There are several ways to install both the rekor-cli and rekor-server.

Using Go install

If you have Go installed, you can use Go to retrieve the rekor-cli binaries

go install -v

You may also do the same for rekor-server, but please note that the Rekor server also requires Trillian and a database. (see below for setup instructions).

go install -v

From the release page

Rekor releases are available on the Release page.

Releases are available for both rekor-server and rekor-cli.

Review Verifying Binaries for details on how to verify Rekor release binaries.

Build Rekor CLI manually

git clone rekor-cli
cd rekor-cli
make rekor-cli
cp rekor-cli /usr/local/bin/

Deploy a Rekor Server manually

There are a few ways you can deploy a Rekor Server:

  1. We have a docker-compose file available.
  2. Alternatively, you can build a Rekor server yourself.

Note: The Rekor server manually creates a new Merkle tree (or shard) in the Trillian backend every time it starts up, unless an existing one is specified in via the --trillian_log_server.tlog_id flag. If you are building the server yourself and do not need sharding functionality, you can find the existing tree’s TreeID by issuing this client command while the server is running:

CURRENT_TREE_ID=$(rekor-cli loginfo --format json | jq -r .TreeID)

Then pass in this TreeID at the next server startup to tell Rekor to use the same existing tree:

rekor-server serve --trillian_log_server.tlog_id=$CURRENT_TREE_ID

Setting this flag isn’t necessary in an environment like docker-compose.


You will need golang version 1.16 or greater and a $GOPATH set. You will also need a MySQL compatible database and, if you want to perform fast queries, an instance of redis running. Otherwise you must pass the --enable_retrieve_api=false flag when running rekor-server in the later steps of this page.

Get Rekor

Grab the Rekor source:

go get -u -t -v

Should you prefer, you can also git clone

Create database and populate tables

Rekor requires a database. We use MariaDB for now (others to be explored later). Install and set up MariaDB on your machine.

dnf install mariadb mariadb-server
systemctl start mariadb
systemctl enable mariadb

The Rekor directory has a scripts/ file that will set up a test database (default user: test; default password: zaphod) and populate the needed tables for Trillian. If you’re just trying out Rekor, keep the DB user name and password the same as in the script (test/zaphod). If you change these, you need to make the changes on Trillian’s side (visit the Trillian repo for details).

cd $GOPATH/pkg/mod/

Build Trillian

You also need to build Trillian, an append-only log:

go get -u -t -v
cd $GOPATH/src/
go build
cp trillian_log_server /usr/local/bin/

cd $GOPATH/src/
go build
cp trillian_log_signer /usr/local/bin/

cd $GOPATH/src/
go build
cp createtree /usr/local/bin/

Next, run the Trillian log server:

trillian_log_server --logtostderr ...

Run the signer:

trillian_log_signer --logtostderr --force_master --rpc_endpoint=localhost:8190 -http_endpoint=localhost:8191  --batch_size=1000 --sequencer_guard_window=0 --sequencer_interval=200ms

Note: you can log both to files and to stderr using --alsologtostderr

Create the tree:

createtree --admin_server=localhost:8090

Build the Rekor Server

With Trillian and MariaDB set up, you can now build the Rekor Server:

cd $GOPATH/pkg/mod/
go build -v -o rekor-server
cp rekor-server /usr/local/bin/

Start the Rekor Server

rekor-server serve --enable_retrieve_api=false

2020-09-12T16:32:22.705+0100  INFO  cmd/root.go:87  Using config file: /Users/lukehinds/go/src/
2020-09-12T16:32:22.705+0100  INFO  app/server.go:55  Starting server...
2020-09-12T16:32:22.705+0100  INFO  app/server.go:61  Listening on

If you have a redis server running to enable searching your Rekor server, remove the enable_reprieve_api flag

Next Steps

Congratulations! Your local Rekor server is now running. You can interact with it using the Rekor CLI.