Installing on Alpine Linux


This guide is a step-by-step installation guide for Alpine Linux. 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 pleroma; in this case, use su -l <username> -s $SHELL -c 'command' instead.

Required packages

  • postgresql
  • elixir
  • erlang
  • erlang-parsetools
  • erlang-xmerl
  • git
  • Development Tools

Optional packages used in this guide

  • nginx (preferred, example configs for other reverse proxies can be found in the repo)
  • certbot (or any other ACME client for Let’s Encrypt certificates)

Prepare the system

  • First make sure to have the community repository enabled:
echo "" | sudo tee -a /etc/apk/repository
  • Then update the system, if not already done:
sudo apk update
sudo apk upgrade
  • Install some tools, which are needed later:
sudo apk add git build-base

Install Elixir and Erlang

  • Install Erlang and Elixir:
sudo apk add erlang erlang-runtime-tools erlang-xmerl elixir
  • Install erlang-eldap if you want to enable ldap authenticator
sudo apk add erlang-eldap

Install PostgreSQL

  • Install Postgresql server:
sudo apk add postgresql postgresql-contrib
  • Initialize database:
sudo /etc/init.d/postgresql start
  • Enable and start postgresql server:
sudo rc-update add postgresql

Install PleromaBE

  • Add a new system user for the Pleroma service:
sudo adduser -S -s /bin/false -h /opt/pleroma -H pleroma

Note: To execute a single command as the Pleroma system user, use sudo -Hu pleroma command. You can also switch to a shell by using sudo -Hu pleroma $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 pleroma -s $SHELL -c 'command' and su -l pleroma -s $SHELL for starting a shell.

  • Git clone the PleromaBE repository and make the Pleroma user the owner of the directory:
sudo mkdir -p /opt/pleroma
sudo chown -R pleroma:pleroma /opt/pleroma
sudo -Hu pleroma git clone -b stable /opt/pleroma
  • Change to the new directory:
cd /opt/pleroma
  • Install the dependencies for Pleroma and answer with yes if it asks you to install Hex:
sudo -Hu pleroma mix deps.get
  • Generate the configuration: sudo -Hu pleroma mix pleroma.instance gen

    • Answer with yes if it asks you to install rebar3.
    • This may take some time, because parts of pleroma 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 Pleroma will load it (prod.secret.exs for productive instance, dev.secret.exs for development instances):

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 pleroma MIX_ENV=prod mix ecto.migrate
  • Now you can start Pleroma already
sudo -Hu pleroma 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 Pleroma and you should consider to create an OpenRC service file for Pleroma.


  • Install nginx, if not already done:
sudo apk add nginx
  • Setup your SSL cert, using your method of choice or certbot. If using certbot, first install it:
sudo apk add certbot

and then set it up:

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

If that doesn’t work, make sure, that nginx is not already running. If it still doesn’t work, try setting up nginx first (change ssl “on” to “off” and try again).

  • Copy the example nginx configuration to the nginx folder
sudo cp /opt/pleroma/installation/pleroma.nginx /etc/nginx/conf.d/pleroma.conf
  • Before starting nginx edit the configuration and change it to your needs (e.g. change servername, change cert paths)
  • Enable and start nginx:
sudo rc-update add nginx
sudo service nginx start

If you need to renew the certificate in the future, uncomment the relevant location block in the nginx config and run:

sudo certbot certonly --email <your@emailaddress> -d <yourdomain> --webroot -w /var/lib/letsencrypt/

OpenRC service

  • Copy example service file:
sudo cp /opt/pleroma/installation/init.d/pleroma /etc/init.d/pleroma
  • Make sure to start it during the boot
sudo rc-update add pleroma

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

Further reading


Questions about the installation or didn’t it work as it should be, ask in or IRC Channel #pleroma on Freenode.