Option 2: Setup your own secondary server with dess
3 minute read
1. What is dess?
dess is the self-hosted option for secondary servers, and a great tool for developers to debug their applications! You can run several secondary servers on a single instance of dess, as each secondary scales to use 6MB of ram or less.
dess is an acronymn for:
2. How to get started
There are two parts to setting up dess:
- First time setup (run once)
- Setup an @sign (run for each @sign)
3. First Time Setup
Get a server
First get yourself a microserver to run dess on.
We recommend AWS, GCP, or IONOS for hosting.
1 Core + 1 GB is more than enough to run dess comfortably.
Install dess on the server
dess will install everything you need to get up and running.
Run the following command to install dess:
curl -fsSL https://getdess.atsign.com | sudo bash
Alternatively, if you would like to save the installation script to your machine:
curl -fsSL https://getdess.atsign.com -o getdess.sh sudo bash getdess.sh
The script will be saved as getdess.sh
Setup a domain for your server
If you don’t have a domain available you will have to purchase one to continue.
Once you have a domain available, set an A record pointing to the IP of your server.
Domain: example.com Server IP: 18.104.22.168
Example A record:
A dess 22.214.171.124
You may replace “dess” with any valid value for a subdomain.
In this example, my fully qualified domain name (fqdn) is:
Once you have completed these steps, please move on to setting up your secondary server!
4. Setup a secondary server
- Go to “My @signs.”
- Select “Manage” for the @sign you would like to setup.
- Open “Advanced Settings”.
- If the atsign is activated, follow the steps to reset it. (Warning: this will erase your data!)
- Under “settings” enter the fully qualified domain name from initial setup.
- Enter an unused port number.
- Press “Activate”
On your dess server
dess will show you the steps to setup a secondary server.
sudo dess-create > Usage sudo dess-create <@sign> <fqdn> <port> <email> <service> > Example sudo dess-create @bob bob.example.com 6464 firstname.lastname@example.org bob
@sign: The @sign you want to setup.
fqdn: Fully qualified domain name to use for dess.
(The same as entered in your atsign.com dashboard )
port: The port to use for dess.
(The same as entered in your atsign.com dashboard)
service: A name for the docker service.
5. OS Support
6. dess Setup Guides
If you are ready to get started, please check to see if we have a specific guide available for your platform of choice.
We have guides available for the following platforms:
7. Tips & Tricks
Oops! I forgot to save my QR code!
Don’t worry! dess includes a command to recover QR codes.
Simply run the following:
Debugging Applications with Dess
dess runs as a docker swarm, to debug an application first run the following:
docker service ls
Docker will list the services running:
ID NAME MODE REPLICAS IMAGE PORTS b61ty3y5g41a secondaries_shepherd replicated 1/1 mazzolino/shepherd:latest ex2d0kmiqinn wolverine_secondary replicated 0/1 atsigncompany/secondary:dess *:6464->6464/tcp
For example, I have the service called “wolverine_secondary” running.
To debug this secondary using docker:
docker service logs -f <service_name> # OR docker service logs -f wolverine_secondary
While this is running, you will be able to see the secondary in action.