Bootstrap / install

There are a few different ways to bootstrap freckles. Depending on the state of your box, your proficiency and your general trust in random people on the internet, you can choose one of the methods below.

Bootstrap & execution in one go (“inaugurate”)

The main way of bootstrapping freckles is by utilizing inaugurate, a thing I wrote for freckles but decided to make into it’s own project because I figured it might be worth a shot creating a sort of ‘generic bootstrap script’.

For how it exactly works, and why you should or should not trust it, head over to it’s homepage. This method of bootstrapping is the easiest, and fricktionlessest. One of the main reasons for creating freckles was that I wanted a way to setup a new box (physical or virtual) by executing only one (easy to remember) line on a commandline terminal. inaugurate provides that functionality.

Supported platforms

Those are the platforms I have tested so far, others might very well work too. I did my development mainly on Debian-based systems, so other Linux distributions might not (yet) be up to scratch:

  • Linux
    • Debian
      • Stretch
      • Jessie
    • Ubuntu
      • 17.04
      • 16.10
      • 16.04
    • CentOS
      • 7
  • Mac OS X
    • El Capitan
    • Sierra
  • Windows
    • Windows 10 (Ubuntu subsystem) – not tested/working yet


inaugurate supports two modes of install: either using user, or using root permissions. Although both methods achieve the same result, they go about it a bit differently. Both methods are explained in detail further below.

In this initial example we’ll bootstrap freckles using user permissions, and then execute it directly, calling its help function. When used in anger, you’ll probably point it to a freckle git repo, and let it do its thing directly, but for the purpose of this we’ll not let it make any changes to our system (except for the install itself, obviously).

Here’s the (base) command you’ll have to execute to bootstrap & execute freckles. If you want to execute freckles sister programm frecklecute instead, just replace freckles with frecklecute below and it’ll work the same way.

curl | bash -s -- freckles --help

Or, if you don’t have curl, but wget installed on your box:

wget -O - | bash -s -- freckles --help

Once you executed either one of the above commands successfully, you’ll have freckles installed on your system. It’ll have put a line in ~/.profile to add it’s path to the session PATH, so the next time you login (or do a source ~/.profile) it’ll be available. From then on all you need to type is:

freckles --help

Below a few more details on the two ways of bootstrapping freckles using inaugurate:

inaugurate (without elevated permissions)

This is the default way of bootstrapping freckles. It will create a self-contained installation (under $HOME/.local/inaugurate/), using conda to install requirements and create its working environment.


Using curl:

curl | bash -s -- freckles <args>

Using wget:

wget -O - | bash -s -- freckles <args>

The install process can be influenced with environment variables, more details can be found in the inaugurate documentation.

What does this do?

This installs the conda package manager (miniconda actually). Then it creates a conda environment called ‘inaugurate’, into which freckles along with its dependencies is installed.

Everything that is installed (about 450mb of stuff) is put into the $HOME/.local/inaugurate/conda/envs/inaugurate folder, which can be deleted without affecting anything else (except you did install some other applications using conda, those might be deleted too).

A line will be added to $HOME/.profile to add $HOME/.local/bin to the users $PATH environment variable.

Inaugurate (with elevated permissions)

This is a quicker (and leaner) way to bootstrap freckles, as ‘normal’ distribution packages are used to install dependencies. The size of the $HOME/.local/inaugurate folder will be smaller, ~70mb – systems packages are adding to that in other parts of the system though. The freckles install itself is done in a virtualenv using pip. Root permissions are required.


Using curl:

curl | sudo bash -s -- freckles <args>

Using wget:

wget -O - | sudo bash -s -- freckles <args>

The install process can be influenced with environment variables, more details can be found in the inaugurate documentation.

What does this do?

This installs all the requirements that are needed to create a Python virtualenv for freckles. What exactly those requirements are differs depending on the OS/Distribution that is used (check the Install manually via pip section for details). Then a Python virtual environment is created in $HOME/.local/inaugurate/virtualenvs/inaugurate into which freckles and all its requirements are installed (~70mb).

A line will be added to $HOME/.profile to add $HOME/.local/bin to the users $PATH environment variable.

Install manually via pip

If you prefer to install freckles from pypi yourself, you’ll have to install a few system packages, mostly to be able to install the pycrypto and cryptography packages when doing the pip install.



apt install build-essential git python-dev python-virtualenv libssl-dev libffi-dev stow


yum install epel-release wget git python-virtualenv stow openssl-devel stow gcc libffi-devel python-devel openssl-devel


We need Xcode. Either install it from the app store, or do something like:

touch /tmp/;
PROD=$(softwareupdate -l |
       grep "\*.*Command Line" |
       head -n 1 | awk -F"*" '{print $2}' |
       sed -e 's/^ *//' |
       tr -d '\n');
softwareupdate -i "$PROD" -v;

We also need to manually install pip:

sudo easy_install pip

Install freckles

Ideally, you’ll install freckles into its own virtualenv. But if you read this you’ll (hopefully) know how to do that. Here’s how to install it system-wide (which I haven’t tested, to be honest, so let me know if that doesn’t work)

sudo pip install --upgrade pip   # just to make sure
sudo pip install freckles

Optionally, if necessary (if you didn’t do a systemwide install) add freckles to your PATH. for example, add something like the following to your .profile file (obviously, use the location you installed freckles into, not the one I show here):

if [ -e "$HOME/.virtualenvs/freckles/bin" ]; then export PATH="$HOME/.virtualenvs/freckles/bin:$PATH"; fi

Install using an Ansible installation

Another option is to install Ansible following their instructions:

Then, after that is done, install the freckles python package via pip in either a virtualenv, or system-wide.