Configuring MediaGoblin

So! You’ve got MediaGoblin up and running, but you need to adjust some configuration parameters. Well you’ve come to the right place!

MediaGoblin’s config files

When configuring MediaGoblin, there are two files you might want to make local modified versions of, and one extra file that might be helpful to look at. Let’s examine these.

This is the config file for MediaGoblin, the application. If you want to tweak settings for MediaGoblin, you’ll usually tweak them here.
This is primarily a server configuration file, on the Python side (specifically, on the WSGI side, via paste deploy / paste script). It also sets up some middleware that you can mostly ignore, except to configure sessions... more on that later. If you are adding a different Python server other than fastcgi / plain HTTP, you might configure it here. You probably won’t need to change this file very much.

There’s one more file that you certainly won’t change unless you’re making coding contributions to mediagoblin, but which can be useful to read and reference:

This file is actually a specification for mediagoblin.ini itself, as a config file! It defines types and defaults. Sometimes it’s a good place to look for documentation... or to find that hidden option that we didn’t tell you about. :)

Making local copies

Let’s assume you’re doing the virtualenv setup described elsewhere in this manual, and you need to make local tweaks to the config files. How do you do that? Let’s see.

To make changes to mediagoblin.ini

cp mediagoblin.ini mediagoblin_local.ini

To make changes to paste.ini

cp paste.ini paste_local.ini

From here you should be able to make direct adjustments to the files, and most of the commands described elsewhere in this manual will “notice” your local config files and use those instead of the non-local version.


Note that all commands provide a way to pass in a specific config file also, usually by a -cf flag.

Common changes

Enabling email notifications

You’ll almost certainly want to enable sending email. By default, MediaGoblin doesn’t really do this... for the sake of developer convenience, it runs in “email debug mode”.

To make MediaGoblin send email, you need a mailer daemon.

Change this in your mediagoblin.ini file:

email_debug_mode = false

You should also change the “from” email address by setting email_sender_address. For example:

email_sender_address = ""

If you have more custom SMTP settings, you also have the following options at your disposal, which are all optional, and do exactly what they sound like.

  • email_smtp_host
  • email_smtp_port
  • email_smtp_user
  • email_smtp_pass

Changing data directory

MediaGoblin by default stores your data in wherever data_basedir. This can be changed by changing the value in your mediagoblin.ini file for example:

data_basedir = "/var/mediagoblin/user_data"

For efficiency reasons MediaGoblin doesn’t serve these files itself and instead leaves that to the webserver. You will have to alter the location to match the path in data_basedir.

If you use you need to change the paste.ini file:

/mgoblin_media = /var/mediagoblin/user_data

If you use nginx you need to change the config:

# Instance specific media:
location /mgoblin_media/ {
    alias /var/mediagoblin/user_data;

Once you have done this you will need to move any existing media you had in the old directory to the new directory so existing media still can be displayed.

All other configuration changes

To be perfectly honest, there are quite a few options and we haven’t had time to document them all.

So here’s a cop-out section saying that if you get into trouble, hop onto IRC and we’ll help you out. Details for the IRC channel is on the join page of the website.


FIXME: List Celery configuration here.