On Premise#

How to install and run Utilitarian


Utilitarian depends on the following systems:

  • Postgres 10
  • RabbitMQ


All Utilitarian components are distributed via docker images.

When you have purchased a Utilitarian License you will get a login account to be able to fetch the images via docker-cli.

As of now all PWIT docker images are stored in Quay and you will need to use the credentials supplied by us to log in and pull the images.

$ docker login quay.io
Login against server at https://quay.io/v1/
Username: pwitab+yourpullaccount
Password: ThePasswordGivenToYouFromPWIT
Email: any@example.com

Once you have logged in you can pull the images.

docker pull quay.io/pwit/repo-name:version


We will provide information on how to install and run the applications via docker-compose. In the future we will also provide instructions for Kubernetes. Docker compose might not be the right tool to for you depending on your installation and system requirements but it is a good starting point and you will get a lot of insight on how to run the systems via this instruction. If you need assistance running Utilitarian in another environment please contact us.


We use Postgres as our database of choice. We recommend that you set up Postgres on a dedicated server or use a managed service for it. You can find out a lot about running Postgres online.

Also make sure you have proper security settings and follow best practices. If you are running Postgres yourself you also want to set up a stable backup function.

After you have set up postgres you will supply the connection string in the format:

# Example

Postgres is available as a docker container and if you also want to run Postgres via docker make sure you set up a volume for it so that you don't loose any of your data.

docker pull postgres:10.7-alpine


RabbitMQ is a message broker for the AMQP protocol. Utilitarian uses it for inter-application communication and data processing.

Checkout the official RabbitMQ site to learn how to run RabbitMQ or purchase a managed solution from, for example CloudAMQP.

You will need to provide a similar connection string for RabbitMQ as for Postgres:

# Example

RabbitMQ can also be run as a container. Just be sure to add a volume for it so you don't loose any data and we recommend that you include the management plugin so that you have an interface for management and debugging if something is not working correctly.

docker pull rabbitmq:3.7.13-management-alpine


We don’t have any real numbers to tell you what kind of hardware you’re going to need, but we’ll help you make your decision based on existing usage from real customers. It all depends on how many meters you are managing in Utilitarian and how much data you collect from them. If you have a wide range of different meters you must also take into consideration that you will have multiple services of different kinds running in your environment.

We provide means to scale horizontally but the database is still the single point of failure. Since you are free to set up the database the way your IT department or Ops team requires we leave this implementation detail to the customer.


We do not supply a standard solution to monitor the applications. All logs from the different applications are outputed on stdout via docker. So they are accessible via docker logs. You can then hook up the docker logs to different logging drivers, see the official docker documentation.

There are several solutions to application and log monitoring. For example Elastic Stack or Splunk. Contact us if you want help setting this up for your installation.

We are exposing a healthcheck endpoint at /_health/ that will return 200 OK if the the API is working correctly. The healthcheck can be disabled using the env variable HEALTHCHECK_DISABLED

Initial setup Utilitarian API#

Generate application SECRET_KEY#

Utilitarian needs a SECRET_KEY for cryptographic algorithms and signing. We recommend at least 50 chars.

# Example generating SECRET_KEY with openssl

openssl rand -base64 50

>> CZKcDahINwxy+eYzMItr+NZRqrONvMmJ12g+hF+W/QOMh/A4tRxhQ3onvRjJv47l

Set the SECRET_KEY environment variable to this key.

Migrate the database#

The first time you set up Utilitarian API you will need to migrate the database so all tables are present.

Assuming you have started all services via docker-compose run the following command:

docker-compose exec utilitarian-api sh -c "python manage.py migrate"

Create Superuser#

Assuming you have started all services via docker-compose you should run the following command

docker-compose exec utilitarian-api sh -c "python manage.py createsuperuser"

Collect static assets#

Assuming you have started all services via docker-compose you should run the following command

docker-compose exec utilitarian-api sh -c "python manage.py collectstatic --no-input"

Compress static assets#

Assuming you have started all services via docker-compose you should run the following command

docker-compose exec utilitarian-api sh -c "python manage.py compress"