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Getting Started


PushBits is meant to be self-hosted. That means you have to install it on your own server. You are advised to install PushBits behind a reverse proxy and enable TLS.

Currently, the only supported way of installing PushBits is via Docker or Podman. The image is hosted via


To see what can be configured, have a look at the config.sample.yml file inside the root of the repository.

Settings can optionally be provided via environment variables. The name of the environment variable is composed of a starting PUSHBITS_, followed by the keys of the setting, all joined with _. As an example, the HTTP port can be provided as an environment variable called PUSHBITS_HTTP_PORT.

To get started, here is a Docker Compose file you can use.

version: '2'

            - 8080:8080
            PUSHBITS_DATABASE_DIALECT: 'sqlite3'
            PUSHBITS_ADMIN_MATRIXID: '@your/matrix/' # The Matrix account on which the admin will receive their notifications.
            PUSHBITS_ADMIN_PASSWORD: 'your/pushbits/password' # The login password of the admin account. Default username is 'admin'.
            PUSHBITS_MATRIX_USERNAME: 'your/matrix/username' # The Matrix account from which notifications are sent to all users.
            PUSHBITS_MATRIX_PASSWORD: 'your/matrix/password' # The password of the above account.
            - /etc/localtime:/etc/localtime:ro
            - /etc/timezone:/etc/timezone:ro
            - ./data:/data

In this example, the configuration file would be located at ./data/config.yml on the host. The SQLite database would be written to ./data/pushbits.db. Don't forget to adjust the permissions of the ./data directory, otherwise PushBits will fail to operate.


We provide a little CLI tool called pbcli to make basic API requests to the server. It helps you to create new users and applications. You will find further instructions in the linked repository.

At the time of writing, there is no fancy GUI built-in, and we're not sure if this is necessary at all. Currently, we would like to avoid front end development, so if you want to contribute in this regard we're happy if you reach out!

After you have created a user and an application, you can use the API to send a push notification to your Matrix account.

curl \
    --header "Content-Type: application/json" \
    --request POST \
    --data '{"message":"my message","title":"my title"}' \

Note that the token is associated with your application and has to be kept secret. You can retrieve the token using pbcli by running following command.

pbcli application show $PB_APPLICATION --url --username $PB_USERNAME

Message options

Messages can be specified in three different syntaxes:

  • text/plain
  • text/html
  • text/markdown

To set a specific syntax you need to set the extras parameter (inspired by Gotify's message extras):

curl \
    --header "Content-Type: application/json" \
    --request POST \
    --data '{"message":"my message with\n\n**Markdown** _support_.","title":"my title","extras":{"client::display":{"contentType": "text/markdown"}}}' \

HTML content might not be fully rendered in your Matrix client; see the corresponding Matrix specs. This also holds for Markdown, as it is translated into the corresponding HTML syntax.

Deleting a Message

You can delete a message, this will send a notification in response to the original message informing you that the message is "deleted".

To delete a message, you need its message ID which is provided as part of the response when you send the message. The ID might contain characters not valid in URIs. We hence provide an additional id_url_encoded field for messages; you can directly use it when deleting a message without performing encoding yourself.

curl \
    --request DELETE \