How to Install Friendica Social Network with Apache on Ubuntu Linux

youtube 1684601 640 1
youtube 1684601 640 1

The text is a tutorial on installing the Friendica Social Network Platform on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 using Apache2 HTTP server. It explains the process starting from Apache2 HTTP and MariaDB database server installation, moving onto PHP 7.2 setup, and then creating Friendica database. It then instructs on configuring Apache2, downloading Friendica’s latest release from GitHub, and configuring Friendica site. The text guides each step detailing all necessary commands and prompts.

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install the Friendica Social Network Platform on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 with an Apache2 HTTP server.

Friendica is a free, flexible, decentralized social networking platform that makes building and maintaining your social networking projects and communities easy.

This software supports ActivityPub, including platforms like Funkwhale, Hubzilla, Mastodon, Pleroma, Pixelfed, OStatus, and diaspora* protocols.

For more on Friendica social platform, please visit its home page

To get started with installing Friendica, follow the steps below:

Install Apache2 HTTP

Apache2 HTTP Server is the most popular web server in use. Install it since Friendica needs it.

To install Apache2 HTTP on the Ubuntu server, run the commands below.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable the Apache2 service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop apache2.service
sudo systemctl start apache2.service
sudo systemctl enable apache2.service

To test the Apache2 setup, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address, and you should see the Apache2 default test page as shown below. When you see that, then Apache2 is working as expected.

apache2 ubuntu install

Install MariaDB Database Server

v also needs a database server to store its content. And MariaDB database server is a great place to start when looking at open-source database servers to use with v.

To install MariaDB run the commands below.

sudo apt install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing MariaDB, the commands below can stop, start and enable the MariaDB service to start up when the server boots.

Run these on Ubuntu

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

After that, run the commands below to secure the MariaDB server by creating a root password and disallowing remote root access.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it. [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

Restart MariaDB server

To test if MariaDB is installed, type the commands below to logon to the MariaDB server.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then type the password you created above to sign on. If successful, you should see MariaDB welcome message.

Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

PHP 7.2 may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories. To install it, you will have to get it from third-party repositories.

Run the commands below to add the below third party repository to upgrade to PHP 7.2

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.2

sudo apt update

Next, run the commands below to install PHP 7.2 and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2 libapache2-mod-php7.2 php7.2-common php7.2-gmp php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-mysql php7.2-gd php7.2-imagick php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-zip php7.2-sqlite

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open the PHP default config file for Apache2.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/apache2/php.ini

Then save the changes on the following lines below in the file. The value below is an ideal setting to apply in your environment.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
short_open_tag = On
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
max_input_vars = 1500
date.timezone = America/Chicago

After making the change above, please save the file and close it.

Create Friendica Database

Now that you’ve installed all the required packages, continue below to start configuring the servers. First, create a Friendica database.

Run the commands below to log on to MariaDB. When prompted for a password, type the root password you created above.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called friendica


Create a database user called friendicauser with a new password

CREATE USER 'friendicauser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the friendica database.

GRANT ALL ON friendica.* TO 'friendicauser'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


After installing PHP and related modules, you must restart Apache2 to reload PHP configurations.

To restart Apache2, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

To test PHP 7.2 settings with Apache2, create a phpinfo.php file in the Apache2 root directory by running the commands below

sudo nano /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Save the file. Then browse to your server hostname followed by /phpinfo.php


You should see the PHP default test page.

PHP 7.2 ubuntu nginx

Download Friendica Latest Release

To get Friendica’s latest release, you may use the GitHub repository… Install Composer, Curl, and other dependencies to get started.

sudo apt install curl git
curl -sS | sudo php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

Then change into the Apache2 home directory and download Friendica packages and dependencies using Composer.

cd /var/www
sudo git clone -b master friendica
cd /var/www/friendica
sudo composer install --no-dev
sudo git clone -b master addon

After that, run the commands below to create an Apache2 .htaccess file.

sudo cp /var/www/friendica/.htaccess-dist /var/www/friendica/.htaccess

Since you just ran the web server as root, you should ensure the www-data user and group own any newly created files.

To do that, run the commands below:

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/friendica/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/friendica/

Configure Apache2

Finally, configure the Apahce2 site configuration file for Friendica. This file will control how users access Friendica content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called friendica. conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/friendica.conf

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your domain name and directory root location.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     DocumentRoot /var/www/friendica

     <Directory /var/www/friendica/>
        Options +FollowSymlinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined


Save the file and exit.

Enable the Friendica and Rewrite Module

After configuring the VirtualHost above, please enable it by running the commands below.

sudo a2ensite friendica.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name or hostname. This is often localhost but can be a hostname or IP address. Your server admin or hosting company will have this information available.

Validate that all requirements are met, then continue with the wizard.

Friendica Ubuntu Install

Next, choose whether to use SSL or not. You can use self-signed or public certificates if you’re setting up with an SSL certificate.

Friendica Ubuntu Setup

Next, set up your site admin account and continue

Friendica Ubuntu Install

That should complete the setup.

Friendica ubuntu setup

Log in and begin building your network.


You have learned how to install Friendica on Ubuntu with an Apache2 HTTP server. If you find any errors above, please leave a comment below.


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  1. You missed the database configuration page when initially visiting the server.
    This should fall between the Base setting graphic and the Site settings graphic above. This is where friendica asks for the Database Server (localhost) , the Database User (friendicauser), the Database Password (the password set earlier) and the Database Name (friendica).

  2. Hypolite Petovan

    Friendica dev here, thank you for writing this tutorial, we’ve recently received a couple of support requests by people who cited it, and unfortunately it is missing a part about setting up mail sending capability on the server. It is a requirement to use Friendica since we send initial login credentials by email.

    You can find me at to discuss more about it!

  3. I would love to see the means of adding mail sending capability on the server from the start, please.

  4. Gabriel de Oliveira Estevam


    I’m following the tutorial and I came across the following problem in the last step. I don’t know how to get to the domain.

    I configured my friendica.conf file as follows:

    DocumentRoot /var/www/friendica
    ServerAlias ​​

    Options +FollowSymlinks
    AllowOverride All
    Require all granted

    ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
    CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

    like the example. I give the commands after that, restart in apache2, but when I try to access:

    shows this:

    “Example Domain
    This domain is for use in illustrative examples in documents. You may use this domain in literature without prior coordination or asking for permission.”

  5. Problem 1
    – fxp/composer-asset-plugin is locked to version v1.4.6 and an update of this package was not requested.
    – fxp/composer-asset-plugin v1.4.6 requires composer-plugin-api ^1.0 -> found composer-plugin-api[2.1.0] but it does not match the constraint.

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