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AminArria and pushcx Add not null constraint to columns with presence validator (lobsters#775

 * hat_requests: hat, link, comment
 * invitation_requests: name, email

Includes a whitespace fix to the definition of replying_comments in db/schema.rb
Latest commit 717dfab Nov 6, 2019
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.github housekeeping Apr 19, 2018
app fix: don't try to match empty title (lobsters#780) Nov 6, 2019
bin rm old yarn binary Dec 11, 2018
config csp (attempt 2) (lobsters#738) Oct 1, 2019
db Add not null constraint to columns with presence validator (lobsters#775 Nov 6, 2019
extras validate SSL certs by default (lobsters#692) Jun 18, 2019
lib fake_data: add mods and comments actions (lobsters#777) Oct 30, 2019
public nginx is looking for this over here Aug 13, 2019
script Make mail_new_activity no-op silently (lobsters#732) Sep 11, 2019
spec migrate controller specs to request specs (lobsters#759) Oct 28, 2019
test fix 92a768e Nov 27, 2018
vendor/assets upgrade to rails v4.0.2 Dec 30, 2013
.gitignore Add keybase integration (lobsters#661) Jun 12, 2019
.rspec housekeeping Apr 19, 2018
.rubocop.yml bump rubocop (lobsters#753) Oct 7, 2019
.ruby-version ruby-version: bump to 2.3.3 which is running in production Jun 7, 2017
.ruumba.yml Migrate deprecated form_tag and form_for to form_with Dec 9, 2018
.travis.yml add bundler-leak to build Oct 28, 2019 note about running ruumba Dec 9, 2018
Gemfile Update Scout gem to 2.6.2 for timeline (lobsters#773) Oct 22, 2019
Gemfile.lock Update Scout gem to 2.6.2 for timeline (lobsters#773) Oct 22, 2019
LICENSE bump copyright year Jun 22, 2019 Typo: replaced a dot with a slash (lobsters#720) Aug 12, 2019
Rakefile only load rubocop rake tasks in dev/test Apr 11, 2018 rubocop: Layout/ExtraSpacing, 142 Apr 11, 2018

Lobsters Rails Project Build Status

This is the quite sad source code to the site operating at It is a Rails 5 codebase and uses a SQL (MariaDB in production) backend for the database.

You are free to use this code to start your own sister site because the code is available under a permissive license (3-clause BSD). We welcome bug reports and code contributions that help use improve As a volunteer project we're reluctant to take on work that's not useful to our site, so please understand if we don't want to adopt your custom feature.

2019-05-29 experiment: Are you interested in running your own sister site and not technical, or otherwise willing to pay for hosting/support? Maybe you're a Reddit community unhappy with their redesign, want an internal site for your company, or want to experiement with community design? Please contact Peter (email that name I'm exploring the idea of a hosting company to run sites using the codebase, or maybe consulting on custom features, and would love to hear from you. (The only change to Lobsters would be that someone's getting paid to PR back bug fixes.)

Contributing bugfixes and new features

We'd love to have your help. Please see the CONTRIBUTING file for details.

Initial setup

Use the steps below for a local install or lobsters-ansible for our production deployment config. There's an external project docker-lobsters if you want to use Docker.

  • Install Ruby 2.3.

  • Checkout the lobsters git tree from Github

    $ git clone git://
    $ cd lobsters
  • Install Nodejs, needed (or other execjs) for uglifier

    Fedora: sudo yum install nodejs
    Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install nodejs
    OSX: brew install nodejs
  • Run Bundler to install/bundle gems needed by the project:

    lobsters$ bundle
    • If when installing the mysql2 gem on macOS, you see ld: library not found for -l-lpthread in the output, see this solution for a fix. You might also see ld: library not found for -lssl if you're using macOS 10.4+ and Homebrew openssl, in which case see this solution.
  • Create a MySQL (other DBs supported by ActiveRecord may work, only MySQL and MariaDB have been tested) database, username, and password and put them in a config/database.yml file. You will also want a separate database for running tests:

      adapter: mysql2
      encoding: utf8mb4
      reconnect: false
      database: lobsters_dev
      socket: /tmp/mysql.sock
      username: *dev_username*
      password: *dev_password*
      adapter: mysql2
      encoding: utf8mb4
      reconnect: false
      database: lobsters_test
      socket: /tmp/mysql.sock
      username: *test_username*
      password: *test_password*
  • Load the schema into the new database:

    lobsters$ rails db:schema:load
  • On your production server, copy config/initializers/production.rb.sample to config/initalizers/production.rb and customize it with your site's domain and name. (You don't need this on your dev machine).

  • Put your site's custom CSS in app/assets/stylesheets/local.

  • Seed the database to create an initial administrator user, the inactive-user, and at least one tag:

    lobsters$ rails db:seed
  • On your personal computer, you can add some sample data and run the Rails server in development mode. You should be able to login to http://localhost:3000 with your new test user:

    lobsters$ rails fake_data
    lobsters$ rails server
  • Deploying the site in production requires setting up a web server and running the app in production mode. There are more tools and options available than we can describe; find a guide or an expert. The lobsters-ansible repo has our config files to crib from. Some app-specific notes:

  • Set up crontab or another scheduler to run regular jobs:

    */5 * * * *  cd /path/to/lobsters && env RAILS_ENV=production sh -c 'bundle exec ruby script/mail_new_activity; bundle exec ruby script/post_to_twitter; bundle exec ruby script/traffic_range'
  • See config/initializers/production.rb.sample for GitHub/Twitter integration help.


Basic moderation happens on-site, but most other administrative tasks require use of the rails console in production. Administrators can create and edit tags at /tags.

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