Fossil as a Windows Service

Fossil as a Windows Service

If you need Fossil to start automatically on Windows, it is suggested to install Fossil as a Windows Service.


  1. You have Administrative access to a Windows 2012r2 or above server.
  2. You have PowerShell 5.1 or above installed.

Place Fossil on Server

However you obtained your copy of Fossil, it is recommended that you follow Windows conventions and place it within \Program Files (x86)\FossilSCM. Since Fossil is a 32bit binary, this is the proper location for the executable. This way Fossil is in an expected location and you will have minimal issues with Windows interfering in your ability to run Fossil as a service. You will need Administrative rights to place fossil at the recommended location. You do NOT need to add this location to the path, though you may do so if you wish.

Make Fossil a Windows Service

Luckily the hard work to use Fossil as a Windows Service has been done by the Fossil team. We simply have to install it with the proper command line options. As of Fossil 2.9 the built in fossil winsrv command is failing, so an alternative service install using PowerShell is documented here. The below should all be entered as a single line in an Administrative PowerShell console.

New-Service -Name fossil -DisplayName fossil -BinaryPathName '"C:\Program Files (x86)\FossilSCM\fossil.exe"
server --port 8080 --repolist "D:/Path/to/Repos"' -StartupType Automatic

Please note the use of forward slashes in the paths passed to Fossil. Windows will accept either back slashes or forward slashes in path names, but Fossil has a preference for forward slashes. The use of --repolist will make this a multiple repository server. If you want to serve only a single repository, then leave off the --repolist parameter and provide the full path to the proper repository file. Other options are listed in the fossil server documentation.

The service will be installed by default to use the Local Service account. Since Fossil only needs access to local files, this is fine and causes no issues. The service will not be running once installed. You will need to start it to proceed (the -StartupType Automatic parameter to New-Service will result in the service auto-starting on boot). This can be done by entering

Start-Service -Name fossil

in the PowerShell console.

Congratulations, you now have a base http accessible Fossil server running on Windows.

Return to the top-level Fossil server article.