twins Gemini server

twins configuration

twins requires a configuration file to operate. It is loaded from
~/.config/twins/config.yaml by default. You may specify a different location
via the "--config" argument.


Address to listen for connections on in the format of interface:port.

Listen on all addresses (IPv4 and IPv6)


Listen on a specific address (IPv4 or IPv6) or "[2001:db8::1]:1965" (please note the quotes and brackets
for IPv6 addresses).

Listen on localhost (IPv4 only)



Content types may be defined by file extension. When a type is not defined for
the requested file extension, content type is detected automatically.


When enabled, clients accessing gemini pages via HTTPS will see links to images
as inline images.


Hosts are defined by their hostname followed by one or more paths to serve.

Paths may be defined as fixed strings or regular expressions (starting with "^").

Any path not matching a specific page, file name or file extension should end
in a trailing slash, signifying that it is a directory. Visitors are
automatically redirected when accessing a directory path without including a
trailing slash.

Paths are matched in the order they are defined.

When accessing a directory the file index.gemini or index.gmi is served.

When a host is defined with the name "default", other hosts and paths will use
those values as the default configuration. It is not currently possible to
enable an attribute by default and then disable it for individual paths.


A certificate and private key must be specified.

Self-signed domain certificate (recommended)

Use openssl to generate a certificate for a domain.

Replace and with your domain and subdomain.

openssl req -x509 -out localhost.crt -keyout localhost.key \
  -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -sha256 \
  -days 36500 \
  -subj '/CN=localhost' -extensions EXT -config <( \
   printf "[dn]\\n[req]\ndistinguished_name = dn\n[EXT]\,\nkeyUsage=digitalSignature\nextendedKeyUsage=serverAuth")

Self-signed localhost certificate

Use openssl to generate a certificate for localhost.

Some Gemini clients will not accept such a certificate when accessing a server via domain or subdomain.

openssl req -x509 -out localhost.crt -keyout localhost.key \
  -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -sha256 \
  -days 36500 \
  -subj '/CN=localhost' -extensions EXT -config <( \
   printf "[dn]\nCN=localhost\n[req]\ndistinguished_name = dn\n[EXT]\nsubjectAltName=DNS:localhost\nkeyUsage=digitalSignature\nextendedKeyUsage=serverAuth")

Signed certificate from Let's Encrypt

Use certbot to get a certificate from Let's Encrypt for a domain.


Let's Encrypt

certbot certonly --config-dir /home/www/certs \
  --work-dir /home/www/certs \  
  --logs-dir /home/www/certs \
  --webroot \
  -w /home/www/ \
  -d \

Provide the path to the certificate file at certs/live/$DOMAIN/fullchain.pem
and the private key file at certs/live/$DOMAIN/privkey.pem to twins.


Provide the path to a style sheet to serve instead of the default style sheet.

This option only applies when serving HTTPS connections.


Pages are also available via HTTPS on the same port by default.
Set this option to "true" to disable this feature.

Pages are converted automatically by gmitohtml.



The size of the response body is included in the media type header by default.
Set this option to "true" to disable this feature. See the proposals document
for more information.




One resource must be defined for each path.


Serve static files from specified root directory.


Serve output of system command.

When input is requested from the user, it is available as a pseudo-variable
$USERINPUT which does not require surrounding quotes. It may be used as an
argument to the command, otherwise user input is passed via standard input.


Forward requests to Gemini server at specified URL.

Use the pseudo-scheme gemini-insecure:// to disable certificate verification.


Redirect requests to specified path or URL.


Any number of attributes may be defined for a path.


Cache duration (in seconds). Set to "0" to disable caching entirely. This is an
out-of-spec feature. See the proposals document for for more information.



Forward requests to FastCGI server at specified address or path.

A "Root" attribute must also be specified.

Connect via Unix socket:


Connect via TCP:


FastCGI on Wikipedia


When enabled, hidden files and directories may be accessed. This attribute is
disabled by default.


Request text input from user.


Specifies content language. This is sent to clients via the MIME type "lang" parameter.


When enabled, directories without an index file will serve a list of their
contents. This attribute is disabled by default.


Path to log file. Requests are logged in Apache format, excluding IP address and query.

Apache log format


Request sensitive text input from the user. Text will not be shown as it is entered.


When enabled, symbolic links may be accessed. This attribute is disabled by default.


Content type is normally detected automatically. This attribute forces a
specific content type for a path.

End-of-line indicator

The Gemini protocol requires "\r\n" (CRLF) as the end-of-line indicator. This
convention is carried over from protocol specifications **first written in the
1970s**. This requirement is antithetic to the spirit of Gemini (to improve
upon the Finger and Gopher protocols), increasing the complexity of client and
server implementations unnecessarily.

In anticipation of an improvement to the Gemini specification, administrators
may configure twins to send standard "\n" (LF) line endings by setting
"SaneEOL" to "true".


Example config.yaml

# Address to listen on
listen: :1965

# Custom content types
  .json: application/json; charset=UTF-8
  .js: application/javascript; charset=UTF-8

# Hosts and paths to serve
  default: # Default host configuration
    paths: # Default path attributes
        lang: en
        log: /srv/log/gemini.log
        symlinks: true # Follow symbolic links
    cert: /srv/
    key: /srv/
    stylesheet: /srv/
        path: ^/.*\.php$
        root: /home/geminirocks/public_html
        fastcgi: unix:///var/run/php.sock
        path: /files/
        root: /home/geminirocks/files
        cache: 604800 # Cache for 1 week
        list: true # Enable directory listing
        path: ^/(help|info)/$
        root: /home/geminirocks/docs/help
        path: /proxy-example/
        proxy: gemini://localhost:1966
        path: /cmd-example
        command: uname -a
        cache: 0 # Do not cache
        path: /
        root: /home/geminirocks/public_html
    cert: /srv/
    key: /srv/
        path: /redir-path-example
        redirect: /other-resource
        path: /redir-url-example
        redirect: gemini://
        path: /
        root: /home/twins/public_html