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Installing on Debian Based Distributions

OTP releases vs from-source installations

There are two ways to install Akkoma. You can use OTP releases or do a from-source installation. OTP releases are as close as you can get to binary releases with Erlang/Elixir. The release is self-contained, and provides everything needed to boot it, it is easily administered via the provided shell script to open up a remote console, start/stop/restart the release, start in the background, send remote commands, and more. With from source installations you install Akkoma from source, meaning you have to install certain dependencies like Erlang+Elixir and compile Akkoma yourself.

This guide covers a from-source installation. To install using OTP releases, please check out the OTP guide.


This guide will assume you are on Debian 12 (“bookworm”) or later. This guide should also work with Ubuntu 22.04 (“Jammy Jellyfish”) and later. It also assumes that you have administrative rights, either as root or a user with sudo permissions. If you want to run this guide with root, ignore the sudo at the beginning of the lines, unless it calls a user like sudo -Hu akkoma; in this case, use su <username> -s $SHELL -c 'command' instead.

Required dependencies

  • PostgreSQL 9.6+
  • Elixir 1.14+ (currently tested up to 1.16)
  • Erlang OTP 25+ (currently tested up to OTP26)
  • git
  • file / libmagic
  • gcc (clang might also work)
  • GNU make
  • CMake

Optional dependencies

  • ImageMagick
  • FFmpeg
  • exiftool

Prepare the system

  • First update the system, if not already done:
sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade
  • Install some of the above mentioned programs:
sudo apt install git build-essential postgresql postgresql-contrib cmake libmagic-dev

Create the akkoma user

  • Add a new system user for the Akkoma service:
sudo useradd -r -s /bin/false -m -d /var/lib/akkoma -U akkoma

Note: To execute a single command as the Akkoma system user, use sudo -Hu akkoma command. You can also switch to a shell by using sudo -Hu akkoma $SHELL. If you don’t have and want sudo on your system, you can use su as root user (UID 0) for a single command by using su -l akkoma -s $SHELL -c 'command' and su -l akkoma -s $SHELL for starting a shell.

Install Elixir and Erlang

If your distribution packages a recent enough version of Elixir, you can install it directly from the distro repositories and skip to the next section of the guide:

sudo apt install elixir erlang-dev erlang-nox

Otherwise use asdf to install the latest versions of Elixir and Erlang.

First, install some dependencies needed to build Elixir and Erlang:

sudo apt install curl unzip build-essential autoconf m4 libncurses5-dev libssh-dev unixodbc-dev xsltproc libxml2-utils libncurses-dev

Then login to the akkoma user and install asdf:

git clone ~/.asdf --branch v0.11.3

Add the following lines to ~/.bashrc:

. "$HOME/.asdf/"
# asdf completions
. "$HOME/.asdf/completions/asdf.bash"

Restart the shell:

exec $SHELL

Next install Erlang:

asdf plugin add erlang
export KERL_CONFIGURE_OPTIONS="--disable-debug --without-javac"
asdf install erlang
asdf global erlang

Now install Elixir:

asdf plugin-add elixir
asdf install elixir 1.15.4-otp-25
asdf global elixir 1.15.4-otp-25

Confirm that Elixir is installed correctly by checking the version:

elixir --version

Optional packages: docs/installation/optional/

sudo apt install imagemagick ffmpeg libimage-exiftool-perl

Install AkkomaBE

  • Log into the akkoma user and clone the AkkomaBE repository from the stable branch and make the Akkoma user the owner of the directory:
sudo mkdir -p /opt/akkoma
sudo chown -R akkoma:akkoma /opt/akkoma
sudo -Hu akkoma git clone -b stable /opt/akkoma
  • Change to the new directory:
cd /opt/akkoma
  • Install the dependencies for Akkoma and answer with yes if it asks you to install Hex:
sudo -Hu akkoma mix deps.get
  • Generate the configuration: sudo -Hu akkoma MIX_ENV=prod mix pleroma.instance gen
  • Answer with yes if it asks you to install rebar3.
  • This may take some time, because parts of akkoma get compiled first.
  • After that it will ask you a few questions about your instance and generates a configuration file in config/generated_config.exs.

  • Check the configuration and if all looks right, rename it, so Akkoma will load it (prod.secret.exs for productive instances):

sudo -Hu akkoma mv config/{generated_config.exs,prod.secret.exs}
  • The previous command creates also the file config/setup_db.psql, with which you can create the database:
sudo -Hu postgres psql -f config/setup_db.psql
  • Now run the database migration:
sudo -Hu akkoma MIX_ENV=prod mix ecto.migrate
  • Now you can start Akkoma already
sudo -Hu akkoma MIX_ENV=prod mix phx.server

Finalize installation

If you want to open your newly installed instance to the world, you should run nginx or some other webserver/proxy in front of Akkoma and you should consider to create a systemd service file for Akkoma.


  • Install nginx, if not already done:
sudo apt install nginx
  • Copy the example nginx configuration and activate it:
sudo cp /opt/akkoma/installation/nginx/akkoma.nginx /etc/nginx/sites-available/akkoma.nginx
sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/akkoma.nginx /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/akkoma.nginx
  • Before starting nginx edit the configuration and change it to your needs (e.g. change servername, change cert paths)
  • Enable and start nginx:
sudo systemctl enable --now nginx.service
  • Setup your SSL cert, using your method of choice or certbot. If using certbot, first install it:
sudo apt install certbot python3-certbot-nginx

and then set it up:

sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/letsencrypt/
sudo certbot --email <your@emailaddress> -d <yourdomain> -d <media_domain> --nginx

If that doesn't work the first time, add --dry-run to further attempts to avoid being ratelimited as you identify the issue, and do not remove it until the dry run succeeds. A common source of problems are nginx config syntax errors; this can be checked for by running nginx -t.

Certificate renewal should be handled automatically by Certbot from now on.

Other webserver/proxies

You can find example configurations for them in /opt/akkoma/installation/.

Systemd service

  • Copy example service file
sudo cp /opt/akkoma/installation/akkoma.service /etc/systemd/system/akkoma.service
  • Edit the service file and make sure that all paths fit your installation
  • Enable and start akkoma.service:
sudo systemctl enable --now akkoma.service

Create your first user

If your instance is up and running, you can create your first user with administrative rights with the following task:

sudo -Hu akkoma MIX_ENV=prod mix pleroma.user new <username> <your@emailaddress> --admin

Installing Frontends

Once your backend server is functional, you'll also want to probably install frontends.

These are no longer bundled with the distribution and need an extra command to install.

For most installations, the following will suffice:

./bin/pleroma_ctl frontend install pleroma-fe --ref stable
# and also, if desired
./bin/pleroma_ctl frontend install admin-fe --ref stable
mix pleroma.frontend install pleroma-fe --ref stable
mix pleroma.frontend install admin-fe --ref stable
./docker-resources/ mix pleroma.frontend install pleroma-fe --ref stable
./docker-resources/ mix pleroma.frontend install admin-fe --ref stable

For more customised installations, refer to Frontend Management

Further reading


If you encounter any issues or have questions regarding the install process, feel free to ask at

Or message via IRC on #akkoma at (port 6697, SSL)