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Diaspora is the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source social network.

It is not meant to be run in public/production as this is (pre-)alpha-software and there are several security-concerns.


Since diaspora has not a stable version, you can install it with the development package in Arch User Repository (AUR).

  • To run Diaspora:
$ sudo /etc/rc.d/diaspora start

Then access http://localhost:3000/ to see the diaspora main page.

  • To stop Diaspora:
$ sudo /etc/rc.d/diaspora stop
  • (Optional) To start Diaspora automatically at boot, add the diaspora daemon in your /etc/rc.conf file:
DAEMONS=(... diaspora ...)
  • (Optional) To populate the database with sample users:
$ cd /opt/diaspora
$ sudo -u diaspora GEM_HOME=/opt/diaspora-gems rake db:seed:dev

Then access http://localhost:3000/ and login with user 'tom' and password 'evankorth'.


You can configure diaspora through its own configuration script:

$ sudo vim /opt/diaspora/config/server.sh


Errors while navigating after an upgrade

If you get an error after upgrading the package, the first thing you should do is delete the database you were using. First, stop the diaspora daemon if it is running, and make sure mongodb is running:

$ sudo /etc/rc.d/mongodb start

Enter in the mongo console with:

$ mongo diaspora-development

Finally, drop the old database, it will be regenerated the next time you access diaspora:

> db.dropDatabase()
> exit

GDM login screen with diaspora and/or mongodb users

GDM will insert the users diaspora and mongodb in its login window because it currently considers the id range 500-1000 as normal users while Arch considers this range for system users as defined in /etc/login.defs. GDM does that probably to keep legacy normal users working. To exclude these users from the login window, add this 'Exclude' line in your /etc/gdm/custom.conf file:

Exclude=mongodb, diaspora

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