Help:Tool Labs/Getting started

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Getting started so that you can use Tool Labs to deploy your web page or run a bot is a bit involved, but once you have done it you will be able to create and/or join multiple tools and use a variety of services. We used to call these instructions Quick start but who were we really kidding?

Creating your account

  1. Create an account here on the Wikitech wiki.
    • Wikitech accounts have two names: the wiki username and "Instance shell account name".
      • Your wiki username and password will be used to login here on Wikitech and on Gerrit.
      • Your shell name will be used when you interact with servers via ssh and when using git with Gerrit.
  2. Fill out an access request to join the Tools project.
  3. generate an SSH key that you will use along with your shell account name to log into the Tool Labs servers if you do not already have one.
  4. Associate your SSH public key with your Wikitech account using the Preferences > OpenStack tab.
  5. Wait for your access request for the Tools project to be processed (you should receive messages on your Wikitech talk page).

Using your account

  • Use SSH to login to Tool Labs. In a command-line terminal, enter: ssh -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa (username is the "Instance shell account name" you specified when you created an account)
  • Use SSH-based utilities such as scp and sftp to transfer files between Tool Labs and your computer.
  • Access MySQL from SSH (e.g. sql enwiki is a shortcut command to connect to the copy of English Wikipedia)
  • Create tools (see Help:Tool_Labs § Creating a new Tool account).


  • Your wikitech wiki username and your shell login username may be different. Visit Preferences > User profile and check "Instance shell account name".
  • The passwords you chose for your wikitech login and SSH key may be different.
  • When you login with SSH you are in your personal folder. To quickly go to your tool account enter: become tool_name
  • If use WinSCP or scp to transfer files they will be owned by your shell account and not your tool. Your tool account and user account share a group so you can allow both accounts to edit the files easily:
$ become <tool_name>
$ chmod -R g+rw ./
  • The web service for your tool is not started by default. To start it enter: webservice start

Next steps