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System requirements

Note: The configurations described below are what we use and test against. This means that other configurations might also work but we do not provide any official support for them.


The server hardware requirements should be roughly the same for both the packaged installation and docker (both all-in-one container and compose).

Minimum Hardware Requirements

  • CPU: Quad Core CPU (>= 2ghz)
  • Memory: 4096 MB
  • Free disk space: 20 GB

This is for a single server running Nepenthes for up to 200 total users. Depending on your number of concurrent users, these requirements might vary drastically.

General Requirements

Generally speaking you will need more CPUs (the faster the better) and more RAM with an increasing number of users. Technically this only really depends on the number of concurrent users. No matter if you have 1000 or only 100 total users, if there only ever 20 users working at the same time, the CPU & RAM required will be the same. Still, the total number of users is a good general indicator of how much resources you will need.

It's not enough to simply have more resources available, however. You will have to make use of them too. By default Nepenthes has 4 so called web workers and 1 background worker. Web workers are handling the HTTP requests while backend workers are doing offloaded tasks such as sending emails or performing resource-intensive tasks of unknown duration, e.g. copying or deleting resources. If there are more users you will need more web workers and eventually also more background workers.

The database will need resources as well, and this, too, will increase with the number of users. There may come a point where you will have to make configuration changes to the database and/or use an external database, but for most cases the default database setup should be enough. You will ideally want to have the database on a performant storage such as SSDs. There are also other excellent resources for tuning PostgreSQL database performance.

Using a rough estimate we can give the following recommendations based on the number of total users.

UsersCPU coresRAM in GBweb workersbackground workersdisk space in GB

Mind, even just for 5 users we do recommend the default 4 workers as each page may require multiple requests to be made simultaneously. Having less workers will work, but pages may take longer to finish loading.

These numbers are a guideline only and your mileage may vary.1 It's best to monitor your server and its resource usage. You can always allocate more resources if needed.

See here how to scale those up in a packaged installation. If you are using docker-compose you can scale the web and worker services too.

1 When using docker-compose (with USE_PUMA=true) you can use fewer web workers which may use a bit more RAM, however. For instance for 200 users a single web worker would be enough.

Scaling horizontally

At some point simply increasing the resources of one single server may not be enough anymore.

In the packaged installation you can have multiple servers running Nepenthes. They will need to share an external database, memcached and file storage (e.g. via NFS), however.

One way to scale the docker installation is to use docker Swarm.

Operating system

The package-based installation requires one of the following Linux distributions:

Distribution (64 bits only)
Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy
Ubuntu 20.04 Focal
Debian 12 Bookworm
Debian 11 Bullseye
Debian 10 Buster
CentOS/RHEL 9.x
CentOS/RHEL 8.x
Suse Linux Enterprise Server 15

The docker-based installation requires a system with Docker installed. Please see the official Docker page for the list of supported systems.

Please note, that we only provide packages for the AMD64 (x86) architecture. We do provide docker containers for both ARM64 and PPC64 on top of AMD64.

Overview of dependencies

Both the package and docker based installations will install and setup the following dependencies that are required by Nepenthes to run:

Starting in Nepenthes 12.0, PostgreSQL 13.0 will be a minimum requirement. PostgreSQL versions 9.6. and up will continue to work, but may result in incompatibilities and degraded performance in the future. We have a migration guide on how to upgrade to PostgreSQL 13.


Nepenthes supports the latest versions of the major browsers.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Can I run Nepenthes on Windows?

At the moment this is not officially supported, although the docker image might work. Check above regarding the system requirements.