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Notable features:

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Make sure you have Ruby 1.9.3 at least. 2.0.0+ is recommended.

Get the source

Download and extract a release tarball or clone the git repository:

git clone

Install core dependencies

gem install rake bcrypt erubis escape_utils sequel sinatra hive_markup

Pick a database adapter

For a MySQL database:

Install the MySQL client dev package if you don't already have it:

sudo apt-get install libmysqlclient-dev

Then install the gem:

gem install mysql2

For PostgreSQL:

Install the PostgreSQL client dev package if you don't already have it:

sudo apt-get install libpq-dev

Then install the gem:

gem install pg

For SQLite:

Install the SQLite dev package if you don't already have it:

sudo apt-get install libsqlite3-dev

Then install the gem:

gem install sqlite3

Pick a webserver

Just get Puma:

gem install puma

or don't, and use some other Rack-compatible server, like Unicorn or thin.


Assuming your database server is up and running and you have created a database for your HiveBBS installation (unless you are using SQLite).

Get into the directory where you extracted or cloned the sources.

Configure the database

Copy config/db.sample.rb to config/db.rb and edit it.

Set the adapter to mysql2 for MySQL, postgres for PostgreSQL, sqlite for SQLite

database is the name of the database you created or the path to the SQLite database file.

Migrate the database

rake db:migrate

This will create the necessary tables. You can run it every time you need to upgrade the schema.

Create the admin account

rake db:init or rake db:init[volunteer] if you want to use volunteer as username instead of the default admin.

Generate the tripcode key file

This will create a config/trip.key file containing a random key which will be used to generate tripcodes.

rake gentripkey or rake gentripkey[512] if you want to change the size of the key in bytes. It's 256 by default.

Copy the default configration

Copy config/config.sample.rb to config/config.rb and edit it if needed.

At this point you should be able to start HiveBBS in development mode:


It will be available at http://localhost:4567

The manager (admin) route is /manage

Configure Puma

You picked Puma, right?

rake puma:init

This will create a puma-hive.rb file

You might want to adjust the threads and workers parameters. Check the Puma documentation for that.

rake puma:start starts Puma.
rake puma:reload does a phased-restart.
rake puma:restart restarts Puma.
rake puma:stop stops Puma.

Configure what's in front of Puma

For nginx, you can add something like this to your site's .conf file:

upstream puma_hive {
  server unix:///var/www/hivebbs/tmp/puma.sock;

Replace /var/www/hivebbs/tmp/puma.sock with the path to the puma socket file. By default it's {your_hivebbs_folder}/tmp/puma.sock.

Then, inside the server block:

  try_files $uri @puma;
  location @puma {
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
    proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
    proxy_redirect off;
    proxy_pass http://puma_hive;

File uploads

File uploads are disabled by default. You need ImageMagick to handle image files and FFmpeg for webm.

Additional dependencies

uglifier to minify JavaScript (see ExecJS for a JavaScript runtime)
sass to minify CSS
jshintrb for JShint

The End

If your server isn't accessible through HTTPS, you'll need to set the secure_cookies option to false inside config/config.rb, otherwise you won't be able to log in. You really should use HTTPS, though.

Running tests

gem install rack-test minitest

Get the sample data if you want to test ImageMagick and FFmpeg. Put it inside the spec directory so to have the sample files inside spec/data.

Create config/db_test.rb and a new database.

rake -T to see all test tasks.