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A guide to self-hosting CRBT


CRBT isn't fully ready to be self-hosted, with a few config variables missing and the CRBT branding being all over the place. Note that this guide isn't fully complete yet, but should be enough given some basic computer knowledge.

Want to run your own instance of CRBT, under a different branding, with your own commands, or for another reason? This guide is for you!

What is CRBT?

CRBT is the Discord app you need for server management, moderation, adding interactivity and fun to your server! You can learn more about it on CRBT's website.

Create your Discord bot

Detailed steps on how to create your Discord bot can be found in a dedicated article.

  1. Go to your Discord Developer Portal.
  2. Click "New Application" on the top right hand corner.
  3. Name it something, accept the Developer Policies and click "Create".
  4. Navigate to the "Bot" tab and click "Add Bot".
  5. Confirm with "Yes, do it!".
  6. Copy your bot's token and store it somewhere safe like a password manager.

Install Node.js

CRBT is written in the web language JavaScript, but it isn't meant to be run on a web browser. Node.js is a desktop JavaScript runtime environment that lets us develop and build the bot.

To install it, head over to the Node.js download page and choose your OS.


Always prefer the latest LTS version of Node.js, unless you know what you're doing!

Clone CRBT

  1. Download the source code from CRBT's GitHub page by clicking on "Code" then "Download ZIP": Screenshot of the CRBT GitHub page, with stepped instructions on how to download the source code. 1: Click on the green button labeled "Code", then click on the "Download ZIP" button in the dropdown menu.

  2. Extract the ZIP file in your file manager, then go inside of the newly created folder. Your folder should look like this: Screenshot of Windows' File Explorer showing the contents of the CRBT project when freshly unzipped. b

Set up a database

CRBT uses [Prisma]( to connect with a remote database, meaning you can set it up pretty much any SQL or MongoDB database.

It is a necessary component that you will need to set up for your bot to work properly.

If you don't know where to start, view how to quickly set up a Supabase instance and configure it with CRBT.

Add environment variables

  1. Create a file named .env and open it with a text editor program, such as Notepad.
  2. Paste in this environment variables example and edit it according to the comments (lines starting with #):
# Paste the bot token you copied earlier in place of YOUR_BOT_TOKEN

# Paste the URL to your database in place of YOUR_DATABASE_URL.
# For example, a PostgreSQL URL should look like `postgres://postgres:[PASSWORD]@[URL]:[PORT]/postgres`
  1. Save the file and breathe for 5 seconds. You went through a lot.

Run your bot

  1. Open the Terminal:
  • Windows: From your CRBT folder, right click an empty spot and select "Open in Terminal".
  • Other: Open your terminal app, and type cd followed by the path to your CRBT folder.
  1. Make sure that Node.js is installed by typing node -v. Check if it prints out the version you installed earlier. Screenshot of a Windows Terminal window. The "node -v" command is used and returns the version number.

If this command fails, you may need to reinstall Node.js with these instructions.

  1. Run the npm install command to install all of the dependencies.
  2. Finally, run npm run dev. If everything is set up properly, the terminal should print "Logged in as {your bot name}" as the last line. Screenshot of a terminal window printing "Logged in as {your bot name}"
  3. You're all set!

Add your bot to your server

  1. Go back to your application's Discord Developer Portal page
  2. Navigate to the "OAuth2" tab, and head to "URL Generator"
  3. Check the "bot" and "applications.commands" scopes. Screenshot of the Discord Developer Portal, showing the "bot" and "applications.commands" checkboxes checked
  4. Click "Copy" and navigate to the copied URL.
  5. Choose a server to add your bot to, then click "Authorize". Screenshot of a Discord window prompting to add an external application to a server
  6. You are done! You can now type /help in any channel and get the same embed as CRBT's!