You're viewing documentation for the legacy version of Firezone, now End-of-Life. View the latest docs here.

Build From Source

Building from source allows you to bring Firezone to unsupported platforms.

You're entering unsupported territory. This is not for the faint of heart and will require being able to figure out snags you may hit on your own. If you're very comfortable with your environment of choice, then read on to learn how to build Firezone from source.

You will need to setup your own service management for Firezone (eg. runit, systemd, shell scripts). You will also need to install and configure your own database (eg. postgres) and reverse proxy (eg. caddy, nginx). Info about database configuration is here, and info about configuring a reverse proxy is here.


Check the .tool-versions file here for the versions we use for Erlang, Elixir, and Node. If your system supports it, you can install these using asdf-vm using a similar .tool-versions of your own to match versions. Your system's package manager may have them as well.

These must be available in the user's path that runs Firezone.


From your terminal, run these steps to build Firezone:

git clone
cd firezone
mix local.rebar --force
mix local.hex --force
MIX_ENV=prod mix deps.get
MIX_ENV=prod mix release

After the release build finishes, you should have a shiny new Firezone release artifact in <CURRENT_DIR>/_build/dev/rel/firezone. In the bin folder, the firezone binary can be used to start up Firezone. If you run it without any arguments you should see a list of available commands like this:

Usage: firezone COMMAND [ARGS]

The known commands are:

    start          Starts the system
    start_iex      Starts the system with IEx attached
    daemon         Starts the system as a daemon
    daemon_iex     Starts the system as a daemon with IEx attached
    eval "EXPR"    Executes the given expression on a new, non-booted system
    rpc "EXPR"     Executes the given expression remotely on the running system
    remote         Connects to the running system via a remote shell
    restart        Restarts the running system via a remote command
    stop           Stops the running system via a remote command
    pid            Prints the operating system PID of the running system via a remote command
    version        Prints the release name and version to be booted

Most deployment-related configuration is handled with environment variables. You'll probably want to at least set variables related to your reverse proxy and database. See the ENV var reference for an exhaustive list.

Now all you need are the database and reverse proxy that you've previously set up. Once that's done, you can use firezone start to start Firezone and run create-or-reset-admin (in the same bin dir) to create the admin user and use it to log into Firezone from a web browser to start setting up your brand new custom instance that you built by hand with a little bit of elbow grease :)

As mentioned at the top, it's recommended to use some sort of service management to start and stop Firezone easily without having to manually do it using the firezone binary directly. But the choice is yours, since you're in control!