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Installing on Linux using OTP releases

Pre-requisites

  • A machine running Linux with GNU (e.g. Debian, Ubuntu) or musl (e.g. Alpine) libc and x86_64, aarch64 or armv7l CPU, you have root access to. If you are not sure if it's compatible see Detecting flavour section below
  • A (sub)domain pointed to the machine

You will be running commands as root. If you aren't root already, please elevate your priviledges by executing sudo su/su.

While in theory OTP releases are possbile to install on any compatible machine, for the sake of simplicity this guide focuses only on Debian/Ubuntu and Alpine.

Detecting flavour

Paste the following into the shell:

arch="$(uname -m)";if [ "$arch" = "x86_64" ];then arch="amd64";elif [ "$arch" = "armv7l" ];then arch="arm";elif [ "$arch" = "aarch64" ];then arch="arm64";else echo "Unsupported arch: $arch">&2;fi;if getconf GNU_LIBC_VERSION>/dev/null;then libc_postfix="";elif [ "$(ldd 2>&1|head -c 9)" = "musl libc" ];then libc_postfix="-musl";elif [ "$(find /lib/libc.musl*|wc -l)" ];then libc_postfix="-musl";else echo "Unsupported libc">&2;fi;echo "$arch$libc_postfix"

If your platform is supported the output will contain the flavour string, you will need it later. If not, this just means that we don't build releases for your platform, you can still try installing from source.

Installing the required packages

Other than things bundled in the OTP release Pleroma depends on:

  • curl (to download the release build)
  • unzip (needed to unpack release builds)
  • ncurses (ERTS won't run without it)
  • PostgreSQL (also utilizes extensions in postgresql-contrib)
  • nginx (could be swapped with another reverse proxy but this guide covers only it)
  • certbot (for Let's Encrypt certificates, could be swapped with another ACME client, but this guide covers only it)
echo "http://nl.alpinelinux.org/alpine/latest-stable/community" >> /etc/apk/repositories
apk update
apk add curl unzip ncurses postgresql postgresql-contrib nginx certbot
apt install curl unzip libncurses5 postgresql postgresql-contrib nginx certbot

Setup

Configuring PostgreSQL

(Optional) Installing RUM indexes

Warning

It is recommended to use PostgreSQL v11 or newer. We have seen some minor issues with lower PostgreSQL versions.

RUM indexes are an alternative indexing scheme that is not included in PostgreSQL by default. You can read more about them on the Configuration page. They are completely optional and most of the time are not worth it, especially if you are running a single user instance (unless you absolutely need ordered search results).

apk add git build-base postgresql-dev
git clone https://github.com/postgrespro/rum /tmp/rum
cd /tmp/rum
make USE_PGXS=1
make USE_PGXS=1 install
cd
rm -r /tmp/rum
# Available only on Buster/19.04
apt install postgresql-11-rum

(Optional) Performance configuration

It is encouraged to check Optimizing your PostgreSQL performance document, for tips on PostgreSQL tuning.

rc-service postgresql restart
systemctl restart postgresql

If you are using PostgreSQL 12 or higher, add this to your Ecto database configuration

prepare: :named,
parameters: [
  plan_cache_mode: "force_custom_plan"
]

Installing Pleroma

# Create a Pleroma user
adduser --system --shell  /bin/false --home /opt/pleroma pleroma

# Set the flavour environment variable to the string you got in Detecting flavour section.
# For example if the flavour is `amd64-musl` the command will be
export FLAVOUR="amd64-musl"

# Clone the release build into a temporary directory and unpack it
su pleroma -s $SHELL -lc "
curl 'https://git.pleroma.social/api/v4/projects/2/jobs/artifacts/stable/download?job=$FLAVOUR' -o /tmp/pleroma.zip
unzip /tmp/pleroma.zip -d /tmp/
"

# Move the release to the home directory and delete temporary files
su pleroma -s $SHELL -lc "
mv /tmp/release/* /opt/pleroma
rmdir /tmp/release
rm /tmp/pleroma.zip
"
# Create uploads directory and set proper permissions (skip if planning to use a remote uploader)
# Note: It does not have to be `/var/lib/pleroma/uploads`, the config generator will ask about the upload directory later

mkdir -p /var/lib/pleroma/uploads
chown -R pleroma /var/lib/pleroma

# Create custom public files directory (custom emojis, frontend bundle overrides, robots.txt, etc.)
# Note: It does not have to be `/var/lib/pleroma/static`, the config generator will ask about the custom public files directory later
mkdir -p /var/lib/pleroma/static
chown -R pleroma /var/lib/pleroma

# Create a config directory
mkdir -p /etc/pleroma
chown -R pleroma /etc/pleroma

# Run the config generator
su pleroma -s $SHELL -lc "./bin/pleroma_ctl instance gen --output /etc/pleroma/config.exs --output-psql /tmp/setup_db.psql"

# Create the postgres database
su postgres -s $SHELL -lc "psql -f /tmp/setup_db.psql"

# Create the database schema
su pleroma -s $SHELL -lc "./bin/pleroma_ctl migrate"

# If you have installed RUM indexes uncommend and run
# su pleroma -s $SHELL -lc "./bin/pleroma_ctl migrate --migrations-path priv/repo/optional_migrations/rum_indexing/"

# Start the instance to verify that everything is working as expected
su pleroma -s $SHELL -lc "./bin/pleroma daemon"

# Wait for about 20 seconds and query the instance endpoint, if it shows your uri, name and email correctly, you are configured correctly
sleep 20 && curl http://localhost:4000/api/v1/instance

# Stop the instance
su pleroma -s $SHELL -lc "./bin/pleroma stop"

Setting up nginx and getting Let's Encrypt SSL certificaties

Get a Let's Encrypt certificate

certbot certonly --standalone --preferred-challenges http -d yourinstance.tld

Copy Pleroma nginx configuration to the nginx folder

The location of nginx configs is dependent on the distro

cp /opt/pleroma/installation/pleroma.nginx /etc/nginx/conf.d/pleroma.conf
cp /opt/pleroma/installation/pleroma.nginx /etc/nginx/sites-available/pleroma.conf
ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/pleroma.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/pleroma.conf

If your distro does not have either of those you can append include /etc/nginx/pleroma.conf to the end of the http section in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf and

cp /opt/pleroma/installation/pleroma.nginx /etc/nginx/pleroma.conf

Edit the nginx config

# Replace example.tld with your (sub)domain
$EDITOR path-to-nginx-config

# Verify that the config is valid
nginx -t

Start nginx

rc-service nginx start
systemctl start nginx

At this point if you open your (sub)domain in a browser you should see a 502 error, that's because Pleroma is not started yet.

Setting up a system service

# Copy the service into a proper directory
cp /opt/pleroma/installation/init.d/pleroma /etc/init.d/pleroma

# Start pleroma and enable it on boot
rc-service pleroma start
rc-update add pleroma
# Copy the service into a proper directory
cp /opt/pleroma/installation/pleroma.service /etc/systemd/system/pleroma.service

# Start pleroma and enable it on boot
systemctl start pleroma
systemctl enable pleroma

If everything worked, you should see Pleroma-FE when visiting your domain. If that didn't happen, try reviewing the installation steps, starting Pleroma in the foreground and seeing if there are any errrors.

Still doesn't work? Feel free to contact us on #pleroma on freenode or via matrix at https://matrix.heldscal.la/#/room/#freenode_#pleroma:matrix.org, you can also file an issue on our Gitlab

Post installation

Setting up auto-renew of the Let's Encrypt certificate

# Create the directory for webroot challenges
mkdir -p /var/lib/letsencrypt

# Uncomment the webroot method
$EDITOR path-to-nginx-config

# Verify that the config is valid
nginx -t
# Restart nginx
rc-service nginx restart

# Start the cron daemon and make it start on boot
rc-service crond start
rc-update add crond

# Ensure the webroot menthod and post hook is working
certbot renew --cert-name yourinstance.tld --webroot -w /var/lib/letsencrypt/ --dry-run --post-hook 'rc-service nginx reload'

# Add it to the daily cron
echo '#!/bin/sh
certbot renew --cert-name yourinstance.tld --webroot -w /var/lib/letsencrypt/ --post-hook "rc-service nginx reload"
' > /etc/periodic/daily/renew-pleroma-cert
chmod +x /etc/periodic/daily/renew-pleroma-cert

# If everything worked the output should contain /etc/cron.daily/renew-pleroma-cert
run-parts --test /etc/periodic/daily
# Restart nginx
systemctl restart nginx

# Ensure the webroot menthod and post hook is working
certbot renew --cert-name yourinstance.tld --webroot -w /var/lib/letsencrypt/ --dry-run --post-hook 'systemctl reload nginx'

# Add it to the daily cron
echo '#!/bin/sh
certbot renew --cert-name yourinstance.tld --webroot -w /var/lib/letsencrypt/ --post-hook "systemctl reload nginx"
' > /etc/cron.daily/renew-pleroma-cert
chmod +x /etc/cron.daily/renew-pleroma-cert

# If everything worked the output should contain /etc/cron.daily/renew-pleroma-cert
run-parts --test /etc/cron.daily

Create your first user and set as admin

cd /opt/pleroma/bin
su pleroma -s $SHELL -lc "./bin/pleroma_ctl user new joeuser joeuser@sld.tld --admin"
This will create an account withe the username of 'joeuser' with the email address of joeuser@sld.tld, and set that user's account as an admin. This will result in a link that you can paste into the browser, which logs you in and enables you to set the password.

Further reading

Questions

Questions about the installation or didn’t it work as it should be, ask in #pleroma:matrix.org or IRC Channel #pleroma on Freenode.