thefoggiest.dev

Diaspora on Arch

I have some kind of a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I like being up to speed on what people I know or once knew are up to and the network site allows to me to conveniently stay in contact with people without any effort on my part. That said, Facebook has a questionable reputation where it comes to privacy and for Facebook to be useful to you, you have to post private stuff, like your birthday, relationship status, holiday pictures, who your friends are or what’s on your mind. Some people go even further, by posting more explicit pictures or revealing their moment-to-moment location, but I don’t do that. Sure, you can lock your account to people not in your network, but Facebook has an interest in me sharing as much as I can, so how can I trust them?

Enter Diaspora. From Wikipedia:

Diaspora (also Diaspora*) is an open-source personal web server software intended to provide a distributed social networking service, a decentralized alternative to Facebook. The initial developer release was on the 15th September 2010 and a consumer alpha is planned for October 2010.

The project’s intent is to provide the ability to have “the little games, the little walls, the little chat” that a Facebook user’s experience currently provides, but instead hosted on users’ personal web servers (called “seeds”) so that users can “fully control the information they share.”

September 15th was yesterday, so I decided to try it out. The website tells you how to build it on Ubuntu, Fedora or MacOS, so I adapted the instructions for my favorite OS, Arch:

These steps expect two things:

Install dependencies using pacman:

# sudo pacman -S openssl imagemagick git libffi libxslt

There could be dependencies that I didn’t notice because I had them already installed, but these are noted on the website. Then, install ruby 1.8, ruby-gems and bundler:

# wget http://aur.archlinux.org/packages/ruby1.8/ruby1.8.tar.gz
# tar xzvf ruby1.8.tar.gz
# cd ruby1.8
# makepkg -s (installed tk, tcl)
# sudo pacman -U ruby1.8-1.8.7_p302-1-i686.pkg.tar.xz


# wget http://aur.archlinux.org/packages/rubygems1.8/rubygems1.8.tar.gz
# tar xzvf rubygems1.8.tar.gz
# cd rubygems1.8
# makepkg -s
# sudo pacman -U rubygems1.8-1.3.7-1-i686.pkg.tar.xz


# sudo gem-1.8 install bundler
# PATH=$PATH:/opt/ruby1.8/bin/

Install mongodb:

# wget http://aur.archlinux.org/packages/mongodb/mongodb.tar.gz
# tar xzvf mongodb.tar.gz
# cd mongodb
# makepkg -s (also installed spidermonkey, scons, boost, sconsboost-lib, nspr; took a long time).
# sudo pacman -U mongodb-1.6.2-1-i686.pkg.tar.xz

Clone and build Diaspora:

# git clone http://github.com/diaspora/diaspora.git
# cd diaspora
# bundle install (will fetch source index and ask for your password)

And finally, run Diaspora:

# sudo /etc/rc.d/mongodb start
# rake db:seed:tom
# bundle exec thin start

Now direct your browser to https://thefoggiest.dev:3000/, then login with user tom and password evankorth. More information can be found here.


Categorised as: cool stuff, howto, lifestyle


5 Comments

  1. I also did the install last night on Arch but didn’t know to set path to PATH=$PATH:/opt/ruby1.8/bin (I’ve managed to avoid Ruby until now) – and running bundler from any other location produces errors.

    Thanks for the writeup.

  2. sycoso says:

    wow, thanks for the post 🙂

    the only problem was that bundle install didn’t install thin so I had to install it with:
    sudo gem install thin

    but it was very helpful, thanks!

  3. sycoso says:

    oh, I just realized: the problem was that it didn’t find thin^^ so I called diaspora with:
    bundle exec /opt/ruby1.8/bin/thin start

  4. Fantastic blog. Will want a bit of time to absorb the job.

  5. ehcache.net says:

    Diaspora on Arch…

    I have some kind of a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I like being up to speed on what people I know or once knew are up to and the network site allows to me to conveniently stay in contact with people without any effort on my part. That said, Fa…