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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.
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. You'll need 5.3 for encryption of key
exchange conversations
encryption support
- PHP *command line* access with register_argc_argv set to true in the
php.ini file
- curl, gd, mysql, and openssl extensions
- some form of email server or email gateway such that PHP mail() works
- mcrypt (optional; used for end-to-end message encryption)
- Mysql 5.x
- ability to schedule jobs with cron (Linux/Mac) or Scheduled Tasks
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(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. Directory paths will
not be as convenient to use and have not been thoroughly tested.
[ offers all of the necessary hosting features at a
reasonable price. If your hosting provider doesn't allow Unix shell access,
you might have trouble getting everything to work.]
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).
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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.
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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
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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!!!! ***********
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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. 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
$a->config['system']['addon'] = 'js_upload,poormancron';
and save your changes.