Difference between revisions of "Installation/FreeBSD"

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{{Work in progress}}
{{Work in progress}}
{{Note|This guide still needs to be rewritten for the the installation guides form}}
{{Note|This guide still needs to be rewritten for the the installation guides form}}

Latest revision as of 14:57, 17 October 2018

»» Important
The following instructions are maintained by community contributors and describe the installation inside an environment not supported by the diaspora* team.

Due to the nature of these installations, diaspora* might not work, have some limitations, or encounter unexpected issues. The diaspora* team might not be able to help you with troubleshooting your installation. Proceed at your own risk.

Please check our official installation guides for information on how to install diaspora* inside a supported environment.
»» Work in progress
This article is a work in progress, it may contain incomplete or inaccurate information. There may be additional information on the talk page.
»» Note
This guide still needs to be rewritten for the the installation guides form


This guide is intended for experienced FreeBSD administrators. It is not intended as an introduction to FreeBSD. It uses a combination of ports and packages and takes a while to get everything compiled and running properly.

Note that while this guide applies to multiple versions, behaviors and performance on 10.0-RELEASE may be different as a result of changing the system compiler from GNU gcc to LLVM clang.


These instructions apply to FreeBSD 9.2-RELEASE and 10.0-RELEASE. It is generally not recommended to run Diaspora* on versions prior to these as they have either reached or will reach end of life in the foreseeable future.

Package Management

Use of the `portmaster` ports management tool is recommended. Use of pkgng is required for consistency. pkg_* is obsoleted and should not be used for new installs.

You should run pkg followed by pkg2ng and set up /etc/make.conf before installing ports-mgmt/portmaster.


It is assumed that you have a fresh install of FreeBSD, using portsnap for ports tree management. You will also need a non-root user that will own the Diaspora* installation and processes.


It is vitally important that you do not use tabs in make.conf. This will break your system! The settings here are in addition to any others you already have, and are required to prevent conflicts.


DEFAULT_VERSIONS=    perl5=5.16 ruby=2.1 python=2.7 postgresql=9.3 mysql=5.5

WANT_MYSQL_VER=55    # 55m for MariaDB, 55p for Percona

Prerequisite Packages for Building

The following packages will be required before you begin building Diaspora* on FreeBSD:

  • ports-mgmt/portmaster
  • security/ca_root_nss
  • devel/git

The following packages are optional but recommended before you begin building Diaspora* on FreeBSD:

  • shells/bash
  • security/sudo

Note that you may choose to use security/openssl instead of the system OpenSSL. However, this must be built first and most packages will NOT use it.

Options: devel/git

You should select CURL support for devel/git. This will pull in the ftp/curl dependency. The ETCSYMLINK option in ca_root_nss is optional and not required.

devel/git will always pull in Python.

Options: lang/python27

You can use other versions of Python, but 2.7 is the recommended version for most installations. If you will be running other software that depends on Python, use the version most appropriate for that software - usually 2.7 anyways.

Python should use the default options unless other software requires you to set additional options.

Building Required Packages

The complete list of required packages (which will automatically pull in related dependencies) is as follows. Again note that this is not a comprehensive list of installed packages, but rather the packages you must have, in the order required to pull in all of the required dependencies.

  • databases/postgresql93-server
  • graphics/ImageMagick-nox11
  • databases/redis
  • lang/ruby21 OR lang/ruby20 matching what you set in make.conf!
  • sysutils/rubygem-bundler
  • www/node


PostgreSQL will always offer the best performance on FreeBSD, especially on multi-core systems. 9.3 offers significant performance benefits over prior versions as well.

You will need to install:

  • databases/postgresql93-server

Optionally, you may also want to install:

  • databases/postgresql93-contrib

As tempting as it may be, do NOT install PL/Ruby. It has not been maintained for years and contains significant security vulnerabilities which will result in the compromise of your pod.

Options: databases/postgresql93-server

The only mandatory options are INTDATE, NLS, SSL, TZDATA, and XML which are set by default.

OPTIMIZED_CFLAGS is optional but not recommended on 10.0-RELEASE systems at this time.


It is very important to note that there are two ImageMagick 'base' ports, both of which will pull in many many dependencies. Only ever use graphics/ImageMagick-nox11. It is strongly recommended that you use portmaster to build ImageMagick locally, as the default packages will pull in numerous dependencies which you do not need for Diaspora*.

Options: graphics/ImageMagick-nox11

It is recommended that you set only these options:

  • BZIP2
  • JPEG
  • LQR
  • LZMA
  • PERL
  • PNG
  • TIFF

This will minimize the number of dependencies which are pulled in. Do not select both JASPER and JPEG as this will cause the build to fail. THREADS introduces no additional dependencies and will offer faster performance on most systems.

Other options which you may wish to set, but are entirely optional:

  • DOCS
  • FFTW
  • HDRI

Note that ImageMagick has a very ugly, nasty, long dependency chain so it is in your best interests to try and minimize it. You should always include PERL, since this will only pull in PCRE - a required package - if it is missing.

Options: print/ghostscript9-nox11

Unfortunately, this package is unavoidable, and will take you longer to set the options on than it takes to build. Do NOT install ghostscript9-nox11 using pkg as this will pull in over 50MB of pointless dependencies! The FreeBSD package builder uses default options, which means CUPS and every single driver.

The ONLY options you should leave set in ghostscript9-nox11 are:

  • GS_jpeg, GS_jpeggray
  • GS_bit, GS_bitrgb, GS_bitcmyk
  • GS_plan
  • GS_pngmono, GS_pnggray, GS_png16, GS_png256, GS_png16m, GS_pngalpha, GS_png48

Absolutely all other options should be unset, unless you have a specific reason to include them. You must include GS_plan or the build will fail.


When building databases/redis, you should select the LUA option only if you plan to use Lua for other things. Do not select LUAJIT. This will break things.


This is where things get slightly interesting.For this installation, we will presume Ruby 2.1 - however, you can use Ruby 2.0 simply by changing "2.1" to "2.0" in /etc/make.conf.

Note that you can install multiple Ruby versions without causing conflicts! This is by design! If you do not set up make.conf correctly, you will have gem version conflicts which will break your installation!

The Ruby port will pull in libyaml, libffi, and libexecinfo if they are missing.


Your Ruby build will fail out of the box currently (April 2014) on all versions! You must edit lang/ruby21/Makefile and change:




Ruby Gems Bundler

You should not use Ruby to install Bundler unless you are installing it locally. Instead, you should use sysutils/rubygem-bundler to provide a system-wide Bundler install.

You should not install bundle dependencies using ports. This will put you out of sync with Diaspora* recommended/required versions. Only install sysutils/rubygem-bundler.


Node.js does not jump out at most people because of the way it is set up in ports. You are looking for www/node.

If you require Node Package Manager, you should install www/npm - however, this is optional as Diaspora* does not require NPM.

Setting up your Diaspora* User

To make life easier for yourself, you should set your Diaspora* environment variables in the shell rc for your shell of choice. Here are some examples:

csh (FreeBSD default)


setenv RAILS_ENV production
setenv DB postgres

bash (optional package)


export RAILS_ENV='production'
export DB='postgres'

ksh93 (optional package)



Setting up your Gems correctly

Because FreeBSD ports are always "current", it is guaranteed that you will have version mismatches if you use ports. Similarly, if you install system-wide from gems, you will conflict with ports - often in ways that break Ruby! Therefore, you must _never_ install your Gems system-wide or from ports!

Instead, you should install your Gems under your Diaspora* user's installation to prevent any problems and ensure you have the correct versions.

root@myhost # su - diaspora
diaspora@myhost $ cd ~/diasporaInstallDir/
diaspora@myhost ~/diasporaInstallDir/ $ bundle install --without test development --path vendor/bundle

The --path vendor/bundle will install your Gems to diasporaInstallDir/vendor/bundle.

»» Note
Due to a bug in ffi regarding the parsing of linker scripts, the current version does not work with FreeBSD 10. A workaround can be found at https://github.com/ffi/ffi/issues/308

Congrats! You have all your dependencies installed.

Completing your installation

Get the source

It's time to download diaspora*! As your diaspora user run:

cd ~
git clone  https://github.com/diaspora/diaspora.git
cd diaspora

Don't miss the cd diaspora, all coming commands expect to be run from that directory!


Copy files

cp config/database.yml.example config/database.yml
cp config/diaspora.toml.example config/diaspora.toml


It's time to install the Ruby libraries required by diaspora*:

bin/bundle install --full-index

This takes quite a while. When it's finished, you should see a message similar to: Bundle complete! 137 Gemfile dependencies, 259 gems now installed. If that's not the case, you should seek for help on the mailing list or the IRC channel.

Running the manual gem install command shown in the error message can sometimes show a clearer error message if the bundle command fails.

Database setup

Double check your config/database.yml looks right and run:

bundle exec rake db:create db:migrate

Start diaspora*

It's time to start diaspora*:


Your diaspora server is now running, either on a unix socket (current default) or on http port 3000. The listening method can be configured in diaspora.toml, search for '3000' or 'listen' to find the correct line.

You will likely need to install a reverse proxy (example on github for apache2) in order to get it to be served publicly. If you are new to running rails applications you may find the diaspora components page helpful for orientation.


»» Important
You have to do backups of your pod data. If you lose your data, you won't be able to use the combination of your old username and old domain ever again. Make sure to store the backups on a different server, or at least on a different hard drive.
For details on how to do backups, see Pod data backup.

Further reading