Running a Bazaar Server

Bazaar does not require a specialised server because it operates over HTTP, FTP or SFTP. There is an optional smart server that can be invoked over SSH, from inetd, or in a dedicated mode.

Dumb servers

We describe HTTP, FTP, SFTP and HTTP-WebDAV as "dumb" servers because they do not offer any assistance to Bazaar. If you make a Bazaar repository available over any of these protocols, Bazaar will allow you to read it remotely. Just enter the URL to the branch in the Bazaar command you are running.:

bzr log

Bazaar supports writing over FTP, SFTP and (via a plugin) over HTTP-WebDAV.

High-performance server

The high-performance server is currently in development. It provides a dumb server facility as well as additional capabilities which allow the version of bzr that accompanies this documentation to perform some operations much faster than via dumb servers. In future releases of bzr the range of operations that are improved by using the high-performance server will increase.

To maintain the highest security possible, the current high-performance server provides read-only access by default. To enable read-write access, run it with --allow-writes. When using the SSH access method, bzr automatically runs with with the --allow-writes option.

The server can be configured to run in three different ways:


Using Bazaar over SSH requires no special configuration on the server:

BZR_REMOTE_PATH=~/bin/bzr bzr log bzr+ssh://host/path/to/branch

The BZR_REMOTE_PATH environment variable adjusts how bzr will be invoked on the remote system. By default, just bzr will be invoked, which requires the bzr executable to be on the default search path.

The bzr+ssh:// URL scheme only supports absolute paths from the root of the filesystem. Future versions are expected to support ~ in the same way as sftp:// URLs (


This example shows how to run bzr with a dedicated user bzruser for a shared repository in /srv/bzr/repo which has a branch at /srv/bzr/repo/branchname.

Running a Bazaar server from inetd requires an inetd.conf entry:

4155  stream  tcp  nowait  bzruser  /usr/bin/bzr serve --inet --directory=/srv/bzr/repo

When running client commands, the URL you supply is a bzr:// URL relative to the --directory option given in inetd.conf:

bzr log bzr://host/branchname


This mode has the same path and URL behaviour as the inetd mode. To run as a specific user, you should use su or login as that user. This example runs bzr serve on localhost port 1234.


bzr serve --port=localhost:1234 --directory=/srv/bzr/repo


bzr log bzr://host:1234/branchname

This example runs bzr on its official port number of 4155 and listens on all interfaces. This allows connections from anywhere in the world that can reach your machine on port 4155.

bzr serve --directory=/srv/bzr/repo