Quick and Easy Way to Setup OpenBazaar Server on Amazon AWS

Mario Dian Apr 17, 2016 6 min read

It's been only a few weeks since OpenBazaar was open for business and it's already growing at a steady pace. This means an influx of often not very technical sellers that struggle with setting up their stores.

Installing OpenBazaar server manually is already well covered, but it takes more than that to run a server (any kind of server).

I will go through all the necessary steps to make sure your selling experience is as smooth as possible.

I made an installation script for Ubuntu. If you decide to use it you can move to the "Open ports" part of the article as everything else will be handled by the script.

This tutorial is written for Ubuntu running on Amazon AWS. However, you will be able to use the info for any kind of Ubuntu and possibly any kind of Linux distribution with just very little tweaking.

Before You Start

Make sure you have an Amazon AWS account.

If you don't expect a lot of traffic I'd suggest you get the free tier for 1 year to cut the cost.

I won't go into details as the whole process is very well covered on AWS page (just make sure you choose Ubuntu for your instance):

  • Set up Amazon EC2 (link)
  • Getting started (link)

Install OpenBazaar Server

Amazon AWS currently uses Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Longterm Support) so I will specifically use it in my example.

SSH to your freshly installed server and make sure your run as an ordinary user (in my case "ubuntu").

whoami ubuntu

Install Dependencies

In order to run OB server separately from the client app, we need to download some more libraries.

There's a script to automate this task, but I found it didn't work well for me.

Copy and paste the following commands in your ssh terminal.

Add a Repository And Update the System

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chris-lea/libsodium sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Install All Necessary Apps, Dev-tools And Libraries

sudo apt-get install git build-essential libssl-dev libffi-dev python-dev openssl python-pip autoconf pkg-config libtool libzmq3-dev libsodium-dev

Install Crypto Package

sudo pip install cryptography

Install libzmq From Source

Go to your root home directory, download the lib, compile it from the source and install. This may take some time so be patient, please.

cd ~ 
git clone
cd libzmq 
./ && ./configure && make -j 4 
make check && sudo make install && sudo ldconfig

Install the Server

Go to your root home directory again, download the source code from the Github repository and install it.

cd ~ 
git clone
cd OpenBazaar-Server 
sudo pip install -r requirements.txt

Set up OpenBazaar Server

Before you will be able to run the server we need to make sure it's configured, the service is installed and all the necessary ports are open.

Create Username And Password

To make sure no one else can connect to your server make sure you set up a custom username and password.

Replace "your_username" and "your_password" with your desired information.

sed -i -e "s/username/your_username/g; s/password/your_password/g" ob.cfg sed -i -e "s/#USERNAME/USERNAME/g; s/#PASSWORD/PASSWORD/g" ob.cfg

Open Ports

If you want to be able to connect to the server from outside of your AWS machine, you need to open specific ports.

Sign in to your AWS console and select EC2 settings from the list of Amazon Web Services.

Click "Security Groups", choose any active group ("launch-wizard-1" in my case), click "Inbound" and "Edit". A window with existing inbound traffic rules will pop up.

Add the following rules:

  • UDP on port 18467
  • TCP on ports 18466, 18469-18470

Start the Service

In an ideal setup, you would only need to run python start -da, but as with any services, OpenBazaar may crash from time to time.

In that case, we need to register it as a service so it starts automatically after a crash or the system reboot.

Register Upstart Service (option 1)

I've written a simple Upstart script for this. If you haven't customized the AWS setup then you just need to download the script and run it. Otherwise, make sure to modify it according to your needs.

cd /etc/init 
sudo wget
sudo chmod 644 openbazaar.conf

If you made any changes to the file please make sure the syntax is valid:

init-checkconf -d /etc/init/openbazaar.conf

Register Systemd (option 2)

Recent versions of Ubuntu moved over to Systemd. If you get errors running the above script you'll need to install the following one.

cd /lib/systemd/system/ 
sudo wget 
sudo chmod 644 openbazaar.service 
sudo systemctl enable openbazaar.service

Please change it according to your system environment. Pay extra attention to commands ExecStartand ExecStop.

ExecStart=/bin/sh /home/pi/bin/ start 
ExecStop=/bin/sh /home/pi/bin/ stop

I had some problems running OB directly from the service script. So I made a simple script which runs OB instance instead.

It's a nasty hack but it works.

In case you wanna use it run the following:

mkdir ~/bin 
cd ~/bin 
chmod 755

Register SysV Service (option 3)

If you cannot use any of above scripts for some reason I've written a SysV script for the more traditional approach.

However, SysV will not start your service automatically after a crash!

cd /etc/init.d 
sudo wget 
sudo chmod 755 openbazaar 
sudo update-rc.d openbazaar enable

Run the Service

Everything's good, start the service now.

sudo service openbazaar start

If it doesn't output any error, you can jump straight to the next step. If it does, leave a comment below and maybe I'll be able to help you.

Connect to Your Server

It's time to test your OpenBazaar setup.

Open up your AWS console again, go to "EC2" and view your instance.

In a "Description" tab look for a "Public IP" field. That's your IP address you want to connect to with your OpenBazaar client.

Open your OB client, fill out the login form with the above IP, username and password you set up earlier and click "Save Changes".

If you did everything correctly you should be connected in a few seconds.

@mariodian store on OpenBazaar

Please let me know in the comments below if you run into problems. For an immediate help, please visit OpenBazaar's slack channel.

P.S. OpenBazar 2.0 alpha is out. Have a look at my tutorial on how to install it.

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Mario Dian

I'm an Anarchist, Rothbardian, Bitcoiner and Travel Hacker. Also founder of @freedomnodecom.

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