Generating Configuration

A Gerbera instance requires a configuration file to launch.

Gerbera provides a command line flag --create-config to generate a default config.xml file. You will need to generate the configuration file when running Gerbera for the first time. Gerbera reports the missing configuration upon startup similar to the message below

The server configuration file could not be found in ~/.config/gerbera
Gerbera could not find a default configuration file.
Try specifying an alternative configuration file on the command line.
For a list of options run: gerbera -h
  • Run command to create configuration

$ gerbera --create-config

This command outputs the config.xml to the standard output with all mandatory settings. After upgrading you should run this as well to check for any new or changed options.

You can also gerbera --create-example-config to get almost all options written to the output. You have to validate all generated settings and adjust them to your preferences. There are several empty options you have to fill in or remove before your configuration will work.

You can use gerbera --check-config -c <file> to verify your settings before starting the service.

  • Run command to create configuration, storing in the /etc/gerbera directory.

$ gerbera --create-config | sudo tee /etc/gerbera/config.xml

You can start Gerbera with similar command as below:

$ gerbera -c /etc/gerbera/config.xml


  • You might need to create the directory gerbera inside the ~/.config/ folder and change the owner to gerbera
    • mkdir ~/.config/gerbera

    • sudo chown gerbera:gerbera gerbera

  • Gerbera sets the <home> to the runtime user’s home by default. Be sure to update accordingly.

  • Ensure the gerbera user has proper permissions to the config.xml file.