Getting Started

Sign up at and generate an access token. If you’ve previously generated one and didn’t record it then navigate back to your account page and regenerate the token. Set the ACROBOX_TOKEN environment variable on your machine to this value.

$ export ACROBOX_TOKEN="hunter2"

Initialize a new Acrobox machine. This may take a few minutes, particularly when provisioning the machine and associated resources and then again when waiting for the initial setup to complete.

$ abx init
• Creating a new key pair.
• Payment authorization required.
  I authorize Acrobox to charge my card in accordance with the terms of service.
• Please type 'acrobox' to agree: acrobox
• Initializing with
• Provisioning machine and associated resources.
• Writing machine configuration.
• Waiting for SSH connectivity.
• Waiting for machine setup.
• Waiting for service setup.
• Acrobox is ready.

See abx help for more details including important information about retaining long term access to your machine.

Before we go on, it is wise to enable backups. I like Backblaze B2 but you’re free to use other supported providers. Create a new bucket and generate application keys. Set them as variables Acrobox will take care of the rest.

$ abx env/set acrobox/restic B2_ACCOUNT_ID="xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx0000000001"
$ abx env/set acrobox/restic B2_ACCOUNT_KEY="xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
$ abx env/set acrobox/restic RESTIC_REPOSITORY="b2:bucketname"
$ abx env/set acrobox/restic RESTIC_PASSWORD="hunter2"

That’s really it. Your repository will be automatically initialized on the first scheduled run. See abx help backups for more details.

At this point, you will require access to modify the DNS records for at least one domain name. We’re using here. It is recommended to point your DNS records to the Acrobox machine before adding the site.

If you use the www or naked domain, you need the following records, where IPv4 is replaced by the IPv4 address of the machine from abx status. The Acrobox reverse proxy will take care of the redirects between them.

Type Name Content
A @ IPv4
A www IPv4
CAA @ 0 issue

If you use a subdomain, you only need one A record:

Type Name Content
A sub IPv4
CAA @ 0 issue

These records may take a while to fully propagate across the internet. You can do a quick check by running dig +short replacing with your domain optionally including subdomain.

Configure a new container from the hello-kitchen-sink image named and referred to from other containers as demo and exposed at The hostname, container name, and image name could have all been Different names were chosen for clarity.

$ abx add -s demo hello-kitchen-sink

Build the hello-kitchen-sink project.

$ git clone
$ cd hello-kitchen-sink
$ docker build -t hello-kitchen-sink .

We should create the database before the first deploy. This application doesn’t require a database on boot but many applications do.

$ abx db/create hello-kitchen-sink
$ abx psql -U acrobox -c 'CREATE TABLE data ( id SERIAL PRIMARY KEY )' hello-kitchen-sink

Now we’re ready to deploy.

$ abx deploy hello-kitchen-sink

If everything went as expected, you should have a working app! This very basic application prints the current value from a Redis key and the number of records in a Postgres table, or plain text errors if encountered.

$ curl

The response will always be the same. We can remedy this by adding a task to increment a Redis key value and another task to add a record in a Postgres table.

$ abx add -t "every 10 seconds" demo-incr hello-kitchen-sink incr
$ abx add -t "every 15 seconds" demo-touch hello-kitchen-sink touch

See abx help add and abx help tasks for more information.

Now if we wait some time, we can see that background tasks are running.

$ curl

If the counts are getting too high for our liking, we can trigger a reset.

$ abx reload demo

Now that we have a general idea of the abx workflow, we can clean up everything we created and move on to other projects.

$ abx remove demo
$ abx remove demo-incr
$ abx remove demo-touch
$ abx db/destroy hello-kitchen-sink
$ abx redis-cli del hello-kitchen-sink
$ abx ssh docker rmi hello-kitchen-sink