A Site JSON file describes the structure of a site, aka virtual host. Generally, a Site:

  • has a certain hostname, such as, or * if the site should respond to all requests regardless of HTTP host header;
  • has a single administrator, for which username, e-mail address etc. are given;
  • may or may not have SSL/TLS information (key, certificate etc.) so the site can be served over HTTPS;
  • runs one or more apps at different context paths, such as Wordpress at /blog, and a wiki at /wiki.
  • each of those apps may be configured with any number of accessories (for example, Wordpress plugins or themes)
  • may also define certain well-known files, such as robots.txt.

UBOS captures all of this information in a single JSON file with a particular structure, called the Site JSON file. You can usually interact with Site JSON files as opaque blobs, but if you like to see the Site JSON file for a site you have currently deployed, determine its siteid and run:

> sudo ubos-admin showsite --json --siteid <siteid>

If you run this command as a user other than root, no credential information will be included.

The easiest way of creating a Site JSON file is with the createsite command:

> sudo ubos-admin createsite -n -o newsite.json

(The -n flag will only generate the Site JSON and not deploy the site; the -o newsite.json flag will save the generated Site JSON to file newsite.json.)


The Site JSON file is a JSON hash with the following entries:

admin (required)

The admin section defines the administrator for the site. It has the following entries:

userid (required)
User identifier for the administrator. Example: admin.
username (required)
Human-readable name for the administrator. Example: John Smith.
credential (required)
Credential for the administrator account. Example: s3cr3t. Only shown to the root user.
email (required)
Contact e-mail for the administrator. Example:
A JSON array of the AppConfigurations at this site. There is no significance to the order of the elements in the array. An AppConfiguration is the installation of an app at a particular context path at a particular site, together with any accessories and/or customization parameters that are specific to this installation of the app.
hostname (required)
The hostname for the site, or *. E.g.
siteid (required)
A unique identifier for the site. This is generally an s followed by 40 hex characters. E.g. s054257e710d12d7d06957d8c91ab2dc1b22d7b4c.
tls (optional)

This section is optional. If provided, UBOS will set up the site to be only accessible via HTTPS. UBOS will also automatically redirect incoming HTTP requests to their HTTPS equivalent.

letsencrypt (mutually exclusive with key and crt)
If true, obtain a certificate from, and set up the site with it. Also start an automatic renewal process.
key (required unless letsencrypt is provided)
The key for the tls site. Only shown to the root user.
crt (required unless letsencrypt is provided)
The certificate for the tls site as issued by your certificate authority, plus the certificate chain of your certificate authority, concatenated into one file. Only shown to the root user.
cacrt (optional)
If you use TLS client authentication (not common), the certificate chain of the certificate authorities that your TLS clients are using. Only shown to the root user.
tor (optional)

This section is optional. If it is given, this site is intended to be run as a Tor hidden service.

privatekey (optional)
Contains the Tor private key, if it has been allocated already.
wellknown (optional)

This section is optional. It contains the data for well-known files that your site may be using.

robotstxt (optional)
The content of this field will be served as robots.txt at the root of your site.
sitemapxml (optional)
The content of this field will be served as sitemap.xml at the root of your site.
faviconicobase64 (optional)
This contains the base64-encoded favicon for your site. UBOS will decode the base64, and serve the result as favicon.ico at the root of your site.


Each member of the appconfigs array is a JSON hash with the following entries:

appconfigid (required)
A unique identifier for the AppConfiguration. This is generally an a followed by 40 hex characters. E.g. a7d74fb881d43d12ff0ba4bd2ed39a98e107eab8c.
context (optional)
The context path, from the root of the site, where the AppConfiguration will run. For example, if you want to run Wordpress at, the context path would be /blog (no trailing slash). If you want to run an app at the root of the site, specify an empty string. If this field is not provided, UBOS will use the app’s default context from the UBOS Manifest.
isdefault (optional)
If provided, the value must be boolean true. This instructs UBOS to automatically redirect clients from the root page of the site to this AppConfiguration. If not provided, UBOS will show the installed apps at the root page of the site.
appid (required)
The package identifier of the app to be run. For example: wordpress.
accessoryids (optional)
If provided, this entry must be a JSON array, containing one or more package identifiers of the accessories to be run for this installation of the app. For example: [ 'wordpress-plugin-webmention' ]
customizationpoints (optional)

If provided, this entry must be a JSON hash, providing values for customization points of the app and/or accessories at this AppConfiguration. They keys in this JSON hash are the package names of the packages installed at this AppConfiguration, i.e. the package name of the app, and any additional accessories. (By doing this, there cannot be any namespace collisions between customization points defined in the app and the accessories).

The value for each package is again a JSON hash, with the name of the customization point as the key, and a JSON hash as a value. Typically, this last JSON hash only has a single entry named value, whose value is the value of the customization point. For example:

"customizationpoints" : {
  "wordpress" : {
    "title" : {
      "value" : "My blog"