Friendica Installation

We've tried very hard to ensure that Friendica will run on commodity hosting platforms - such as those used to host Wordpress blogs and Drupal websites. We offer a manual and an automatic installation. But be aware that Friendica 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 Friendica. Many will.

But please review the requirements and confirm these with your hosting provider prior to installation.

If you encounter installation issues, please let us know via the helper or the developer forum or file an issue.

Please be as clear as you can about your operating environment and provide as much detail as possible about any error messages you may see, so that we can prevent it from happening in the future. Due to the large variety of operating systems and PHP platforms in existence we may have only limited ability to debug your PHP installation or acquire any missing modules - but we will do our best to solve any general code issues.

If you do not have a Friendica account yet, you can register a temporary one at tryfriendica.de and join the forums mentioned above from there. The account will expire after 7 days, but you can ask the server admin to keep your account longer, should the problem not be resolved after that.

  • Choose a domain name or subdomain name for your server. Put some thought into this. While changing it after installation is supported, things still might break.
  • Setup HTTPS on your domain.
  • Apache with mod-rewrite enabled and “Options All” so you can use a local .htaccess file
  • PHP 7+ (PHP 7.1+ is recommended for performance and official support)
    • PHP command line access with register_argc_argv set to true in the php.ini file
    • Curl, GD, PDO, mbstrings, MySQLi, hash, xml, zip and OpenSSL extensions
    • The POSIX module of PHP needs to be activated (e.g. RHEL, CentOS have disabled it)
    • some form of email server or email gateway such that PHP mail() works
  • MySQL 5.6+ or an equivalent alternative for MySQL (MariaDB, Percona Server etc.)
  • ability to schedule jobs with cron (Linux/Mac) or Scheduled Tasks (Windows)
  • installation into a top-level domain or sub-domain (without a directory/path component in the URL) is RECOMMENDED. Directory paths will not be as convenient to use and have not been thoroughly tested. This is REQUIRED if you wish to communicate with the Diaspora network.

If your hosting provider doesn't allow Unix shell access, you might have trouble getting everything to work.

For alternative server configurations (such as Nginx server and MariaDB database engine), refer to the Friendica wiki.

* PHP ImageMagick extension (php-imagick) for animated GIF support.

All options will be saved in the `config/local.config.php` and are overruling the associated environment variables.

  • -H|–dbhost <host> The host of the mysql/mariadb database (env `MYSQL_HOST`)
  • -p|–dbport <port> The port of the mysql/mariadb database (env `MYSQL_PORT`)
  • -U|–dbuser <username> The username of the mysql/mariadb database login (env `MYSQL_USER` or `MYSQL_USERNAME`)
  • -P|–dbpass <password> The password of the mysql/mariadb database login (env `MYSQL_PASSWORD`)
  • -d|–dbdata <database> The name of the mysql/mariadb database (env `MYSQL_DATABASE`)
  • -u|–urlpath <url_path> The URL path of Friendica - f.e. '/friendica' (env `FRIENDICA_URL_PATH`)
  • -b|–phppath <php_path> The path of the PHP binary (env `FRIENDICA_PHP_PATH`)
  • -A|–admin <mail> The admin email address of Friendica (env `FRIENDICA_ADMIN_MAIL`)
  • -T|–tz <timezone> The timezone of Friendica (env `FRIENDICA_TZ`)
  • -L|–lang <language> The language of Friendica (env `FRIENDICA_LANG`)

Navigate to the main Friendica directory and execute the following command:

  bin/console autoinstall [options]

Copy .htaccess-dist to .htaccess (be careful under Windows) to have working mod-rewrite again. If you have installed Friendica into a sub directory, like

*/friendica.well-known10 * * * * cd /home/myname/mywebsite; /usr/bin/php bin/worker.php

You can generally find the location of PHP by executing which php. If you run into trouble with this section please contact your hosting provider for assistance. Friendica will not work correctly if you cannot perform this step.

If it is not possible to set up a cron job then please activate the “frontend worker” in the administration interface.

Once you have installed Friendica and created an admin account as part of the process, you can access the admin panel of your installation and do most of the server wide configuration from there.

Otherwise, you’ll need to use the command line on your remote server and start the Friendica daemon (background task) using the following command:

  cd /path/to/friendica; php bin/daemon.php start

Once started, you can check the daemon status using the following command:

  cd /path/to/friendica; php bin/daemon.php status

After a server restart or any other failure, the daemon needs to be restarted. This could be achieved by a cronjob.

At this point it is recommended that you set up logging and logrotation. To do so please visit [Settings](help/Settings) and search the 'Logs' section for more information.

Bad things will happen. Let there be a hardware failure, a corrupted database or whatever you can think of. So once the installation of your Friendica node is done, you should make yourself a backup plan.

The most important file is the config/local.config.php file. As it stores all your data, you should also have a recent dump of your Friendica database at hand, should you have to recover your node.

Friendica looks for some well-known HTTP headers indicating a reverse-proxy terminating an HTTPS connection. While the standard from RFC 7239 specifies the use of the `Forwarded` header.

  Forwarded: for=192.0.2.1; proto=https; by=192.0.2.2

Friendica also supports a number on non-standard headers in common use.

  X-Forwarded-Proto: https
  Front-End-Https: on
  X-Forwarded-Ssl: on

It is however preferable to use the standard approach if configuring a new server.

Troubleshooting

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”.

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.

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 Friendica, make it world readable and point your web browser to

http://example.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 Linux flavors:

% 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. Search “mod-rewrite” along with the name of your operating system distribution or Apache package (if using Windows).

Create an empty `config/local.config.php`file and apply world-write permission.

On Linux:

% touch config/local.config.php
% chmod 664 config/local.config.php

Retry the installation. As soon as the database has been created,

this is important

% chmod 644 config/local.config.php

Some configurations with “suhosin” security are configured without an ability to run external processes. Friendica requires this ability. Following are some notes provided by one of our members.

On my server I use the php protection system Suhosin.
One of the things it does is to block certain functions like proc_open, as configured in /etc/php5/conf.d/suhosin.ini:
suhosin.executor.func.blacklist = proc_open, …



For those sites like Friendica that really need these functions they can be enabled, e.g. in /etc/apache2/sites-available/friendica:

<Directory /var/www/friendica/>
   php_admin_value suhosin.executor.func.blacklist none
   php_admin_value suhosin.executor.eval.blacklist none
</Directory>



This enables every function for Friendica if accessed via browser, but not for the cronjob that is called via php command line. I attempted to enable it for cron by using something like:

*/10 * * * * cd /var/www/friendica/friendica/ && sudo -u www-data /usr/bin/php \
  -d suhosin.executor.func.blacklist=none \
  -d suhosin.executor.eval.blacklist=none -f bin/worker.php



This worked well for simple test cases, but the friendica-cron still failed with a fatal error:

suhosin[22962]: ALERT - function within blacklist called: proc_open() (attacker 'REMOTE_ADDR not set', file '/var/www/friendica/friendica/boot.php', line 1341)



After a while I noticed, that bin/worker.php calls further PHP script via proc_open. These scripts themselves also use proc_open and fail, because they are NOT called with -d suhosin.executor.func.blacklist=none.

So the simple solution is to put the correct parameters into config/local.config.php:

'config' => [
   //Location of PHP command line processor 
   'php_path' => '/usr/bin/php -d suhosin.executor.func.blacklist=none -d suhosin.executor.eval.blacklist=none',
],

If the setup fails to create all the database tables and/or manual creation from the command line fails, with this error:

ERROR 1067 (42000) at line XX: Invalid default value for 'created'

You need to adjust your my.cnf and add the following setting under the [mysqld] section:

sql_mode = '';

After that, restart mysql and try again.

  • Last modified: 2020-10-07 17:42