Difference between revisions of "FAQ for pod maintainers"

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m (Is there anything I should do before upgrading my installation?)
(What are roles and how do I use them? / Make yourself an admin)
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Role.add_spotlight User.where(email: "the_email").first.person      # Add an user to the 'community spotlight' by email
Role.add_spotlight User.where(email: "the_email").first.person      # Add an user to the 'community spotlight' by email
Congratulation, you now have access to the /admin and /admin_panel pages :)
== What if my question isn't answered here? ==
== What if my question isn't answered here? ==

Revision as of 17:37, 24 September 2013

Template:Languages We've started adding questions that we see a lot to this page, but it doesn't cover everything. If you have other questions, the best way to get an answer quickly is to visit us in the IRC.



Do you have a detailed installation guide?

Yes. Check it out! It will probably be more up-to-date than this page, in general.

What ports does Diaspora need open for communication?

Since we recommend running on HTTPS you should only need to open the standard port for it: 443. You should have a reverse proxy listening there that forwards the requests to the application server that Diaspora starts, on port 3000 by default. You can use your existing Nginx or Apache to do that. While we don't recommend that, you can run on plain HTTP with its standard port 80 too. Just never let Diaspora listen on these ports directly. You don't need to open the application server port, 3000, it's for internal communication only.

Can I use Apache to run Diaspora?

Yes, Diaspora is a standard Rails application, so you can run it with Passenger. Though common setup is to use a reverse proxy configuration. You should definitively read this brief explanation of Diasporas components before attempting such a setup.

I installed Diaspora on my machine, went to http://localhost:3000 and signed up. But my friends can't add me!

You signed up with "localhost" which is not a valid external address. You first need an externally-accessible address - either a domain name or an IP address. Once you have that working, you need to clear your database (`$ bundle exec rake db:drop db:create db:schema:load`) and re-register coming in on the outside URL. Note that if your externally accessible address changes, you need to start over. Diaspora is designed as a server application running all day and night.

I get 'command not found' if I run bundle install

Make sure RVM is loaded and the correct Ruby version and gemset are activated. The output of the rvm info and gem env commands can be helpful in that. Run gem install bundler to reassure bundler is actually installed.

If you don't use RVM, a common issue is that Debian based distributions, this includes Ubuntu, don't add gem executables to the search path. Read up on the PATH environment variable on how to solve that.

How do I get past the sign in page to create a new account?

To create a new account, go to http://yourdiasporainstance.com/users/sign_up (replacing yourdiasporainstance.com with the the host name of your pod).

I installed Diaspora on my machine, but when I load the site there are no images and the layout looks horrible!

You most likely started Diaspora in production mode and accessed the application server directly and not through your reverse proxy. In production mode we expect your reverse proxy to serve the static content since it does a way better job at it than anybody else. If you did access Diaspora through a reverse proxy make sure it has no configuration issues, has the public/ directory as document root and looks up if requested files are found there before directing the request to the application server.

Also make sure you ran bundle exec rake assets:precompile.

If you need to workaround this requirement you can turn environment.assets.serve to true in config/diaspora.yml.

There are no uploaded images on my pod

First make sure other static content is working, as described in the previous question. We embed uploaded images with their full URL, this has to do with the way Diaspora makes sure your images can be seen by users on other pods. A common problem here is that environment.url in config/diaspora.yml, from which construct the full URL, is set to an incorrect value.

I can't find anybody on another pod / I am receiving posts but nobody is receiving mine

Make sure to initially search by their full Diaspora ID. Check that your Sidekiq worker is running. Check Sidekiqs retry queue for error messages. Check that the environement.certificate_authorities setting is correct.

I can't find myself from another pod / I am not receiving any posts but everybody is receiving mine

Check that your SSL setup is correct, this test gives a good indication. Make sure it's all green, no yellow, no red.

I'm getting the warning "... in production without Sidekiq workers"

Sidekiq is the backend we use for processing background jobs. Normally, Sidekiq is spawned as a separate process, but in this case you have configured Diaspora to run the jobs in the same process as the application. This is normally used for development or testing purposes, but if used in production, it can bring major performance penalties. Thus you should always run Sidekiq in its own process, by setting environment.single_process_mode to false in your config/diaspora.yml and starting the Sidekiq process with

RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec sidekiq

In case you are using script/server to start Diaspora, then you don't have to manually start the workers! This is already done by the script.


Is there anything I should do before upgrading my installation?

Yes, read our notes for updating.

How do I roll back my installation if an update breaks it?

First of try to get help to fix your installation, as always the IRC should be helpful here.

To roll back, just do: git checkout ref Where ref is the identifier of the commit to go back to. It's a long string of letters and numbers. You can find the ref by doing a git log, eyeballing the commit dates, and figuring out where you were before you pulled. Of course it's best if you keep track of that ref before you update.

You can also checkout a particular version with git checkout v0.1.1.0, replacing the version of course.

After that just do the same procedure as if you made an update.

What if there were database migrations in the code I am rolling back?

Then you also need to roll those back separately. You need to do this before you roll back the code. Look in the db/migrate directory and figure out which files are new since the last time you pulled - i.e., which migration your database should be on. They are in timestamp order in that directory. Then do: bundle exec rake db:rollback and look at the output. It will tell you which migration you are now on. It rolls back one each time you run it. Run it until you're on the right migration and then roll back the code as described above.

Also be aware that database rollbacks can fail - they depend on the migration author writing the correct code to roll back. So in this case it's generally much easier to seek for help to fix your setup.


Will a pod eventually receive federated posts that it misses while being offline/down?

Yes, eventually. We retry the delivery three times, in one hour intervals.

What do I do about all these PGErrors, like disconnects and SSL problems?

If you are running Diaspora with PostgreSQL, beware that having the SSL setting turned on in the PostgreSQL config has been causing problems for several people. We recommend turning it off unless you know what you're doing.

I've got my pod running. How do I disable outside logins?

Set settings.enable_registrations to false in your config/diaspora.yml and then restart Diaspora.

How do I back up the database?

Just dump all the diaspora_* databases from your Database server. Google should get you along on how to do that.

I am on PPC (e.g. old iMac) and want to use it for serving Diaspora, but there is no ExecJS compatible JS runtime

One thing you could do, assuming you have another PC that will run Node: Precompile your assets on that machine (using bundle exec rake assets:precompile) and then check them into git before you deploy to the PPC box, or just copy over the contents of public/assets. The Javascript runtime is only really needed for precompiling assets and shouldn't be loaded at all in the actual production environment. You may need to use git add public/assets -f to force git to check them in, since I think that directory is in .gitignore.

What are roles and how do I use them? / Make yourself an admin

We have a role system that allows to make some accounts special during runtime, without restarting the server. Currently you can manage the community spotlight and the admins through this system. Start by starting a Rails console:

bundle exec rails console production

You'll get a new shell where you can enter Ruby code. To exit it just press Ctrl+D or type exit or quit. Here are some examples to manage the roles, replace the_username with the users username, not the full Diaspora ID:

Role.add_admin User.where(username: "the_username").first.person     # Add an user as admin by username
Role.add_admin User.where(email: "the_email").first.person           # Add an user as admin by email
Role.add_spotlight User.where(username: "the_username").first.person # Add an user to the 'community spotlight' by username
Role.add_spotlight User.where(email: "the_email").first.person       # Add an user to the 'community spotlight' by email

Congratulation, you now have access to the /admin and /admin_panel pages :)

What if my question isn't answered here?

Just ask us! Read more on how to do that at How we communicate.