GNU Social package for Debian

Current build

Version: 1.2.0

Release: beta3

Upstream commit: 67801a556610f89a60106c0074c42947967f3adf


If you need to update the package to a new version then edit the above version/commit and debian/changelog then run:


Creating the package

Run the script to generate the package.

sudo apt-get install build-essential lintian python-software-properties debconf-utils software-properties-common
git clone
cd gnusocial-debian


To ensure that the database gets created set the following before installing the package:

GNUSOCIAL_DOMAIN_NAME='your domain name'
GNUSOCIAL_ADMIN_PASSWORD='your admin user password for the gnusocial database'
MARIADB_ROOT_PASSWORD='Your password goes here'
sudo debconf-set-selections <<< "mariadb-server mariadb-server/root_password password $MARIADB_ROOT_PASSWORD"
sudo debconf-set-selections <<< "mariadb-server mariadb-server/root_password_again password $MARIADB_ROOT_PASSWORD"
sudo debconf-set-selections <<< "gnusocial gnusocial/domain string $GNUSOCIAL_DOMAIN_NAME"
sudo debconf-set-selections <<< "gnusocial gnusocial/admin_password password $GNUSOCIAL_ADMIN_PASSWORD"

Install your preferred web server:

sudo apt-get install nginx


sudo apt-get install apache2

Then to install:

sudo apt-get install eatmydata libjbig0 libterm-readkey-perl libtiff5 libaio1 mariadb-server-10.0 php-gettext php-openid php5 php5-cli php5-curl php5-gd php-db php-mail php-mail-mimedecode php-http-request2 php5-fpm php-auth-sasl php-net-ldap2 php-net-smtp php-net-socket php-net-url2 php-pear php-validate php5-gmp php5-intl php5-json php5-mysql php5-stomp libmarkdown-php libjs-jquery-cookie libjs-jquery-form libjs-jquery-ui libjs-jquery fonts-font-awesome git curl php-xml-parser libcurl3 php-mail-mime libgd3 libjpeg62-turbo libxpm4
sudo eatmydata dpkg -i ../gnusocial_*.deb

By default gnusocial will be installed to /etc/share/gnusocial and linked to /var/www/gnusocial.

Web host examples will be created within /etc/apache2/sites-available or /etc/nginx/sites-available, but they're not enabled. You can use that as a guide to how to integrate gnusocial with your system.

To obtain a Let's Encrypt certificate for your domain name:

sudo su
cd ~/
git clone
systemctl stop nginx/apache2
cd ~/letsencrypt
./letsencrypt-auto certonly --server --standalone -d <domain name> --renew-by-default --agree-tos --email <your email address>
systemctl start nginx/apache2

If you also want an onion address:

sudo su
apt-get install tor
echo 'HiddenServiceDir /var/lib/tor/hidden_service_gnusocial' >> /etc/tor/torrc
echo 'HiddenServicePort 80' >> /etc/tor/torrc
systemctl restart tor
echo "GNU Social onion address: $(cat /var/lib/tor/hidden_service_gnusocial/hostname)"

Then if you're using nginx append this to the end of to your /etc/nginx/sites-available/gnusocial file:

    server {
        listen default_server;
        server_name gnusocial.onion;
        root /var/www/gnusocial;
        index index.php index.html index.htm;
        access_log off;
        location ~* \.php$ {
            try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php;
            fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
            fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
            include fastcgi_params;
            fastcgi_index index.php;
            fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
            fastcgi_read_timeout 300;
        add_header X-Frame-Options DENY;
        add_header X-Content-Type-Options nosniff;
        location / {
            rewrite ^(.*)$ /index.php?p=$1 last;
        location ~* ^/(.*)\.(ico|css|js|gif|png|jpg|bmp|JPG|jpeg)$ {
            root /var/www/gnusocial;
            rewrite ^/(.*)$ /$1 break;
            access_log off;
            expires max;
        client_max_body_size      15m;
        error_log off;

To enable Your site:

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/gnusocial /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
sudo rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default
sudo systemctl restart nginx
sudo systemctl restart php5-fpm

or for Apache:

sudo a2ensite gnusocial
sudo systemctl restart apache2

Then in a browser navigate to your domain name or your onion address in a Tor compatible browser.

To set up your GNU Social site:

When the install is complete you will see a lot of warnings but just ignore those and navigate to your domain name (or onion address) and you can then complete the configuration via the Admin section on the header bar.