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Switching a from-source install to OTP releases

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.

In this guide we cover how you can migrate from a from source installation to one using OTP releases.


You will be running commands as root. If you aren't root already, please elevate your priviledges by executing sudo su/su.

The system needs to have curl and unzip installed for downloading and unpacking release builds.

apk add curl unzip
apt install curl unzip

Moving content out of the application directory

When using OTP releases the application directory changes with every version so it would be a bother to keep content there (and also dangerous unless --no-rm option is used when updating). Fortunately almost all paths in Akkoma are configurable, so it is possible to move them out of there.

Akkoma should be stopped before proceeding.

Moving uploads/custom public files directory

# Create uploads directory and set proper permissions (skip if using a remote uploader)
# Note: It does not have to be `/var/lib/akkoma/uploads`, you can configure it to be something else later
mkdir -p /var/lib/akkoma/uploads
chown -R akkoma /var/lib/akkoma

# Create custom public files directory
# Note: It does not have to be `/var/lib/akkoma/static`, you can configure it to be something else later
mkdir -p /var/lib/akkoma/static
chown -R akkoma /var/lib/akkoma

# If you use the local uploader with default settings your uploads should be located in `~akkoma/uploads`
mv ~akkoma/uploads/* /var/lib/akkoma/uploads

# If you have created the custom public files directory with default settings it should be located in `~akkoma/instance/static`
mv ~akkoma/instance/static /var/lib/akkoma/static

Moving emoji

Assuming you have all emojis in subdirectories of priv/static/emoji moving them can be done with

mkdir /var/lib/akkoma/static/emoji
ls -d ~akkoma/priv/static/emoji/*/ | xargs -i sh -c 'mv "{}" "/var/lib/akkoma/static/emoji/$(basename {})"'

But, if for some reason you have custom emojis in the root directory you should copy the whole directory instead.

mv ~akkoma/priv/static/emoji /var/lib/akkoma/static/emoji
and then copy custom emojis to /var/lib/akkoma/static/emoji/custom.

This is needed because storing custom emojis in the root directory is deprecated, but if you just move them to /var/lib/akkoma/static/emoji/custom it will break emoji urls on old posts.

Note that globs have been replaced with pack_extensions, so if your emojis are not in png/gif you should modify the default value.

Moving the config

# Create the config directory
# The default path for Akkoma config is /etc/akkoma/config.exs
# but it can be set via PLEROMA_CONFIG_PATH environment variable
mkdir -p /etc/akkoma

# Move the config file
mv ~akkoma/config/prod.secret.exs /etc/akkoma/config.exs

# Change `use Mix.Config` at the top to `import Config`
$EDITOR /etc/akkoma/config.exs

Installing the release

Before proceeding, get the flavour from Detecting flavour section in OTP installation guide.

# Delete all files in akkoma user's directory
rm -r ~akkoma/*

# Set the flavour environment variable to the string you got in Detecting flavour section.
# For example if the flavour is `amd64-musl` the command will be
export FLAVOUR="amd64-musl"

# Clone the release build into a temporary directory and unpack it
# Replace `stable` with `unstable` if you want to run the unstable branch
su akkoma -s $SHELL -lc "
curl '$' -o /tmp/
unzip /tmp/ -d /tmp/

# Move the release to the home directory and delete temporary files
su akkoma -s $SHELL -lc "
mv /tmp/release/* ~akkoma/
rmdir /tmp/release
rm /tmp/

# Start the instance to verify that everything is working as expected
su akkoma -s $SHELL -lc "./bin/pleroma daemon"

# Wait for about 20 seconds and query the instance endpoint, if it shows your uri, name and email correctly, you are configured correctly
sleep 20 && curl http://localhost:4000/api/v1/instance

# Stop the instance
su akkoma -s $SHELL -lc "./bin/pleroma stop"

Setting up a system service

OTP releases have different service files than from-source installs so they need to be copied over again.

Warning: The service files assume akkoma user's home directory is /opt/akkoma, please make sure all paths fit your installation.

# Copy the service into a proper directory
cp -f ~akkoma/installation/init.d/akkoma /etc/init.d/akkoma

# Start akkoma
rc-service akkoma start
# Copy the service into a proper directory
cp ~akkoma/installation/akkoma.service /etc/systemd/system/akkoma.service

# Reload service files
systemctl daemon-reload

# Reenable akkoma to start on boot
systemctl reenable akkoma

# Start akkoma
systemctl start akkoma

Running mix tasks

Refer to Running mix tasks section from OTP release installation guide.


Refer to Updating section from OTP release installation guide.


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)