Customizing and Creating Derivative Applications

This document outlines how to develop applications derived from big-AGI.

Manual Customization

Application customization requires manual code modifications or the use of environment variables. Currently, there is no admin panel to "managed" deployment customization for enterprise use cases.

Required Code AlterationNot Required
- Persona changes- UI theme customization- Feature additions or modifications- Setting API keys in environment variables- Toggling features with environment variables
Apply these to the source code before building the applicationSet these post-build on local machines or cloud deployment, before application launch

Code Alterations

Start by creating a fork of the big-AGI repository on GitHub for a personal development space. Understand the Architecture: big-AGI uses Next.js, React for the front end, and Node.js (Next.js edge functions) for the back end.

Add Authentication

This necessitates a code change (file renaming) before build initiation, detailed in

Increase Vercel Functions Timeout

For long-running operations, Vercel allows paid deployments to increase the timeout on Functions. Note that this applies to old-style Vercel Functions (based on Node.js) and not the new Edge Functions.

At time of writing, big-AGI has only 2 operations that run on Node.js Functions: browsing (fetching web pages) and sharing. They both can exceed 10 seconds, especially when fetching large pages or waiting for websites to be completed.

We provide vercel_PRODUCTION.json to raise the duration to 25 seconds (from a default of 10), to use it, make sure to rename it to vercel.json before build.

From the Vercel Project > Settings > General > Build & Development Settings, you can for instance set the build command to:

mv vercel_PRODUCTION.json vercel.json; next build

Change the Personas

Edit the src/data.ts file to customize personas. This file houses the default personas. You can add, remove, or modify these to meet your project's needs.

  • Modify src/data.ts to alter default personas

Change the UI

Adapt the UI to match your project's aesthetic, incorporate new features, or exclude unnecessary ones.

  • Adjust src/common/app.theme.ts for theme changes: colors, spacing, button appearance, animations, etc
  • Modify src/common/app.config.tsx to alter the application's name
  • Update src/common/app.nav.tsx to revise the navigation bar

Testing & Deployment

Test your application thoroughly using local development (refer to for local build instructions). Deploy using your preferred hosting service. big-AGI supports deployment on platforms like Vercel, Docker, or any Node.js-compatible service, especially those supporting NextJS's "Edge Runtime."


We introduced the /info/debug page that provides a detailed overview of the application's environment, including the API keys, environment variables, and other configuration settings.

Community Projects - Share Your Project

After deployment, share your project with the community. We will link to your project to help others discover and learn from your work.

🚀 CoolAGI: Where AI meets ImaginationCoolAGI LogoCode Interpreter, Vision, Mind maps, Web Searches, Advanced Data Analytics, Large Data Handling and more!nextgen-user/CoolAGI
HL-GPTFully remodeled UIharlanlewis/nextjs-chatgpt-app

For public projects, update your with your modifications and submit a pull request to add your project to our list, aiding in its discovery.

Best Practices

  • Stay Updated: Frequently merge updates from the main big-AGI repository to incorporate bug fixes and new features.
  • Keep It Open Source: Consider maintaining your derivative as open source to foster community contributions.
  • Engage with the Community: Leverage platforms like GitHub, Discord, or Reddit for feedback, collaboration, and project promotion.

Developing a derivative application is an opportunity to explore new possibilities with AI and share your innovations with the global community. We look forward to seeing your contributions.