Commit 10fe63d4 authored by Eugen Rochko's avatar Eugen Rochko Committed by GitHub

Merge pull request #508 from ineffyble/docs/developer-docs-additions

Documentation tweaks
parents 536cde4e 92a98f73
......@@ -16,7 +16,7 @@ Index
### Running Mastodon
- [Production guide](Running-Mastodon/
- [Development guide](Running-Mastodon/
- [Development guide](Running-Mastodon/
### Contributing to Mastodon
- [Sponsors](Contributing-to-Mastodon/
Administration guide
So, you have a working Mastodon instance... now what?
## Administration web interface
A user that is designated as `admin = TRUE` in the database is able to access a suite of administration tools:
* View, edit, silence, or suspend users - https://yourmastodon.instance/admin/accounts
* View PubSubHubbub subscriptions - https://yourmastodon.instance/admin/pubsubhubbub
* View domain blocks - https://yourmastodon.instance/admin/domain_blocks
* Sidekiq dashboard - https://yourmastodon.instance/sidekiq
* PGHero dashboard for PostgreSQL - https://yourmastodon.instance/pghero
* Edit site settings - https://yourmastodon.instance/admin/settings
## Site settings
Your site settings are stored in the `settings` database table, and editable through the admin interface at https://yourmastodon.instance/admin/settings.
You are able to set the following settings:
- Contact username
- Contact email
- Site description
- Site extended description
You may wish to use the extended description (shown at https://yourmastodon.instance/about/more ) to display content guidelines or a user agreement (see for an example).
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......@@ -44,3 +44,5 @@ Ngrok and similar services give you a random domain on each start up. This is go
Generally, federation bits are tricky to work on for exactly this reason - it's hard to test. And when you are testing with a disposable instance you are polluting the databases of the real servers you're testing against, usually not a big deal but can be annoying. The way I have handled this so far was thus: I have used ngrok for one session, and recorded the exchanges from its web interface to create fixtures and test suites. From then on I've been working with those rather than live servers.
I advise to study the existing code and the RFCs before trying to implement any federation-related changes. It's not *that* difficult, but I think "here be dragons" applies because it's easy to break.
If your development environment is running remotely (e.g. on a VPS or virtual machine), setting the `REMOTE_DEV` environment variable will swap your instance from using "letter opener" (which launches a local browser) to "letter opener web" (which collects emails and displays them at /letter_opener ).
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Heroku guide
Mastodon can theoretically run indefinitely on a free [Heroku]( app. It should be noted this has limited testing and could have unpredictable results.
1. Click the above button.
2. Fill in the options requested.
* You can use a domain, which will be simple to set up, or you can use a custom domain. If you want a custom domain and HTTPS, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan (to use Heroku's SSL features), or set up [CloudFlare]( who offer free "Flexible SSL" (note: CloudFlare have some undefined limits on WebSockets. So far, no one has reported hitting concurrent connection limits).
* You will want Amazon S3 for file storage. The only exception is for development purposes, where you may not care if files are not saaved. Follow a guide online for creating a free Amazon S3 bucket and Access Key, then enter the details.
* If you want your Mastodon to be able to send emails, configure SMTP settings here (or later). Consider using [Mailgun]( or similar, who offer free plans that should suit your interests.
3. Deploy! The app should be set up, with a working web interface and database. You can change settings and manage versions from the Heroku dashboard.
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Vagrant guide
A quick way to get a development environment up and running is with Vagrant. You will need recent versions of [Vagrant]( and [VirtualBox]( installed.
## Basic setup
Install the latest versions of Vagrant and VirtualBox for your operating systems, and then run:
vagrant plugin install vagrant-hostsupdater
This is optional, but will update your 'hosts' file when you start the virtual machine, allowing you to access the site at (instead of http://localhost:3000).
To create and provision a new virtual machine for Mastodon development:
git clone
cd mastodon
vagrant up
Running `vagrant up` for the first time will run provisioning, which will:
- Download the Ubuntu 14.04 base image, if there isn't already a copy on your machine
- Create a new VirtualBox virtual machine from that image
- Run the provisioning script (located inside the Vagrantfile), which installs the system packages, Ruby gems, and JS modules required for Mastodon
- Run the startup script
## Starting the server
The Vagrant box will automatically start after provisioning. It can be started in future with `vagrant up` from the mastodon directory.
Once the Ubuntu virtual machine has booted, it will run the startup script, which loads the environment variables from `.env.vagrant` and then runs `rails s -d -b`. This will start a Rails server. You can then access your development site at (or at http://localhost:3000 if you haven't installed vagrants-hostupdater).
To stop the server, simply run `vagrant halt`.
## Using the server
You should now have a working Mastodon instance, although it will not federate, as it is not publicly accessible. Should you need temporary federation for development and testing, see the Ngrok information in the [Development Guide](
By default, your instance's ActionMailer will use "Letter Opener Web" for email. This means that any email that would normally be sent, will instead be stored, and accessible at - you can use this to verify a registered user account.
## Making changes/developing
You are able to set environment variables, which are used for Mastodon configuration, by editing the `.env.vagrant` file. Any changes you make will take effect after a Vagrant restart.
Vagrant has mounted your mastodon folder inside the virtual machine. This means that any change to the files in the folder(e.g. the Rails controllers or the React components in /app) should immediately take effect on the live server. This allows you to make and test changes, and create new commits, without ever needing to access the virtual machine.
Should you need to access the virtual machine (for example, to manually restart the Rails process without restarting the box), run `vagrant ssh` from the mastodon folder. You will now be logged in as the `vagrant` user on the VirtualBox Ubuntu VM. You will want to `cd /vagrant` to see the app folder.
## Debugging
You can find the Rails server logs in in the `log` folder, which will often have the information you need.
If your Mastodon instance or Vagrant box are really not behaving, you can re-run the provisioning process. Stop the box with `vagrant halt`, and then run `vagrant destroy` - this will delete the virtual machine. You may then run `vagrant up` to create a new box, and re-run provisioning.
## Testing
To run the `rspec` tests and `rubocop` style checker, you may either:
* Install the relevant gems locally, or
* SSH into the virtual machine, `cd /vagrant`, and then run the commands
## Support/help
If you are confused, or having any issues with the above, the Mastodon IRC channel ( #mastodon ) is a good place to find assistance.
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