Install Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8

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In this guide, you will learn how to install Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8. Gophish is a powerful open-source phishing framework that enables organizations to quickly and easily setup and execute phishing engagements and security awareness training.

When a phishing campaign is launched, Gophish updates the results automatically. Using the UI, you can view a timeline for each recipient, tracking email opens, link clicks, submitted credentials, etc.

Install Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8

Installing Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8 is one easy step. There are two approaches though that you can use in this case:

  • Installing Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8 using OS-specific binary
  • Building Gophish from source.

Install Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8 Using Linux Binary

Download Gophish

Download Gophish pre-built binary for Linux from the releases page.

The current release version as of this writing is v0.12.1. Thus, replace the value of the VER below with the current release version number.


Install Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8 Using Linux Binary

Once you get Gophish zipped binary file, you need to unzip it to get the binary itself.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install zip

You can unzip the binary to /opt/gophish directory, which will act as the installation directory for Gophish.

sudo unzip gophish-v${VER} -d /opt/gophish

The Gophish installer is now located under /opt/gophish.

ls -1 /opt/gophish

Install Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8 from Source

If you want, you can also build Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8 from source.

Install go and C compiler on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8

To go this route, you need go installed.

Download go archive from downloads page.


Remove previus Go installation and install current Go;

sudo rm -rf /usr/local/go && sudo tar -C /usr/local -xzf go1.21.1.linux-amd64.tar.gz

Add /usr/local/go/bin to the PATH environment variable;

sudo sed -i 's#"$#:/usr/local/go/bin"#' /etc/environment
source /etc/environment

Install C compiler;

sudo apt install gcc

Similary, update sudoers file with Go path;

sudo su -
visudo -f /etc/sudoers

Change line below;

Defaults        secure_path="/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/snap/bin"


Defaults        secure_path="/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/snap/bin:/usr/local/go/bin"

Save and exit the sudoers file.

Check if the sudeors syntax is okay.

visudo -c -f /etc/sudoers

Ensure everything is Okay;

/etc/sudoers: parsed OK
/etc/sudoers.d/README: parsed OK

Exit from root!


Installing Gophish from Source

Install git package;

sudo apt install git

Navigate to /opt directorym clone Gophish Github repo and install it;

cd /opt/
sudo git clone
cd gophish
sudo go build

Once the build is done, you will have a gophish binary in the /opt/gophish directory.

Run Gophish

Now that the installation of Gophish is done, we can run it and begin phishing campaigns.

Stop and disable Apache if it is installed and running;

sudo systemctl stop apache2
sudo systemctl mask apache2

Update the permissions of the Gophish configuration file;

sudo chmod 0640 /opt/gophish/config.json

Start Gophish by navigating to the install directory and run the gophish binary as follows;

cd /opt/gophish
sudo chmod +x gophish
sudo ./gophish
time="2023-09-11T10:39:13Z" level=warning msg="No contact address has been configured."
time="2023-09-11T10:39:13Z" level=warning msg="Please consider adding a contact_address entry in your config.json"
goose: migrating db environment 'production', current version: 0, target: 20220321133237
OK    20160118194630_init.sql
OK    20160131153104_0.1.2_add_event_details.sql
OK    20160211211220_0.1.2_add_ignore_cert_errors.sql
OK    20160217211342_0.1.2_create_from_col_results.sql
OK    20160225173824_0.1.2_capture_credentials.sql
OK    20160227180335_0.1.2_store-smtp-settings.sql
OK    20160317214457_0.2_redirect_url.sql
OK    20160605210903_0.2_campaign_scheduling.sql
OK    20170104220731_0.2_result_statuses.sql
OK    20170219122503_0.2.1_email_headers.sql
OK    20170827141312_0.4_utc_dates.sql
OK    20171027213457_0.4.1_maillogs.sql
OK    20171208201932_0.4.1_next_send_date.sql
OK    20180223101813_0.5.1_user_reporting.sql
OK    20180524203752_0.7.0_result_last_modified.sql
OK    20180527213648_0.7.0_store_email_request.sql
OK    20180830215615_0.7.0_send_by_date.sql
OK    20190105192341_0.8.0_rbac.sql
OK    20191104103306_0.9.0_create_webhooks.sql
OK    20200116000000_0.9.0_imap.sql
OK    20200619000000_0.11.0_password_policy.sql
OK    20200730000000_0.11.0_imap_ignore_cert_errors.sql
OK    20200914000000_0.11.0_last_login.sql
OK    20201201000000_0.11.0_account_locked.sql
OK    20220321133237_0.4.1_envelope_sender.sql
time="2023-09-11T10:39:18Z" level=info msg="Please login with the username admin and the password 7b2d83385a318596"
time="2023-09-11T10:39:18Z" level=info msg="Creating new self-signed certificates for administration interface"
time="2023-09-11T10:39:18Z" level=info msg="Starting IMAP monitor manager"
time="2023-09-11T10:39:18Z" level=info msg="Starting new IMAP monitor for user admin"
time="2023-09-11T10:39:18Z" level=info msg="Starting phishing server at"
time="2023-09-11T10:39:18Z" level=info msg="Background Worker Started Successfully - Waiting for Campaigns"
time="2023-09-11T10:39:18Z" level=info msg="TLS Certificate Generation complete"
time="2023-09-11T10:39:18Z" level=info msg="Starting admin server at"

If you need to free the terminal, send Gophish to the background

sudo ./gophish &

If you want to bring the process to foreground, simply run the command below on the terminal;


Accessing Gophish Admin Server Web Interface

You can verify that Gophish admin server is listening on tcp port 3333 on localhost using netstat command.

netstat -al | grep 3333
tcp        0      0 localhost:3333*               LISTEN     
tcp        0      0 localhost:3333          localhost:55844         TIME_WAIT

Gophish admin server is set to listen on localhost tcp port 3333 by default and hence can be accessed via https://localhost:3333.

If you are accessing Gophish admin from a remote system, then you can do SSH port forwarding if Gophis is running locally.

You can as well reconfigure Gophish admin server to listen on all interfaces or just a specific interface.

To perform a local SSH port forwarding, run the command below on your host machine.

In this example, is the IP of the Gophish admin server.

ssh -N -L 3333: [email protected]

To explicitly configure Gophish admin server to listen on an interface IP, edit the config.json file on the installation folder, /opt/gophish, in this case and substitute the loopback IP, with an interface IP as shown below.

sudo vim /opt/gophish/config.json
    "admin_server": {
            "listen_url": "",
            "use_tls": true,
            "cert_path": "gophish_admin.crt",
            "key_path": "gophish_admin.key"

Save the changes and run gophish binary;

cd /opt/gophish
sudo ./gophish

If UFW is running, allow remote access to Gophish.

ufw allow 3333/tcp

You can then access Gophish web UI using the address,

The login credentials for Gophish are printed out in the Gophish start command;

time="2023-09-11T10:50:08Z" level=info msg="Please login with the username admin and the password 8476fbfad08cd1cb"
Install Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8

You will then be prompted to reset your password. Reset and proceed to login to Gophish dashboard.

Login to Gophish dashboard.

Install Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8

That is the default Gophish dashboard. In our next guide, we will learn how to create phishing campaigns.

Accessing Gophish Phish Server

You can check if you can access Gophish phish server using the address http[s]://server-IP-or-domain.

If you get “404 page not found“, it confirms Phish server is okay. If you have an active campaign. add RID to your address, http[s]://server-IP-or-domain/?rid=xxxxxxxx.

Run Gophish as Systemd service

To run Gophish as a systemd service, you need to create the service unit configuration file.

In this guide, we are going to create a systemd service configuration file.

To run Gophish as a service, you need to create a non-privileged user used to run the service.

sudo useradd -r gophish -M -d /opt/gophish/

Next, create a Gophish systemd service configuration with the following content.

sudo vim /etc/systemd/system/gophish.service
Description=Gophish, an open-source phishing toolkit

ExecStart=/bin/sh -c "/opt/gophish/gophish >>${STDOUT} 2>>${STDERR}"


Next, create the log directory.

sudo mkdir /var/log/gophish

Set the proper ownership for the Gophish installation as well as the log directory.

sudo chown -R gophish:gophish /opt/gophish/ /var/log/gophish/

Give Gophish binary capabilities to open port 80

sudo setcap cap_net_bind_service=+ep /opt/gophish/gophish

Reload Systemd Configurations

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Start and enable Gophish service to run on system boot.

sudo systemctl enable --now gophish

Check Gophish service status

sudo systemctl status gophish
● gophish.service - Gophish, an open-source phishing toolkit
     Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/gophish.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Mon 2023-09-11 11:13:36 UTC; 2s ago
   Main PID: 3727 (sh)
      Tasks: 6 (limit: 2219)
     Memory: 5.1M
        CPU: 15ms
     CGroup: /system.slice/gophish.service
             ├─3727 /bin/sh -c "/opt/gophish/gophish >>/var/log/gophish/gophish.log 2>>/var/log/gophish/gophish.log"
             └─3728 /opt/gophish/gophish

Sep 11 11:13:36 bionic systemd[1]: Started Gophish, an open-source phishing toolkit.

Configure Gophish with MariaDB/MySQL Database

Gophish uses SQLite database by default. While it is simple and lightweight, MariaDB/MySQL will give you more scalability and performance features as compared to SQLite. Hence, you might want to consider using MariaDB/MySQL database.

So, if you want to configure Gophish to use MariaDB instead, how can you go about it?

Install MariaDB/MySQL on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8

Install MariaDB/MySQL on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8;

How to install MariaDB

How to install MySQL

We are using MariaDB in this guide. Steps should be same, either way!

Create Gophish Database and Database User

Login to the MariaDB/MySQL server using the command line or a database management tool such as phpMyAdmin. Once logged in, execute the following commands to create a new database and a user for Gophish:

CREATE USER 'gophishuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON gophish.* TO 'gophishuser'@'localhost';

Replace Database name, ‘gophish‘, the user, ‘gophishuser‘ and the password, ‘password‘ with a strong password for the Gophish user.

Configure Gophish with MariaDB/MySQL

To configure Gophish to use MariaDB/MySQL, open the configuration file located at /opt/gophish/config.json using a text editor.

sudo vim /opt/gophish/config.json

Find the “db_name” and “db_path”;

        "db_name": "sqlite3",
        "db_path": "gophish.db",

And update with the appropriate values. The format for the db_path entry is username:password@(host:port)/database?charset=utf8&parseTime=True&loc=UTC.

        "db_name": "mysql",
        "db_path": "gophishuser:password@(localhost:3306)/gophish?charset=utf8&parseTime=True&loc=UTC",

Save the changes and exit the text editor.

Restart Gophish

Finally, restart the Gophish service for the changes to take effect:

sudo systemctl restart gophish

Gophish will now be configured to use the MariaDB/MySQL database.

● gophish.service - Gophish, an open-source phishing toolkit
     Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/gophish.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Mon 2023-09-11 15:54:56 UTC; 14s ago
   Main PID: 1548 (sh)
      Tasks: 5 (limit: 2219)
     Memory: 2.3M
        CPU: 10ms
     CGroup: /system.slice/gophish.service
             ├─1548 /bin/sh -c "/opt/gophish/gophish >>/var/log/gophish/gophish.log 2>>/var/log/gophish/gophish.log"
             └─1549 /opt/gophish/gophish

Sep 11 15:54:56 bionic systemd[1]: Started Gophish, an open-source phishing toolkit.

That’s it! You have successfully configured Gophish to use MariaDB/MySQL as the database backend.

Configure Gophish with HTTPS (SSL/TLS)

It is prudent to enable HTTPS connection for Gophish.

To proceed, ensure that you have SSL/TLS your certificates. We are using our Let’s Encrypt certificates in this guide.

sudo vim /opt/gophish/config.json

I will update this configuration;

        "admin_server": {
                "listen_url": "",
                "use_tls": true,
                "cert_path": "gophish_admin.crt",
                "key_path": "gophish_admin.key",
                "trusted_origins": []
        "phish_server": {
                "listen_url": "",
                "use_tls": false,
                "cert_path": "example.crt",
                "key_path": "example.key"


        "admin_server": {
                "listen_url": "",
                "use_tls": true,
                "cert_path": "/opt/gophish/ssl/fullchain.pem",
                "key_path": "/opt/gophish/ssl/privkey.pem",
                "trusted_origins": []
        "phish_server": {
                "listen_url": "",
                "use_tls": true,
                "cert_path": "/opt/gophish/ssl/fullchain.pem",
                "key_path": "/opt/gophish/ssl/privkey.pem"

We copied Let’s Encrypt ssl certs to /opt/gophish/ssl directory and set owner to gophish user;

ls -alh /opt/gophish/ssl/
total 20K
drwxr-xr-x 2 gophish gophish 4.0K Sep 11 16:36 .
drwxr-xr-x 6 gophish gophish 4.0K Sep 11 16:40 ..
-rw-r--r-- 1 gophish gophish 5.2K Sep 11 16:34 fullchain.pem
-rw------- 1 gophish gophish  241 Sep 11 16:36 privkey.pem

Finally, restart the Gophish service for the changes to take effect:

sudo systemctl restart gophish

Verify Gophish Admin server HTTPS connection.

Install Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8

Similarly, the Phish server https connection;

Install Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8

That marks the end of our tutorial on how to install Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8.

Further Reading: Gophish Documentations


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9 thoughts on “Install Gophish on Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9.8”

  1. Thank you for the great article which was incredibly useful. I do however have one issue in that when I start GoPhish as a service, port 80 works just fine but I cannot connect to port 3333 despite changing the listen URL to “”.

    Any assistance would be much appreciated!

  2. Many thanks for the great tutorial which has been a lifesaver. The only thing I have an issue with is that the admin port (3333) despite being active on all interfaces within the configuration and working just fine when run from the command line, will not work when configured as a service. The service starts fine, the logs show that everything apparently started ok and requests to port 80 are fine and logged but port 3333 remains closed.

    Any help would be gratefully received!

  3. I have a question? Does the gophish user you added need sudo privelages? I only ask because, when you start gophish without sudo (ie ” ./gophish “) you get an error saying sudo privelages are needed. I have gophish set up fine for outside usage. This tutorial was great. I am just hesitant to create a service. I am limited in my experience when i comes to setting up services.

    • No, the user used to run Gophish systemd service doesnt not require any sudo. it owns everything under /opt/gophish though.
      The user used for installation, is admin standard user account with sudo rights.


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