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Edit: Since Diaspora has switched from mongo db to mysql, the procedure below is now outdated.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

Big news everyone – studies – Gefion Gymnasium and home

If you know me really well in real life, none of the news in this blog post will really be news to you.

If you follow my Twitter feed (or Facebook), some of this news will be old news to you, but there is still one big surprise – do read on to the end.

If you only follow my life through this blog… well, stand by for the most content rich post since… ever?


So, at April 7 I finally defended my thesis – and passed! So that marks the conclusion of my many years as a student at the University of Copenhagen and my work towards my Master degree in Mathematics.

To make it official, my diploma arrived on the 21th of July, much to my surprise. There have been many stories of people, who have waited over a year to receive their diploma. It would seem that I have either been lucky, or that some of the problems, that have haunted the administration at the University, have been cured recently.


After a few weeks of looking I also found myself a job. So although the first two and a half week is considered vacation, according to my contract I officially start work at the Gefion Gymnasium on August first. I’m really looking forward to starting my new life, where student is no longer my primary profession, but where I am now a teacher.
Feel free to wish both me and my coming students good luck!
(And if any of my future students read this… don’t you have something more important to do? I’m sure you have some homework you haven’t finished!)

Gefion Gymnasium is a merger between Øster Borgerdyd and Metropolitanskolen. I have been told that the new facilities should be of very high quality, but have unfortunately not seen them yet.

Photo by: Thomas Angermann

When watched from from the outside, the GeoCenter building always gives me associations to Germany in the late 1930’s. However that feeling hasn’t followed me inside, when I have been there. (The building also houses parts of the University, so I have been there in that capacity a few times.)

Photo by: seier+seier


Finally I have been looking for a bigger place to live with two friends for some time now, and we have finally found a big apartment in Østerbro.
So I will be moving quite a lot of my things tomorrow, if all goes as planed, and then when I return from vacation, I will move the rest of my stuff, so I will be all moved in (and out) by late August.

Of course Østerbro is further away from the city center than my current apartment, but the new apartment will give me (and the two other guys) a lot more space, and we will have some opportunities to do something really great with the shared rooms.

All in all I am really looking forward to moving to Østerbro, and making that my new home, although the last couple of days have been quite fast-paced. It took less than a week from we saw the apartment first time until we signed the lease.

I read it on the internet…

… so it must be true!

Der kommer et nyt Wulff & Morgenthaler tv show i 2010.

Jeg så det førstWuuha (hvordan jeg var endt der, ved kun min internet-historik… og måske google).
Men man skal jo altid gå til kilden…

wulff (ikke ham, men hans bror, hvis du ved hvad jeg mener) skriver på twitter i går:

Time will tell if WM can create another TV megahit like … 2010 to be more exact. We actually aim higher this time.

Linket i twitter posten ender ved denne youtube video, hvor Wulff og 4 dukker render rundt og laver sjov.

Twitter og andet pjat

Som det kan ses nedenfor er jeg nu på Twitter


I bedste lemming stil gør jeg selvfølgelig som alle de andre, følger strømmen osv. Om min profil bliver opdateret dagligt, månedligt eller højest en gang om året vil tiden vise. Men nu er jeg på!

Jeg har også fået erhvervet mig en HTC magic mobiltelefon, der kommer med Android styresystemet. Jeg har fået at vide at jeg opfører mig lidt som en 5-årig dreng, der lige har fået nyt legetøj (og det gør jeg sikkert også), men jeg håber at jeg bliver rigtig glad for telefonen. Indtil videre virker den nem og intuitiv at gå til, og specielt adgang til min gmail og google calendar alle steder tror jeg, at jeg kommer til at blive rigtig glad for.

Jalousi er en grim ting

Just installed ubuntu on gf’s laptop… Now I’m jealous!

Fra etj i forgårs

Hvis Ubuntu kan gøre en inkarneret Mac bruger jaloux, så er vi ved at være der!

Beskeden fra hans kæreste (som vist har kørt med Windows XP tidligere) var i øvrigt

Program/OS working amazingly

Det er altid rart at høre fra glade ‘kunder’.