BitNami Diaspora*

    Diaspora is a free personal web server that implements a distributed social networking service. Installations of the software form nodes (termed “pods”) which make up the distributed Diaspora social network.

    Diaspora is intended to address privacy concerns related to centralized social networks by allowing users set up their own server (or “pod”) to host content; pods can then interact to share status updates, photographs, and other social data.

    Please, take a look to the Quick Start Guide to know the basic use of this Stack.

    How to start/stop the servers?

    Graphical tool

    The Stacks include a graphical tool to manage the servers easily. You can find the "manager-windows.exe", "manager-osx" or "manager-linux" tool in your installation directory. Using this tool, you can Start, Stop or Restart the servers and check the log files. You can click on the icon to start it.














    On Windows: You can also start the Manager tool from shortcuts: Start -> Program Files -> BitNami Stack -> Manager tool

    Command line tool

    If you prefer, you can use the "" utility from the command line. This script is in the installation directory.


    On Virtual Machines and Cloud images:

    $ sudo /opt/bitnami/ start

    A native installer on Linux:

    $ cd ~/application-version
    $ ./ start



    On OS X: You can start the Manager tool from the installation directory or you can use the "" utility from a Terminal.

    host:~ user$ cd /Applications/application-version
    host:~ user$ ./ start

    How to create a full backup of Diaspora*?

    Because BitNami stacks are self-contained, the simplest option for performing your backups is to copy or compress the BitNami Stack installation directory. To do so in a safe manner, you will need to stop all servers, so this method may not be appropriate if you have people accessing the application continously.

    linux_platform.pngOn Virtual Machines and Cloud Images:

    sudo /opt/bitnami/ stop


    On OS X:

    $ cd installdir
    $ ./ stop
    $ cp -r installdir application-backup

    Or you can create a tarball:

    $ tar -czvf application-backup.tar.gz installdir

    Or a zip file:

    $ zip -r installdir/*

    To restore this backup you only need to uncompress the backup in the same location. It is important to use the same path that was used when the stack was originally installed.

    For example if you have a backup in a Red Hat machine, you can copy it to an Ubuntu Linux machine (a different distro!) in the same location. Then start the servers and that’s all.

    On Virtual Machines and Cloud Images:

    $ sudo /opt/bitnami/ start

    On OS X:

    $ cd installdir
    $ ./ start

    You just need to be carefull to keep the same permissions for the files and folders. If you installed as root make sure that in the new machine you copy the files also as root. And this case, if you are also moving MySQL or PostgreSQL, you will need to create those users in the new machine (if they don't exist yet).

    win_platform.png On Windows you should follow the same process. Stop the servers using the shortcuts and copy the whole installation directory. To restore the system, copy the directory to a different Windows machine in the same location and follow these steps from a command prompt:

    $ cd installdir
    $ serviceinstall.bat INSTALL

    You can access your BitNami Application at the usual URL.

    If you want to create only a database backup, check the following link for MySQL /Components/MySQL#How_to_create_a_database_backup or for PostgreSQL /Components/PostgreSQL#How_to_create_a_database_backup.3f

    How to upgrade Diaspora*?

    It is strongly recommended that you create a backup before starting the update process. If you have important data, it is advisable that you create and try to restore a backup to ensure that everything works properly.

    There are two different ways to upgrade your application.

    1. If you want to upgrade the application and all Stack components PHP, Ruby, MySQL, Apache… You can follow the steps described at How to upgrade the full Stack migrating the data?
    2. In case you only want to upgrade the application code without modifying any other Stack components,  you should follow the guide which is in the application page itself.

    How to configure the email settings of Diaspora*?

    To allow your Diaspora* pod to send mails, you have to modify installdir/apps/diaspora/htdocs/config/diaspora.yml:


    ## Setup E-Mail
      mail: ## Section
        ## First you need to enable it ;)
        enable: true
        ## Sender address used in mail send by Diaspora
        sender_address: ''
        ## This selects which mailer should be used. Take 'smtp' for a smtp
        ## connection, 'sendmail' to use the sendmail binary or
        ## 'messagebus' to use the messagebus service.
        method: 'smtp'
        ## Ignore if method isn't 'smtp'
        smtp: ## Section
          ## Host and port of the smtp server handling outgoing mail.
          ## This should match the common name of the certificate
          ## the SMTP server sends. If he sends one.
          host: ''
          port: your_smtp_port
          ## Authentication required to send mail. Use one of 'plain',
          ## 'login' or 'cram_md5'. Use 'none' if server does not support
          ## authentication
          authentication: 'plain'
          ## Credentials to log in to the SMTP server - may be necessary if
          ## authentication is not 'none'
          username: 'smtp_username'
          password: 'smtp_password'
          ## Automatically enable TLS? Ignored if authentication is set to none
          #starttls_auto: true
          ## The domain for the HELO command if needed
          #domain: ''
          ## OpenSSL verify mode used when connecting to a
          ## SMTP server with TLS. Set this to none if you have
          ## a self signed certificate. Possible values:
          ## 'none', 'peer', 'client_once', 'fail_if_no_peer_cert'
          #openssl_verify_mode: 'none'
    An example for the gmail SMTP:
        enable: true
        sender_address: ''
       method: 'smtp'
          host: ''
          port: 587
          authentication: 'plain'
          username: ''
          password: 'your_gmail_password'
          starttls_auto: true

    You may want to configure a default Pod administrator, to do it, you can uncomment and modify:


       ## Settings relevant to administrators
      admins: ## Section
        ## Set the admin account.
        ## This doesn't make the user an admin but is used when a generic
        ## admin contact is neeeded, much like the postmaster role in mail
        ## systems. Set only the username, NOT the full ID.
        account: "podmaster"
        ## E-Mail address users can contact the administrator
        podmin_email: ''

    How to enable SSL?

    You can see how to configure Apache to enable SSL connections at How to enable SSL to access through https?

    After that, you must enable SSL to the Diaspora* Configuration. You must edit: installdir/apps/diaspora/htdocs/config/diaspora.yml

        url: ""
        require_ssl: true

    How to do disable registrations in my Diaspora* pod?

    By default, our Diaspora* Stack is configured to be public, so anyone that know about your URL will be able to register to your Pod. If you

    don't want to allow other people to register to your Pod, you can configure it as a private pod. To do it, you must edit: installdir/apps/diaspora/htdocs/config/diaspora.yml

        enable_registrations: false

    How to add people from other public Pods?

    You can search and add people from other public pods, searching them in the top right SearchBox field. For example, if you want to add an user who has been registered to public pod, you will be able to add it if you search for:

    So, in other words, if an user wants to add you in a different public Pod, he will be able to do it if he search for:


    How to debug Diaspora* errors?

    To check if you have Diaspora* related errors, you must go to: 

    • installdir/apps/diaspora/htdocs/log/production.log 
    • installdir/apps/diaspora/htdocs/log/sidekiq.log.

    Once Apache starts, it will create two log files, the access_log and the error_log /installdir/apache2/logs directory or in /var/log/httpd if you are using Amazon Linux or Red Hat Enterprise cloud images.

    In Virtual Machines, Cloud Images and Ubuntu based Bitnami Cloud Hosting images installdir is /opt/bitnami.

    The access_log file is used to track client requests. When a client requests a document from the server, Apache records several parameters associated with the request in this file, such as: the IP address of the client, the document requested, the HTTP status code, and the current time.

    The error_log file is used to record important events. This file includes error messages, startup messages, and any other significant events in the life cycle of the server. This is the first place to look when you run into a problem when using Apache.

    If no error is found, you will see a message similar to:

    Syntax OK
    /installdir/ : httpd started

    The main MySQL log file is created at /installdir/mysql/data/mysqld.log file.

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