Running a Diaspora pod on Ubuntu 10.10

Edit: Since Diaspora has switched from mongo db to mysql, the procedure below is now outdated. I may or may not update this page, or write a new guide.

During the holidays I have had some time to look into Diaspora.
Diaspora is a distributed social network, with a focus on privacy, security and ownership of ones own content. Everyone is free to run their own pod, and users on different pods can connect and communicate with each other. (Diaspora servers are called pods). The Diaspora software is still being developed and is in an alpha state.

Installing Diaspora
There is a great guide to installing Diaspora on Mac OSX, Ubuntu or Fedora here.
On Ubuntu 10.10 it boils down to this.

First install some required packages.
sudo apt-get install build-essential libxslt1.1 libxslt1-dev libxml2 ruby-full mongodb libssl-dev imagemagick libmagick9-dev git-core redis-server rubygems
sudo gem install bundler
sudo ln -s /var/lib/gems/1.8/bin/bundle /usr/local/bin/bundle

Then get Diaspora and the required gems.
git clone
cd diaspora
bundle install --path vendor

Configure Diaspora and nginx
cd config
cp app_config.yml.example app_config.yml

now edit app_config.yml and change the hostname. If you want your pod to be able to send e-mail also edit the mailer_on and smtp_* entries. All the rest is for more advance settings, and your pod should run just fine with the default settings.

One last thing that needs to be set up, before you can enjoy your very own Diaspora server is a proxy, so that requests sent to port 80 are routed to port 3000.
I use the nginx server, as recommended.

Create a file called diaspora in /etc/nginx/sites-available with this content (where you of course change name-of-your-domain to the relevant string):

server {
        listen   80;
        access_log  /var/log/nginx/;
        location / {
                proxy_pass http://name-of-your-domain:3000;

Activate it with
sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/diaspora /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/diaspora
Then restart the nginx server with
sudo /etc/init.d/nginx restart

Finally, if you also want to allow the users of your pod to propagate their status to Twitter and Facebook, you should follow this easy guide on how to configure the oauth_keysm.yml file.

You should now be able to start your pod by issuing
from the diaspora directory.

Running Diaspora
However, this way of starting the pod can result in an inability to add contacts from other pods. So inspired by this you can do the following.

sudo update-rc.d -f redis-server remove
sudo sed -i 's/daemonize yes/daemonize no/' redis.conf
sudo /usr/bin/redis-server /etc/redis/redis.conf &

(You will need to start the redis server each time you reboot your host, or if the server fails in other ways.)

Now, each time you want to start your Diaspora pod run the following three commands from the diaspora directory. Wait for one service to start, before starting the next.

ruby script/websocket_server.rb &

QUEUE=receive,mail,receive_local,socket_webfinger,http_service,http,receive_salmon bundle exec rake resque:work &

bundle exec thin start -p 3000 -e development &

You can of course do this more elegantly, by wrapping it up in some scripts, but hopefully you get the idea. So instead of using the script/server script I use those three commands to start my pod.

Now your pod should finally be ready for use.

Now what?
So, should everyone run their own server? Properly not. Diaspora is still so early in the development process that normal users should think twice before using it. The features are limited, and there are still plenty of bugs.

But if you want to see what it can do, look for bugs or are just curious, then why not?. However, you don’t need to run your own pod for that. There are plenty of pods out there that accept new user signups.
Take a look at the list over here:

You should also feel free to use my pod, located at
What ever you choose to do, please note that this is still alpha-software, and should be treated as such.

If you need someone to add as contact for testing purposes, feel free to add me:

For more info about Diaspora see: – the official Diaspora website, that also hosts a pod, run by the core developers. Currently the pod at is closed for new signups, but due to the distributed nature of Diaspora any pod should be fine, as long as you trust the people running the pod. – list of running pods. – Wikipedia article

The Bunny Got It!

Nephew ended their latest tour yesterday in Tivoli. They had a few guests on stage (Peter Sommer and L.O.C.) and got through a lot of their popular material in great style. The lead singer, Simon Kvamm, got to use all his talents as entertainer – at one point he got into a light sabre fight with a man-sized bunny. In the end the bunny (played by a fan from the crowd) lost the fight and was ‘killed’ on stage by Simon.

Must see…

Nephew i Tivoli på søndag

Jeg har vist været til en del fredagsrock i løbet af sommeren. Har dog ingen planer om at se Nick og Jay i morgen. Men heldigvis er det ikke de to der får lov til at lukke den gamle have i år. Den ære tilfalder Nephew (der vist endelig har fået gang i deres længe ventede samarbejde med Timberland?).

Det er lidt i sidste øjeblik at det går op for mig, men nu glæder jeg mig da til søndag – så håber jeg bare at vejret bliver bedre. Eller i det mindste at det holder tørt.

ps. Hvad sker der for de regnbuefarvede s-tog badedyr på søerne? Er det en mærkelig reklamekampagne jeg ikke fatter eller har jeg misset noget?

Wait, this is not my school… is it?

I almost thought I had gone to the wrong place when I showed up at uni today. I had an appointment with my councillor today, but the sight that met me when I first entered HCØ was that of a fancy cafe theme. There were tall bar stools in fancy green colours and comfy looking sofas – in what could be mistaken for leather. Quite a lot has changed since I last walked those halls before summer.

But it was of course the right place I was at, and my counsellor had found some nice books for me to dive into. Off to Copenhagen University Library North I went and now have in my possession enough books to get started (and more ordered – should show up soon). Now I just need time to start reading.

This afternoon I went with a few other members of the ubuntu-dk loco team to Cafe Retro to see if it could be possible to host a Gutsy release party there. The place is very cosy and holds great promise. I do hope we figure something out (even though I properly won’t be there for the party, as I’m planing to go see Esben in Japan during the fall holidays).

Now I have just returned home from a night out with Søren, and a few people from his work. We went for a few quality beers at Ølbaren in Elmegade.

Bryllup i Sverige

Jeg var til bryllup i weekenden. Joe og Ingrid blev gift i Sverige – og jeg var med.
Det hele gik fint. De sagde ja til hinanden (og det er vel næsten det vigtigste ved et bryllup?), der blev holdt gode taler (gomens tale til bruden var den bedste), der var generel underholdning, lækker mad og en god fest.

Jeg var smadret dagen efter – om søndagen. Mandag kunne jeg også godt mærke at jeg ikke havde fået alt for meget søvn og min forberedelse kunne nok også godt have været bedre. Om nogle af eleverne bemærkede det ved jeg ikke… men der var ingen der sagde noget.

Lige nu glæder jeg mig bare til snart at få en dag (fredag?) hvor jeg kan sove så længe jeg vil – det har min krop brug for.

Get a haircut, hippie!

Another 3 days of light (and heavy!) drinking come to a halt. (Well, today is not over yet, and my uncle might just be serving a beer or two when I go visit this evening… so make this the start of day four.) Thursday was just a few beers before going to see The Simpsons Movie (for the third time) and to relax after my first day of work.
Friday was a bit more heavy. Our group of five (give or take a few, people seemed to join and leave through out the night) started out drinking a few at The Old English Pub before we went to see Saybia play fredagsrock in Tivoli.

See pictures (not by me or anyone I know) from the concert here:

I have never really been a great Saybia fan – and must admit that they had to play more than one tune before I even started to recognise the music. I was not the only one not feeling the full concert vibe, so we headed out of Tivoli and ended up at Den Glade Gris.
After a bit of waiting a live band started playing some nice Rock covers. One hour followed the next and after a while some of the guys and girls started leaving, so the rest of us moved on to Heidi’s to meet some new people. It was hot (as always) and our entire group managed to get thrown out over a quarrel with one of the bartenders. At first he just called the doorman to move one or two of us out, but as the rest of us started to question the logic we were all asked to leave. The doorman of course had to follow the requests from the bartender, but deep down I think he him self could see that it was a bit silly throwing us out. His said something along the lines of “You’r clearly having to much fun” to justify throwing us out. Which makes a lot of sense – usually people come to Heidi’s to sit and be depressed? If I want to have fun, I go out, if I want to be alone and depressed I will stay in my room and watch a wall, Swedish television or something similarly depressing/boring.

Anyway, we moved on, was thrown out of another bar (because they closed, not because of our good spirit) and finally ended up in Lades Kælder.

So, I had hoped yesterday could just be easy and relaxing, but Søren had just returned from a month of inter rail, so when he asked me to a party at his dorm I really could not say no. And as always in the dorm I ended up getting a lot of Harboe gulds and liquor. Long story short, after a lot of heavy drinking at the dorm and a few other places I finally went home from a party (with a bonfire in the back yard and everything) in a collective in Bellahøj.

Lækker fredags rock!

Jeg var inde og høre Rasmus Nøhr og Marie Key Band til fredags rock i Tivoli i fredags! Jeg har længe været rigtig glad for Rasmus Nøhr, men må indrømme at jeg troede Marie Key Band skulle spille for/med Rasmus og ikke var et band for sig selv. Men jeg blev overrasket – glædeligt overrasket!

Så den første time underholdt Marie og band med finurlige tekster, akkompagneret af god musik (og en lille smule twist). Hendes stemme er meget speciel. Jeg ved ikke helt hvad jeg skal sammenligne den med… den lyder måske lidt barnlig, men det er også en dårlig beskrivelse – den skal høres!

Da Rasmus Nøhr endelig gik på kunne jeg godt ærgre mig over at aftenens program ikke var blevet fordelt på to aftener – jeg tror godt Marie Key Band kunne have underholdt længere, og jeg tror også godt Rasmus skulle have fundet noget at bruge en ekstra time på. Men Rasmus startede stærkt ud med et nyt nummer der vist hed “fyr den af” og holdt ellers dampen oppe resten af koncerten! Numre fra hans første 2 albums blev mixed med et par helt nye numre og jeg gik i hvert fald fra koncerten med en følelse af at jeg havde fået hørt alle de numre jeg var kommet efter, lige fra Til min far over Hash eller gas og Ring nu, til Det glade pizzabud og Kysse under stjernerne.

Efter musikken i Tivoli snuppede jeg lige et par øl med de andre, inden vi tog hvert til sit med en aftale om at tage på stranden lørdag. Det blev så ikke til noget da vejret lørdag ikke lige var som vi havde håbet – men sådan kan det jo gå. Jeg fik klaret en del oprydning lørdag, og selvom det jo ikke er lige så sjovt som at tage på stranden så er det jo også meget lækkert at kunne komme rundt i sin lejlighed uden at man skal ligne en af de ynkelig hunde der tvinges til sådan noget “agility træning”

HMKC Spring 2007 Agility Trial, originally uploaded by SheltieBoy.

Summer the way it is supposed to be…!

Tuesday I got up late(ish) and went to visit Esben. We went for a run in Amager Fællede. We did manage to stray from the marked trail and ended up on a path that really wasn’t a path. In the end we were in some very long grass and facing water so deep and wide that we had no option but to turn back.

After the run we went to Havnebadet for a quick swim in the 20 degrees hot water and some lunch at Kulturhuset. Sitting outside in the sun having a burger by the water front is just something I don’t do often enough.

Later in the day Thomas had invited quite a big group of people for dinner and a movie. Emil (who I hadn’t seen in ages) was one of the people. He has just gotten him self a motor cycle not to long ago, so we agreed that we had to go for a ride some time soon. The movie, Harry Potter, was ok – I haven’t read the books, so nothing was spoiled for me. I think some of the other more ‘hardcore’ fans were a bit disappointed but that is the way it always is when you read the book and then see the movie. I thought the movie ended rather sudden, but I guess you have to remember that it is followed by two more books / movies. All in all a nice evening.

Yesterday afternoon I got a text message from Emil. The weather was perfect for a quick MC ride. And it had been quite some time since my bike had last been taken for a spin.
We decided to meet up in Virum. From there we rode out to the coast and then up north along the water. It really is a nice view and the sunny weather only made it better. We got all the way to Helsingør and the Kronborg Castle and then back home on the freeway. I finally met up with Esben (and later on Mark and Rasmus) for a great workout – and to top it off this morning (well, noon) I went running with Rasmus… I think my legs will be sore tomorrow.

I need a holiday after this vacation!

Today I came home from a five day visit to Amsterdam. The trip did not start out in the best way. One of the guys in the group didn’t catch the plane and had to ride the train to Amsterdam instead – a trip that takes quite a bit longer than the two hours the rest of us had to spend on a plane. On top of that I left Copenhagen with a cold and a bit of fever (properly something I caught in the mud of Roskilde). When we finally arrived the weather was so-and-so and our hotel was located 8 kilometers outside the city center.

All those things aside the trip went well. Except for a visit to the Anne Frank House we didn’t really ‘see’ anything. But for some reason just passing time and letting days pass by is not as hard as it might sound.
I have unfortunately never read the Anne Frank Diary but did know her ‘story’. After visiting her former hiding place, reading it has moved up quite a bit on my mental ‘to do’ list.