The common way of installing pinnwand is by installing from PyPI. I suggest you to use a virtual environment, these prevent accidentally updating libraries that your other projects or even your operating system depend on.

For a Debian based distribution installation would look like this:

python3 -m venv virtual-environment virtual-environment/bin/pip install pinnwand

After this you can run pinnwand in the following way:

virtual-environment/bin/pinnwand http

This will start the built-in HTTP server on localhost, port 8000, and will use an in-memory sqlite3 database. This means that your pastes will be gone when the process exits.

To supply a persistent database, see the Configuration bit of the documentation.

Running on boot

If you wish to run pinnwand as an actual service there’s a few more things we will need to take care of. This bit of the documentation has strong ideas about how to host a website and doesn’t provide commands but general guidance.

This guide only applies to Linux and BSD systems though I am sure it can be applied to Windows systems as well if you read synonymous terms where necessary.


  • A HTTP server or proxy such as nginx, haproxy, apache2, etc.


Start by creating a separate user for your pinnwand this way we can make use of the filesystem.

After you’ve created this user it’s now time to setup an environment where this users code will live. Let’s get into their homedir and then perform the initial section of this document as the user you’ve just created.

From now on I’ll assume you have /home/youruser/virtual-environment with pinnwand installed to it.

To have persistence we need to use a persistent database so install your favourite one and then install its drivers into your virtual environment.

Make sure you create a database with a user and password for pinnwand so that we can go to the next step.

We’ll create a configuration file /home/youruser/pinnwand.toml with the following content:

database_uri = "mysql+pymysql://user:password@host/database"

If you want to configure more then read the Configuration section.

Now that we have all of this setup it’s time to test out pinnwand real quick:

/home/youruser/virtual-environment/bin/pinnwand --configuration-path /home/youruser/pinnwand.toml http

This should start pinnwand listening on localhost port 8000. Verify that this is the case and make sure to paste some data and see if it ends up in the expected database. If it does you can stop it again and we can continue to configuring the system.

I will use systemd for this example since it comes pre-installed on most of our systems nowadays.

Take the example systemd unit file from the repository and place it in /etc/systemd/system/pinnwand.service. Then open the file and adjust the paths to the paths you’ve created.

After you’ve done this you can systemctl daemon-reload and systemctl enable pinnwand.service. Check its status, if it has come up verify that you can connect to localhost port 8000 as well and get served with the pinnwand pastebin.

Now it’s time to configure our webserver to forward requests to pinnwand. I’ll use nginx in this example but the ideas carry over to anything you might be using.

Here’s an example nginx configuration file:

server {
        listen 443 ssl ;
        listen [::]:443 ssl ;

        root /var/www/empty;

        server_name; # managed by Certbot

        add_header X-Xss-Protection "1; mode=block" always;
        add_header X-Content-Type-Options "nosniff" always;
        add_header X-Frame-Options "SAMEORIGIN" always;
        add_header Content-Security-Policy "default-src 'self'" always;
        add_header Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=31536000; includeSubdomains; preload" always;
        add_header Referrer-Policy "no-referrer" always;
        add_header Feature-Policy "accelerometer 'none'; camera 'none'; geolocation 'none'; gyroscope 'none'; magnetometer 'none'; microphone 'none'; payment 'none'; usb 'none'" always;

        location / {
                limit_req zone=mypastebin burst=100;
                proxy_set_header Host $host;
                proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto https;

        access_log /home/youruser/mypastebin.net_access.log;

        ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/; # managed by Certbot
        ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/; # managed by Certbot

Place that file in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ and reload your nginx. It is important that you pass the Host header and protocol as pinnwand will use these to build its URLs.

Your pastebin is now up and running!