When building mobile app, andriod or IOS, where to save the data is frustrated, building the whole API backend sometime seems overkill for a small application. Parse used to be one of the best Baas, but facebook has brought it and shut it down, shame!

Now since the parse-server has become open source for a while, so in this article, I will discuss how to install parse-server in your own server.


Install node/npm, in my case, I used node8 in this example.

npm install -g parse-server mongodb-runner pm2
mongodb-runner start

This will download the mongodb and start it automatically.

git clone
cd parse-server-example

Use the example code to setup parse-server with express, it’s simple to use pm2 to manage all npm processes.

pm2 start index.js

Now we will have a parse-server running on our server, good enough to use as backend service. We can test by curl post and get.

Install Parse Dashboard

Sometimes it will need a dashbaord to view/edit data in a console, parse-dashboard is good for that purpose.

npm install parse-dashboard dotenv -save

My final package.json is like this:

  "name": "parse-server-example",
  "version": "1.4.0",
  "description": "An example Parse API server using the parse-server module",
  "main": "index.js",
  "repository": {
    "type": "git",
    "url": ""
  "license": "MIT",
  "dependencies": {
    "dotenv": "^5.0.1",
    "express": "~4.11.x",
    "kerberos": "~0.0.x",
    "parse": "~1.8.0",
    "parse-dashboard": "^1.2.0",
    "parse-server": "*"
  "scripts": {
    "start": "node index.js"
  "engines": {
    "node": ">=4.3"

my .env :


default port for parse is 1337, you can change to others if you want;

Open the firewall rule for port 1337

The last step:

vim index.js

on the top of the file, add:

var ParseDashboard = require('parse-dashboard');

on the bottom of the file, add:

var dashboard = new ParseDashboard({
  "apps": [{
    "serverURL": process.env.SERVER_URL,
    "appId": "alba",
    "masterKey": process.env.MASTER_KEY || 'masterkey',
    "appName": "My Cool App",
    "supportedPushLocales": ["en"]
  "users": [{
    "user": "admin",
    "pass": "$2a$10$6A4FbxSfHh2WonKClgBceeDRLcyqfsnegj0HuXG.9M7Qk4izAonG2", // the encripted hash for 'admin'
    "apps": [{"appId": "alba"}]
  "useEncryptedPasswords": true // or set to false, use plain password

app.use('/dashboard', dashboard);

Lets Encript the domin

Now when open SERVER_URL/dashbaord, it will open the dashboard, but you will see a big warning message, you need https to enable the full features. How to set up lets encript for you domain

Enjoy you parse-server and parse-dashboard.