Configuration options


This section is for self-hosting our analytics on your server and managing your infrastructure (installation, maintenance, upgrades, server capacity, uptime, backup and so on). This is different from Plausible Analytics Cloud where we manage everything for your ease and convenience. Take a look at the differences between Plausible Cloud and Self-Hosted.

When running a Plausible release, the following configuration parameters can be supplied as environment variables.

Default User Generation#

A default user can be generated using the db init-admin command. In the default docker-compose setup, this command is run automatically when you boot the server.

It is highly recommended that you configure these parameters.

ADMIN_USER_NAMEautogeneratedAdmin user's name
ADMIN_USER_EMAILautogeneratedThe default ("admin") user email
ADMIN_USER_PWDautogeneratedThe default ("admin") user password.


Following are the variables that can be used to configure the availability of the server.

BASE_URL--The hosting url of the server, used for URL generation. In production systems, this should be your ingress host.
PORT8000The port on which the server is available.
SECRET_KEY_BASE--An internal secret key used by Phoenix Framework. Follow the instructions to generate one.
DISABLE_AUTHfalseDisables authentication completely, no registration, login will be shown.
DISABLE_REGISTRATIONfalseDisables registration of new users, keep your admin credentials handy ;)


Plausible uses PostgreSQL for storing user data and ClickhouseDB for analytics data. Use the following variables to configure it.

DATABASE_URLpostgres://localhost:5432/plausible_devThe database URL as dictated here, i.e. for external db server postgres://
DATABASE_SOCKET_DIR--Directory where a UNIX socket of postgresql is available. Mutually exclusive with DATABASE_URL, can only be used with DATABASE_NAME
DATABASE_NAME--Name of the database in PostgreSQL to use. Only applicable in conjunction with DATABASE_SOCKET_DIR
CLICKHOUSE_DATABASE_URLhttp://localhost:8123/plausible_devConnection string for Clickhouse in the same format, i.e. for docker-compose setup http://plausible_events_db:8123/plausible_events_db
CLICKHOUSE_FLUSH_INTERVAL_MS5000Interval (in milliseconds) between flushing events and sessions data to Clickhouse. Consult Clickhouse docs before changing it.
CLICKHOUSE_MAX_BUFFER_SIZE10000Maximum size of the buffer of events or sessions. Consult Clickhouse docs before changing it.

Mailer/SMTP Setup#

Plausible uses a SMTP server to send transactional emails e.g. account activation, password reset, weekly reports, etc.

MAILER_EMAILhello@plausible.localThe email id to use for as from address of all communications from Plausible.
SMTP_HOST_ADDRlocalhostThe host address of your smtp server.
SMTP_HOST_PORT25The port of your smtp server.
SMTP_USER_NAME--The username/email in case SMTP auth is enabled.
SMTP_USER_PWD--The password in case SMTP auth is enabled.
SMTP_HOST_SSL_ENABLEDfalseIf SSL is enabled for SMTP connection
SMTP_RETRIES2Number of retries to make until mailer gives up.

Alternatively, you can use Postmark to send transactional emails. In this case, use the following parameters:

MAILER_ADAPTERBamboo.SMTPAdapterInstead of the default, replace this with Bamboo.PostmarkAdapter
POSTMARK_API_KEY--Enter your API key.

IP Geolocation#

Plausible uses the country database created by dbip for enriching analytics data with visitor countries. The database is shipped with Plausible and country data collection happens automatically.

Optionally, you can provide different database. For example, you can use MaxMind services. You need to create an account and download their GeoLite2 Country database.

Once you have the database, mount it on the Plausible docker image and configure the path of the database file:

GEOLITE2_COUNTRY_DB-- (internal database)Path to your IP geolocation database in MaxMind's format

To make this as easy as possible you can use the maxmindinc/geoipupdate Docker image. You just need to add your account details, mount the database in the plausible container and let the image update the database automatically. To run the complete setup including geoip see docker-compose-geoip.yml.

Google Search Integration#

To enable the Google Search Console integration in Plausible Analytics, you need to authorize your self-hosted installation with a Google Account. For the OAuth flow, you need to configure the client_id and client_secret.

Steps to Integrate Google Search Console#

  1. Visit the Google API Console to obtain OAuth 2.0 credentials such as a Client ID and Client Secret key that are known to both Google and your installation. Once on the API Console, create a new project.


  1. On the project, go to the "Credentials" screen and get your Client ID and Client Secret key.



  1. Go to your Plausible installation's public URL followed by /auth/google/callback as "Authorized redirect URI".

  2. Copy the Client ID and Client Secret key from your project in Google API Console into these config values:

GOOGLE_CLIENT_ID--The Client ID from the Google API Console for your Plausible Analytics project
GOOGLE_CLIENT_SECRET--The Client Secret from the Google API Console for your Plausible Analytics project

After deploying those values, you can follow the Search Console Integration docs for the rest of the set up.

  1. For the final step of choosing a property from the Search Console, you also need to enable the "Google Search Console API" on your Google API project.

Enable Google Search Console API#

  1. Click on "Enable APIs and Services."


  1. Search for "Google Search Console API" in the search bar of the API Library.


  1. Click on "Google Search Console API" and the button to enable.



Twitter Integration#

To automatically display tweets that link to your sites, you need a Twitter API key. You need to first apply for an API key on Twitter's Developer site. It may take a while for them to get back to you.

When the app is created, note down your API key and API key secret. Then, in the Developer Portal, select your project from the sidebar and go to the "Keys and tokens tab". Here you can generate an "Access Token & Secret" which you will also need.

TWITTER_CONSUMER_KEY--The API key from the Twitter Developer Portal
TWITTER_CONSUMER_SECRET--The API key secret from the Twitter Developer Portal
TWITTER_ACCESS_TOKEN--The access token you generated in the steps above
TWITTER_ACCESS_TOKEN_SECRET--The access token secret you generated in the steps above

Once you've added these environment variables and restarted Plausible, you should see the relevant tweets the next day -- they are only fetched once every 24 hours. For more information on the Twitter integration, see Twitter referrals.


Self-hosting our analytics product is free as in beer. You only need to pay for your server and whatever cost there is associated with running a server. You never have to pay any fees to us, only to your cloud server provider. If you choose to self-host Plausible you can become a sponsor which is a great way to give back to the community and to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the project. Simply put, we treat sponsors like paying customers which means you can receive guaranteed priority support.