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Friendika Installation
We've tried very hard to ensure that Friendika will run on commodity hosting
platforms - such as those used to host Wordpress blogs and Drupal websites.
But be aware that Friendika is more than a simple web application. It is a
complex communications system which more closely resembles an email server
than a web server. For reliability and performance, messages are delivered in
the background and are queued for later delivery when sites are down. This
kind of functionality requires a bit more of the host system than the typical
blog. Not every PHP/MySQL hosting provider will be able to support Friendika.
Many will. But please review the requirements and confirm these with your
hosting provider prior to installation.
Before you begin: Choose a domain name or subdomain name for your server.
Put some thought into this - because changing it is currently not-supported.
Things will break, and some of your friends may have difficulty communicating
with you. We plan to address this limitation in a future release. Also decide
if you wish to connect with members of the Diaspora network, as this will
impact the installation requirements.
Decide if you will use SSL and obtain an SSL cert. Communications with the
Diaspora network MAY require both SSL AND an SSL cert signed by a CA which is
recognised by the major browsers. Friendika will work with self-signed certs
but Diaspora communication may not. For best results, install your cert PRIOR
to installing Friendika and when visiting your site for the initial
installation in step 5, please use the https: link. (Use the http: or non-SSL
link if your cert is self-signed).
1. Requirements
- Apache with mod-rewrite enabled and "Options All" so you can use a
local .htaccess file
- PHP 5.2+. The later the better. PHP 5.3 is required for communications
with the Diaspora network and improved security.
- PHP *command line* access with register_argc_argv set to true in the
php.ini file [or see 'poormancron' in section 8]
- curl, gd (with at least jpeg support), mysql, mbstring, mcrypt, and openssl extensions
- some form of email server or email gateway such that PHP mail() works
- Mysql 5.x
- ability to schedule jobs with cron (Linux/Mac) or Scheduled Tasks
(Windows) [Note: other options are presented in Section 8 of this document]
- Installation into a top-level domain or sub-domain (without a
directory/path component in the URL) is preferred. This is REQUIRED if
you wish to communicate with the Diaspora network.
2. Unpack the Friendika files into the root of your web server document area.
- If you copy the directory tree to your webserver, make sure
that you also copy .htaccess - as "dot" files are often hidden
and aren't normally copied.
3. Create an empty database and note the access details (hostname, username,
password, database name).
4. If you know in advance that it will be impossible for the web server to
write or create files in your web directory, create an empty file called
.htconfig.php and make it writable by the web server.
5. Visit your website with a web browser and follow the instructions. Please
note any error messages and correct these before continuing. If you are using
SSL with a known signature authority (recommended), use the https: link to your
website. If you are using a self-signed cert or no cert, use the http: link.
6. *If* the automated installation fails for any reason, check the following:
- ".htconfig.php" exists
If not, edit htconfig.php and change system settings. Rename
to .htconfig.php
- Database is populated.
If not, import the contents of "database.sql" with phpmyadmin
or mysql command line
7. At this point visit your website again, and register your personal account.
Registration errors should all be recoverable automatically.
If you get any *critical* failure at this point, it generally indicates the
database was not installed correctly. You might wish to move/rename
.htconfig.php to another name and empty (called 'dropping') the database
tables, so that you can start fresh.
****************************************************************************
****************************************************************************
******** THIS NEXT STEP IS IMPORTANT!!!! ***********
****************************************************************************
****************************************************************************
8. Set up a cron job or scheduled task to run the poller once every 5-10
minutes to pick up the recent "public" postings of your friends. Example:
cd /base/directory; /path/to/php include/poller.php
Change "/base/directory", and "/path/to/php" as appropriate for your situation.
If you are using a Linux server, run "crontab -e" and add a line like the
one shown, substituting for your unique paths and settings:
*/10 * * * * cd /home/myname/mywebsite; /usr/bin/php include/poller.php
You can generally find the location of PHP by executing "which php". If you
have troubles with this section please contact your hosting provider for
assistance. Friendika will not work correctly if you cannot perform this step.
Alternative: You may be able to use the 'poormancron' plugin to perform this
step if you are using a recent Friendika release. 'poormancron' may result in
perfomance and memory issues and is only suitable for small sites with one or
two users and a handful of contacts. To do this, edit the file
".htconfig.php" and look for a line describing your plugins. On a fresh
installation, it will look like
$a->config['system']['addon'] = 'js_upload';
This indicates the "js_upload" addon module is enabled. You may add additional
addons/plugins using this same line in the configuration file. Change it to
read
$a->config['system']['addon'] = 'js_upload,poormancron';
and save your changes.
#####################################################################
If things don't work...
#####################################################################
#####################################################################
- If you get the message
"System is currently unavailable. Please try again later"
#####################################################################
Check your database settings. It usually means your database could not
be opened or accessed. If the database resides on the same machine, check that
the database server name is "localhost".
#####################################################################
- 500 Internal Error
#####################################################################
This could be the result of one of our Apache directives not being
supported by your version of Apache. Examine your apache server logs.
You might remove the line "Options -Indexes" from the .htaccess file if
you are using a Windows server as this has been known to cause problems.
Also check your file permissions. Your website and all contents must generally
be world-readable.
It is likely that your web server reported the source of the problem in
its error log files. Please review these system error logs to determine what
caused the problem. Often this will need to be resolved with your hosting
provider or (if self-hosted) your web server configuration.
#####################################################################
- 400 and 4xx "File not found" errors
#####################################################################
First check your file permissions. Your website and all contents must
generally be world-readable.
Ensure that mod-rewite is installed and working, and that your
.htaccess file is being used. To verify the latter, create a file test.out
containing the word "test" in the top directory of Friendika, make it world
readable and point your web browser to
http://yoursitenamehere.com/test.out
This file should be blocked. You should get a permission denied message.
If you see the word "test" your Apache configuration is not allowing
your .htaccess file to be used (there are rules in this file to block access
to any file with .out at the end, as these are typically used for system logs).
Make certain the .htaccess file exists and is readable by everybody, then
look for the existence of "AllowOverride None" in the Apache server
configuration for your site. This will need to be changed to
"AllowOverride All".
If you do not see the word "test", your .htaccess is working, but it is
likely that mod-rewrite is not installed in your web server or is not working.
On most flavour of Linux,
% a2enmod rewrite
% /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
Consult your hosting provider, experts on your particular Linux
distribution or (if Windows) the provider of your Apache server software if
you need to change either of these and can not figure out how. There is
a lot of help available on the web. Google "mod-rewrite" along with the
name of your operating system distribution or Apache package (if using
Windows).
#####################################################################
- If you are unable to write the file .htconfig.php during installation
due to permissions issues:
#####################################################################
create an empty file with that name and give it world-write permission.
For Linux:
% touch .htconfig.php
% chmod 777 .htconfig.php
Retry the installation. As soon as the database has been created,
******* this is important *********
% chmod 755 .htconfig.php
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