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Installing on Linux using 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.

This guide covers a installation using an OTP release. To install Akkoma from source, please check out the corresponding guide for your distro.


  • A machine running Linux with GNU (e.g. Debian, Ubuntu) or musl (e.g. Alpine) libc and an x86_64 or arm64 CPU you have root access to. If you are not sure if it's compatible see Detecting flavour section below
  • For installing OTP releases on RedHat-based distros like Fedora and Centos Stream, please follow this guide instead.
  • A (sub)domain pointed to the machine

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

While in theory OTP releases are possbile to install on any compatible machine, for the sake of simplicity this guide focuses only on Debian/Ubuntu and Alpine.

Detecting flavour

Use the following mapping to figure out your flavour:

distribution architecture flavour available branches
debian bookworm amd64 amd64 develop, stable
debian bookworm arm64 arm64 stable
ubuntu jammy amd64 amd64 develop, stable
ubuntu jammy arm64 arm64 develop, stable
alpine amd64 amd64-musl stable
alpine arm64 arm64-musl stable

Other similar distributions will probably work, but if it is not listed above, there is no official support.

Installing the required packages

Other than things bundled in the OTP release Akkoma depends on:

  • curl (to download the release build)
  • unzip (needed to unpack release builds)
  • ncurses (ERTS won't run without it)
  • PostgreSQL (also utilizes extensions in postgresql-contrib)
  • nginx (could be swapped with another reverse proxy but this guide covers only it)
  • certbot (for Let's Encrypt certificates, could be swapped with another ACME client, but this guide covers only it)
  • libmagic/file
awk 'NR==2' /etc/apk/repositories | sed 's/main/community/' | tee -a /etc/apk/repositories
apk update
apk add curl unzip ncurses postgresql postgresql-contrib nginx certbot file-dev
apt install curl unzip libncurses5 postgresql postgresql-contrib nginx certbot libmagic-dev

Installing optional packages

Per docs/installation/optional/ * ImageMagick * ffmpeg * exiftool

apk update
apk add imagemagick ffmpeg exiftool
apt install imagemagick ffmpeg libimage-exiftool-perl


Configuring PostgreSQL

(Optional) Installing RUM indexes


It is recommended to use PostgreSQL v11 or newer. We have seen some minor issues with lower PostgreSQL versions.

RUM indexes are an alternative indexing scheme that is not included in PostgreSQL by default. You can read more about them on the Configuration page. They are completely optional and most of the time are not worth it, especially if you are running a single user instance (unless you absolutely need ordered search results).

apk add git build-base postgresql-dev
git clone /tmp/rum
cd /tmp/rum
make USE_PGXS=1
make USE_PGXS=1 install
rm -r /tmp/rum
# Available only on Buster/19.04
apt install postgresql-11-rum

(Optional) Performance configuration

It is encouraged to check Optimizing your PostgreSQL performance document, for tips on PostgreSQL tuning.

Restart PostgreSQL to apply configuration changes:

rc-service postgresql restart
systemctl restart postgresql

Installing Akkoma

# Create a Akkoma user
adduser --system --shell  /bin/false --home /opt/akkoma 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"
export FLAVOUR="<replace-this-with-the-correct-flavour-string>"

# Make sure the SHELL variable is set
export SHELL="${SHELL:-/bin/sh}"

# Clone the release build into a temporary directory and unpack it
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/* /opt/akkoma
rmdir /tmp/release
rm /tmp/
# Create uploads directory and set proper permissions (skip if planning to use a remote uploader)
# Note: It does not have to be `/var/lib/akkoma/uploads`, the config generator will ask about the upload directory later

mkdir -p /var/lib/akkoma/uploads
chown -R akkoma /var/lib/akkoma

# Create custom public files directory (custom emojis, frontend bundle overrides, robots.txt, etc.)
# Note: It does not have to be `/var/lib/akkoma/static`, the config generator will ask about the custom public files directory later
mkdir -p /var/lib/akkoma/static
chown -R akkoma /var/lib/akkoma

# Create a config directory
mkdir -p /etc/akkoma
chown -R akkoma /etc/akkoma

# Run the config generator
su akkoma -s $SHELL -lc "./bin/pleroma_ctl instance gen --output /etc/akkoma/config.exs --output-psql /tmp/setup_db.psql"

# Create the postgres database
su postgres -s $SHELL -lc "psql -f /tmp/setup_db.psql"

# Create the database schema
su akkoma -s $SHELL -lc "./bin/pleroma_ctl migrate"

# If you have installed RUM indexes uncommend and run
# su akkoma -s $SHELL -lc "./bin/pleroma_ctl migrate --migrations-path priv/repo/optional_migrations/rum_indexing/"

# 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 nginx and getting Let's Encrypt SSL certificaties

Copy Akkoma nginx configuration to the nginx folder

The location of nginx configs is dependent on the distro

cp /opt/akkoma/installation/akkoma.nginx /etc/nginx/conf.d/akkoma.conf
cp /opt/akkoma/installation/akkoma.nginx /etc/nginx/sites-available/akkoma.conf
ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/akkoma.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/akkoma.conf

If your distro does not have either of those you can append include /etc/nginx/akkoma.conf to the end of the http section in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf and

cp /opt/akkoma/installation/akkoma.nginx /etc/nginx/akkoma.conf

Edit the nginx config

# Replace example.tld with your (sub)domain
$EDITOR path-to-nginx-config

# Verify that the config is valid
nginx -t

Get a Let's Encrypt certificate

certbot --nginx -d yourinstance.tld -d media.yourinstance.tld

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.

Start nginx

rc-service nginx start
systemctl start nginx

At this point if you open your (sub)domain in a browser you should see a 502 error, that's because Akkoma is not started yet.

Setting up a system service

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

# Start akkoma and enable it on boot
rc-service akkoma start
rc-update add akkoma
# Copy the service into a proper directory
cp /opt/akkoma/installation/akkoma.service /etc/systemd/system/akkoma.service

# Start akkoma and enable it on boot
systemctl start akkoma
systemctl enable akkoma

If everything worked, you should see Akkoma-FE when visiting your domain. If that didn't happen, try reviewing the installation steps, starting Akkoma in the foreground and seeing if there are any errrors.


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)

Post installation

Setting up auto-renew of the Let's Encrypt certificate

# Start the cron daemon and make it start on boot
rc-service crond start
rc-update add crond

# Ensure the webroot menthod and post hook is working
certbot renew --cert-name yourinstance.tld --nginx --dry-run

# Add it to the daily cron
echo '#!/bin/sh
certbot renew --cert-name yourinstance.tld --nginx
' > /etc/periodic/daily/renew-akkoma-cert
chmod +x /etc/periodic/daily/renew-akkoma-cert

# If everything worked the output should contain /etc/cron.daily/renew-akkoma-cert
run-parts --test /etc/periodic/daily

This should be automatically enabled with the certbot-renew.timer systemd unit.

Create your first user and set as admin

cd /opt/akkoma
su akkoma -s $SHELL -lc "./bin/pleroma_ctl user new joeuser joeuser@sld.tld --admin"
This will create an account withe the username of 'joeuser' with the email address of joeuser@sld.tld, and set that user's account as an admin. This will result in a link that you can paste into the browser, which logs you in and enables you to set the password.

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)