9 releases

0.3.1 Apr 23, 2024
0.3.0 Apr 9, 2024
0.2.4 Jan 23, 2024
0.2.2 Oct 25, 2023
0.1.1 Jul 29, 2022

#123 in Web programming

Download history 162/week @ 2024-03-13 3/week @ 2024-03-27 81/week @ 2024-04-03 50/week @ 2024-04-10 94/week @ 2024-04-17 40/week @ 2024-04-24

558 downloads per month

MIT license

3.5K SLoC


Shurly, this is a URL shortener with API management


  • Management of destinations through a REST'ish API
  • Permanent/temporary redirects; permanent redirect can not be changed after creation
  • Add notes to destinations to keep track of where destinations are being used
  • Track all hits on destinations, with user agent and ip addres (if possible)
  • Audit log for all creative/destructive management actions

Quick usage

# Create destination
curl -v -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    -H 'Authorization: Bearer tokentokentoken' \
    -d '{ "slug": "the-one", "url": "https://www.example.com/" }' \

# The redirect
curl -v http://localhost:7000/the-one

# Response:
# < HTTP/2 307
# < Location: https://www.example.com/

Getting started

Setup PostgreSQL database

An extra requirement is needed to actually run Shurly with a database, that is an actual database. This can be setup separately, or the Docker Compose setup can be used, which will run a PostgreSQL server container. In the end, Shurly needs a a valid DATABASE_URL to be available.

There are a couple of ways to run this, all depending on your preference:

Shurly can be directly installed with cargo install shurly, this will place a shurly binary in your path (if the Cargo installation directly is in your PATH).

Building it yourself is also possible, of course, there are a couple more options. To start, you need to clone the repo.

git clone git@github.com:workplacebuddy/shurley.git

Then it's only a cargo run away. If Docker has your preference, then building it is also possible.

docker build --tag shurly .

Running it is the same as for all Docker container.

docker run --rm --interactive --tty --publish 7000:7000 shurly .

# for short
docker run --rm -it -p 7000:7000 shurly .


Shurly has a very simple REST'ish interface to management the destinations and its properties.

The root

Everything that is not matched by an API route will be handled by the root as a fallback, this root will look up a destination based on its path and will either redirect to that destination or show a 404.

Redirects are done based on the isPermanent property of a destination; Permanent redirects are done with the 308 (Permanent Redirect) status code and the temporary redirect uses the 307 (Temporary Redirect) redirect. Both will set the Location header to the associated URL.


Only authorized users can manage destinations and need to get a token to access the other API endpoints.

curl -v -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    -d '{ "username": "admin", "password": "verysecret" }' \

# < { "data": { "type": "Bearer", "access_token": "some token" } }

To create destinations the /api/destinations URL can be posted to with a payload to describe what needs to happen when.

curl -v -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    -H 'Authorization: Bearer tokentokentoken' \
    -d '{ "slug": "some-easy-name", "url": "https://www.example.com/" }' \

# < { "data": { "id": "<uuid>", "slug": "some-easy-name" ... } }

Optionally you can send the isPermanent property, to indicate what kind of redirect should be used. Permanent redirects can not be changed after they are created.

Updating a destination happens in the same fashion.

curl -v XPATCH -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    -H 'Authorization: Bearer tokentokentoken' \
    -d '{ "url": "https://www.example.com/", "isPermanent": true }' \

# < { "data": { "id": "<uuid>", "slug": "some-easy-name" ... } }

The slug can not be changed after creation. Changing the isPermanent flag to true is possible, not the other way around. When isPermanent is true, updating the url will fail.

To remove the destination, a DELETE endpoint is available.

curl -v XDELETE \
    -H 'Authorization: Bearer tokentokentoken' \

This will soft-delete the destination; creating a new destination with the same slug is not possible: creativity is key.

There are a bunch more interactions available, but this should get you going.

# Directly with Cargo
cargo install shurly

# Run locally
cargo run

# Docker build (running is the same)
docker build --tag shurly .

A simple docker compose up will get you started. Use docker compose up --build to rebuild the Shurly image.

The Docker Compose setup also runs the Docker version of Shurly, this might not be ideal for fast development iterations. Docker Compose provides the option to only run a single container of the setup.

# `the-data` is the name of the PostgreSQL service
docker compose up the-data

When running it without Docker, there needs to be a DATABASE_URL environment variable.

Pre-built Docker images

For those who like to use Docker, but don't want to go through the hassle of building the images; pre-built images are available:


When running with the defaults, missing configuration has a sane default oris automatically generated. For development this is fine, but running it in production has a different set of requirements. All configuration is done through environment variables.

Setup logging

tracing is used for all logging (optional)


Encoding secrets

Secret for encoding JWT tokens, make sure this is long enough (optional, default: some random string)


Database connection

Connection string for PostgreSQL server. When running the Docker Compose setup this will be provided.


The actual server

To communicate with the outside world, Shurly needs to bind to an address to accept connections.

# Address for Shurly to bind to

# Override just the port to run Shurly on

Initial user credentials

On the first run there is a user created with some randomly generated credentials; These credentials are displayed in the server log. The initial credentials can be changed with the INITIAL_USERNAME and INITIAL_PASSWORD environment variables. When using these variables, they will not be output to the log.

  • INITIAL_USERNAME: Username of the first user for the first run (optional, default: some UUIDv4)
  • INITIAL_PASSWORD: Password of the first user for the first run (optional, default: something random)

The environment variables can be set in a .env file, see .env.default for an example.

PostgreSQL database migrations

Shurly uses SQLx for all PostgreSQL database interactions, migrations are run automatically on start up.

The migration files can be found in ./migrations and are sorted on filename.


Working with migrations can be a bit of a hassle, the project does not build properly without a valid database connection and the right schema. The Docker image uses the SQLX_OFFLINE=true environment variable to use the cached data inside the sqlx-data.json file. Running a compiled version of Shurly will automatically run the migrations -- getting it compiled is the trick :)

Using the SQLx CLI adds a couple of nicities to work with migrations.

  • Install with: cargo install sqlx-cli, or with other options.
  • Make sure the DATABASE_URL environment variable is set
  • To start: cargo sqlx migrate run
  • To revert: cargo sqlx migrate revert

Rust version

Shurly is tested on Rust version 1.65, stable and beta. The Docker images are created with the rust:1.65-slim base image.

Things to to (maybe)

  • Endpoints to expose some statistics, data is already captured
  • Track incoming parameters in hits, maybe?
  • Add aliases for destinations, so hits count for the original
  • A somewhat attractive 404 page, or a default destination?
  • Description of all the API endpoints
  • Run tests on an actual database

And, don't call me Shirly.


~1.5M SLoC