one from Let’s Encrypt.


There’s an optional step later in this guide to get a certificate from Let’s Encrypt. We can’t do it right now since the Apache config references a directory yet to be created, which prevents Apache from starting.

5. Install Indico

Celery runs as a background daemon. Add a systemd unit file for it:

cat > /etc/systemd/system/indico-celery.service <<'EOF'
Description=Indico Celery

ExecStart=/opt/indico/.venv/bin/indico celery worker -B

systemctl daemon-reload

Now create a user that will be used to run Indico and switch to it:

useradd -rm -g www-data -d /opt/indico -s /bin/bash indico
su - indico

You are now ready to install Indico:


If you need to migrate from Indico 1.2, you must install Indico 2.0, regardless of what the latest Indico version is. If this is the case for you, replace the last command in the block below with pip install 'indico<2.1'

virtualenv ~/.venv
source ~/.venv/bin/activate
pip install -U pip setuptools
pip install indico

6. Configure Indico

Once Indico is installed, you can run the configuration wizard. You can keep the defaults for most options, but make sure to use https://YOURHOSTNAME when prompted for the Indico URL. Also specify valid email addresses when asked and enter a valid SMTP server Indico can use to send emails. When asked for the default timezone make sure this is the main time zone used in your Indico instance.

indico setup wizard

Now finish setting up the directory structure and permissions:

mkdir ~/log/apache
chmod go-rwx ~/* ~/.[^.]*
chmod 710 ~/ ~/archive ~/cache ~/log ~/tmp
chmod 750 ~/web ~/.venv
chmod g+w ~/log/apache
echo -e "\nSTATIC_FILE_METHOD = 'xsendfile'" >> ~/etc/indico.conf

7. Create database schema

Finally, you can create the database schema and switch back to root:

indico db prepare

8. Launch Indico

You can now start Indico and set it up to start automatically when the server is rebooted:

systemctl restart uwsgi.service apache2.service indico-celery.service
systemctl enable uwsgi.service apache2.service postgresql.service redis-server.service indico-celery.service

9. Optional: Get a Certificate from Let’s Encrypt


You need to use at least Debian 9 (Stretch) to use certbot. If you are still using Debian 8 (Jessie), consider updating or install certbot from backports.

If you use Ubuntu, install the certbot PPA:

apt install -y software-properties-common
add-apt-repository -y ppa:certbot/certbot
apt update

To avoid ugly SSL warnings in your browsers, the easiest option is to get a free certificate from Let’s Encrypt. We also enable the cronjob to renew it automatically:

apt install -y python-certbot-apache
certbot --apache --rsa-key-size 4096 --no-redirect --staple-ocsp -d YOURHOSTNAME
rm -rf /etc/ssl/indico
systemctl start certbot.timer
systemctl enable certbot.timer

10. Create an Indico user

Access https://YOURHOSTNAME in your browser and follow the steps displayed there to create your initial user.

11. Install TeXLive

Follow the LaTeX install guide to install TeXLive so Indico can generate PDF files in various places.

Optional: Shibboleth

If your organization uses Shibboleth/SAML-based SSO, follow these steps to use it in Indico:

1. Install Shibboleth

apt install -y libapache2-mod-shib2
a2enmod shib2

2. Configure Shibboleth

This is outside the scope of this documentation and depends on your environment (Shibboleth, SAML, ADFS, etc). Please contact whoever runs your SSO infrastructure if you need assistance.

3. Enable Shibboleth in Apache

Add the following code to your /etc/apache2/sites-available/indico.conf right before the AliasMatch lines:

<LocationMatch "^(/Shibboleth\.sso|/login/shib-sso/shibboleth)">
    AuthType shibboleth
    ShibRequestSetting requireSession 1
    ShibExportAssertion Off
    Require valid-user

4. Enable Shibboleth in Indico

Add the following code to your /opt/indico/etc/indico.conf:

    'shib-sso': {
        'type': 'shibboleth',
        'title': 'SSO',
        'attrs_prefix': 'ADFS_',
        'callback_uri': '/login/shib-sso/shibboleth',
        # 'logout_uri': 'https://login.yourcompany.tld/logout'
    'shib-sso': {
        'type': 'shibboleth',
        'title': 'SSO',
        'identifier_field': 'ADFS_LOGIN',
        'mapping': {
            'affiliation': 'ADFS_HOMEINSTITUTE',
            'first_name': 'ADFS_FIRSTNAME',
            'last_name': 'ADFS_LASTNAME',
            'email': 'ADFS_EMAIL',
            'phone': 'ADFS_PHONENUMBER'
        'trusted_email': True

The values for attrs_prefix, mapping and identifier_field may be different in your environment. Uncomment and set logout_uri if your SSO infrastructure provides a logout URL (usually used to log you out from all applications).

If you only want to use SSO, without allowing people to login locally using username/password, disable it by setting LOCAL_IDENTITIES = False in indico.conf.


We assume that emails received from SSO are already validated. If this is not the case, make sure to disable trusted_email which will require email validation in Indico when logging in for the first time. Otherwise people could take over the account of someone else by using their email address!


The example config is rather simple and only accesses data from SSO during login. This is not sufficient for advanced features such as automatic synchronization of names, affiliations and phone numbers or using centrally managed groups. To use these features, you need to use e.g. the LDAP identity provider and use the information received via SSO to retrieve the user details from LDAP. If you need assistance with this, feel free to ask us on IRC (#indico @ Freenode) or via e-mail (indico-team@cern.ch).