Updating

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This page contains specific directions on how to update diaspora*, if any special steps are necessary. If there are no special steps necessary refer to the general guide towards the end of the page.

Update guides

These guides are generally for production setups, if you're developing for diaspora* you should know which steps are relevant to update your development setup. If you run into any troubles, seek help via the usual channels.

»» Note
Updating Diaspora is fairly straight forward. But sometimes there are special procedures or updates, so always read the changelog first.


Updating a production install to a new minor version

In case you followed the recommended setup and are on RVM, update RVM first:

rvm get latest

Afterwards, we need to update the code:

git checkout Gemfile.lock db/schema.rb # Discard uninteresting local changes, if any
git pull

Read the output! If you made local modifications to files tracked in git, it might refuse the update or place conflict markers into the files which need to be resolved. If you run on PostgreSQL and get a message about Gemfile.lock try git checkout Gemfile.lock first. If you get one about db/schema.rb try git checkout db/schema.rb.

In case the recommended Ruby version changed you need to install it. Check with

cd .. && cd -

If that outputs a red warning run the command it gives you and do cd .. && cd - again.

Now we need to update the Ruby libraries:

gem install bundler
bin/bundle
»» Note
Ignore any migration notes this command gives you, they're already done for you or explicitly advised in our changelog!


Then we apply updates to the database schema, attention this might take some time if you have a big database already:

RAILS_ENV=production bin/rake db:migrate

Update the static content:

RAILS_ENV=production bin/rake assets:precompile

Make sure to check new configuration options in diaspora.yml.example. Tools like diff and vimdiff can help transfering new sections.

Now you need to restart Diaspora. To do this with the standard startup method you need to get to the place where you run ./script/server, hit Ctrl+C, open a new shell, and run it again.

Major version update guides

While it's fine to skip updates for minor versions, do not try to upgrade from one major version to another major version while skipping one or more in between. In example do not update from 0.4 to 0.6, update from 0.4 to 0.5 and then 0.6 instead.

Updating diaspora* 0.5 to diaspora* 0.6

Since there are a couple of major changes in upgrading to 0.6 which involve manual action, we provide a step by step guide. Please ensure to update to diaspora* 0.5 prior these steps.

»» Note
This update will take a bit longer since it includes a couple of potentially long running migrations, especially for bigger databases.
»» Note
If, and only if, you were testing the release candidate, skip this guide, run git checkout master && git pull and proceed with the minor release update instructions above.


  1. Backup your database, run the following steps in a screen or tmux session so they can't be interrupted when for example your SSH connection drops. Run all commands from within your diaspora* installation path.
  2. Update RVM with rvm get latest and install Ruby 2.3 with rvm install 2.3. Ruby 2.0 is no longer supported and Ruby 2.2 is not officially supported but may work. Ruby 2.1 however is supported.
  3. Stop diaspora* now, it can't be running during the update or else the migrations will fail.
  4. With the old Ruby 2.1 still activated, run RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec sidekiq (add DB=postgres to the command if you're a PostgreSQL user), wait 5 minutes and take it down again with Ctrl+C.
  5. Ensure to activate the new Ruby with rvm use 2.3.
  6. Install the latest Bundler version with gem install bundler.
  7. Update diaspora* by running git checkout Gemfile.lock db/schema.rb and git pull.
  8. The DB environment variable is gone, instead now we need to tell Bundler which database support to install. Run bin/bundle install --with mysql --deployment for MySQL support, run bin/bundle install --with postgresql --deployment for PostgreSQL support. Bundler remembers this choice and you won't have to specify it again. Ignore any migration notes this command gives you, they're already done for you.
  9. Update the database with RAILS_ENV=production bin/rake db:migrate. This will take some time, be patient.
  10. After or while the database is updating, review some of the new configuration defaults. The most important change is that the application server no longer listens to port 3000 by default, instead it now listens to a UNIX socket at tmp/diaspora.sock. You should either update your reverse proxy configuration to use the socket, or update config/diaspora.yml and explicitly configure it to listen to port 3000. You can find a summary of other important changes below.
  11. When the database was successfully updated, update the assets with: RAILS_ENV=production bin/rake tmp:cache:clear assets:precompile.
  12. Next you can start diaspora* again. Don't forget to adjust the Ruby version in any startup scripts you may have.
  13. Finally you need to migrate any jobs from legacy Sidekiq queues to the new ones, to do this run RAILS_ENV=production bin/rake migrations:legacy_queues.

You should now compare your config/diaspora.yml to the updated config/diaspora.yml.example, for example with vimdiff. Notable changes, not only limited to the configuration, are:

  • We dropped support for Redis namespaces in this release. If you previously set a custom namespace, please note that diaspora* will no longer use the configured value. By default, Redis supports up to 8 databases which can be selected via the Redis URL in config/diaspora.yml. Please check the examples provided in our configuration example file.
  • diaspora* 0.5 introduced an experimental chat feature by making use of Vines. Due to many issues with Vines, we decided to remove it and offer a Prosody example configuration instead. Check Integration/Chat for more information on how to migrate to Prosody if you've been using Vines before. Unfortunately the feature still is experimental and we recommend careful consideration before you enable it.
  • With the port to Bootstrap 3, app/views/terms/default.haml has a new structure. If you have created a customised app/views/terms/terms.haml or app/views/terms/terms.erb file, you will need to edit those files to base your customisations on the new default.haml file.

Have a look at the changelog for the full list of changes.

Updating diaspora* 0.4 to diaspora* 0.5

Since there are a couple of major changes in upgrading to 0.5 which involve manual action, we provide a step by step guide. Please ensure to update to diaspora* 0.4 prior these steps.

»» Note
This update will take from half an hour up to several hours, as it contains a long running migration, especially on MySQL/MariaDB.
»» Note
If, and only if, you were testing the release candidate, skip this guide, run git checkout master && git pull and proceed with the minor release update instructions above.


  1. Make a backup of at least the database.
  2. Take down diaspora*.
  3. If you're on PostgreSQL run export DB=postgres RAILS_ENV=production, if you're on MySQL/MariaDB run export DB=mysql RAILS_ENV=production. If you encounter a rake aborted! NameError: uninitialized constant Rack::SSL in the rest of this guide, that means you didn't execute this step correctly.
  4. Run bundle exec sidekiq, wait 5 minutes and take it down again with Ctrl+C.
  5. If you modified public/default.html, public/404.html, public/422.html or public/500.html take a backup of the changes, they will be gone or overwritten. Run git checkout Gemfile.lock db/schema.rb public/*.html. Run git stash to preserve any other uncommitted changes. You can later restore stashed changes with git stash pop.
  6. Update RVM with rvm get stable. Install Ruby 2.1 with rvm install 2.1.
  7. Update diaspora with git pull.
  8. Activate the new Ruby with cd .. && cd -.
  9. Install the latest Bundler with gem install bundler.
  10. Install the dependencies with bin/bundle install --without development test. CAREFUL: Do not run any commands that are suggested at the end of the terminal output; that was already done for you.
  11. Verify you didn't run any additional commands already done for you, then run git status and delete any untracked files residing in db/migrate.
  12. Edit config/initializers/secret_token.rb, replace secret_token with secret_key_base:
    # Old
    Rails.application.config.secret_token = '***********...'
    
    # New
    Diaspora::Application.config.secret_key_base = '*************...'
    
  13. If you're using MySQL/MariaDB, edit config/database.yml: Replace charset: utf8 with encoding: utf8mb4, notice how the key changed! Replace collation: utf8_bin with collation: utf8mb4_bin. Have a look at the updated config/database.yml.example if you need additional guidance in this step.
  14. Run bin/rake db:migrate, this will take quite a while but you should occasionally check if it failed and seek assistance if it happened to fail.
  15. Run bin/rake tmp:cache:clear assets:precompile. This steps now generates public/404.html, public/422.html and public/500.html.
  16. You can now start diaspora* again as you're used to.

You should now compare your config/diaspora.yml to the updated config/diaspora.yml.example, for example with vimdiff. Notable changes, not only limited to the configuration, are:

  • The surrounding markup for the custom splash page changed slightly, please refer to the changelog.
  • If you're using Paypal donations, the settings in diaspora.yml for it changed, in order to support the unhosted button. Please take a look at the updated diaspora.yml.example.
  • The default for including jQuery from a CDN has changed. If you want to continue to include it from a CDN, please explicitly set the jquery_cdn setting to true in diaspora.yml.
  • There's a new feature to automatically prune inactive accounts, if you want to enable it please refer to the changelog.
  • There's a new feature to proxy embedded images from external sources through your server, strengthening your users privacy. If you want to enable it please refer to Camo.
  • diaspora* 0.5 includes a preview of the new chat feature, if you want to play with it, have a look at Vines. We do not generally recommend enabling this yet.

Post update cleanup

After you verified everything is working again you can free some space.

Clean old assets

You can delete now unused precompiled assets by running:

RAILS_ENV=production bin/rake assets:clean

Clean old gems

You can delete now unused gems by running:

bin/bundle clean

Make sure to only run this if you're not sharing gems with another application.


Clean old Ruby installations

If you're using RVM or another Ruby version manager, and switched to another Ruby version during the update, you can drop the old Ruby version. For example for RVM with:

rvm uninstall 2.1

Make sure to only run this if you're not sharing the Ruby installation with another application.

Updating a development install

Just checkout the develop branch, pull (from upstream), rebundle and migrate the database:

cd diaspora
git checkout develop
git pull # Or git pull upstream develop if you cloned from your fork
cd .. && cd -
bin/bundle
bin/rake db:migrate