How to install Mastodon on CentOS 7

How to install Mastodon on CentOS 7

Mastodon is an open-source free social network based on open web protocol. It used Ruby on Rails for the back-end and React.js and Redux for the front-end. In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Mastodon on a CentOS 7 server.

1. Update your CentOS 7 server and install the necessary packages

Log in to your VPS via SSH as a sudo user:

ssh userame@IP_Address

Once you are logged in, issue the following commands to make sure all installed packages are up to date:

sudo yum update

Next, install the install the pre-requisite packages necessary for building Mastodon with the following command:

sudo yum install curl git gpg gcc git-core zlib zlib-devel gcc-c++ patch readline readline-devel libyaml-devel libffi-devel openssl-devel make autoconf automake libtool bison curl sqlite-devel ImageMagick libxml2-devel libxslt-devel gdbm-devel ncurses-devel glibc-headers glibc-devel libicu-devel libidn-devel protobuf-devel protobuf

2. Install Node.js and Yarn

We will install Node.js v8 LTS from the NodeSource repository which depends on the EPEL repository being enabled.

To enable the EPEL repository on your CentOS 7 VPS, issue the following command:

sudo yum install epel-release curl

Once the EPEL repository is enabled run the following command to add the Node.js v8 LTS repository:

curl --silent --location | sudo bash -

Once the NodeSource repository is enabled install the Node.js with the following command:

sudo yum install nodejs

Enable the Yarn RPM repository with:

curl --silent --location | sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/yarn.repo

Install the latest Yarn version with:

sudo yum install yarn

3. Install PostgreSQL

Enable the PostgreSQL repository:

sudo rpm -Uvh

To install the PostgreSQL server run the following command:

sudo yum install postgresql96-server postgresql96-contrib postgresql96-devel

Once the installation is completed, create a new database cluster with:

sudo /usr/pgsql-9.6/bin/postgresql96-setup initdb

Start the PostgreSQL service and enable it to start on boot:

sudo systemctl enable postgresql-9.6
sudo systemctl start postgresql-9.6

Login to the PostgreSQL shell:

sudo -u postgres psql

Create a new user for the Mastodon instance:


4. Install Redis

Installing Redis is pretty straightforward, just run the following command:

sudo yum install redis

5. Create a new system user

To create a new system user for Mastodon run the following command:

sudo adduser mastodon

6. Install Ruby

We will install Ruby using the Rbenv script.

Before cloning the rbenv repository switch to the new mastodon user:

sudo su - mastodon

Set up rbenv and ruby-build with the following commands:

git clone git:// .rbenv
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile
echo 'eval "$(rbenv init -)"' >> ~/.bash_profile
exec $SHELL

git clone git:// ~/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile
exec $SHELL

Once both rbenv and ruby-build are setups, install the latest Ruby version with”

rbenv install 2.5.1
rbenv global 2.5.1

To verify everything is done correctly, use the command ruby --version.

The output should be similar to the following:

ruby --version
ruby 2.5.1p57 (2018-03-29 revision 63029) [x86_64-linux]

7. Clone the Mastodon git repository and install dependencies

The following commands are also run as mastodon user.

Clone the mastodon git repository into the ~/live directory and checkout to the latest stable Mastodon branch:

git clone live
cd ~/live
git checkout $(git tag -l | grep -v 'rc[0-9]*$' | sort -V | tail -n 1)

Install bundler and ruby dependencies with the following commands:

gem install bundler
bundle install -j$(getconf _NPROCESSORS_ONLN) --deployment --without development test

Install the node.js dependencies with:

yarn install --pure-lockfile

8. Configure Mastodon

The following commands are run as mastodon user.

Change to the Mastodon installation directory and run the following command to start the setup:

cd ~/live
RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec rake mastodon:setup

The installer will ask you several questions, generate new app secret, set up the database schema and compile the assets.

Your instance is identified by its domain name. Changing it afterward will break things.
Domain name:

Single user mode disables registrations and redirects the landing page to your public profile.
Do you want to enable single user mode? No

Are you using Docker to run Mastodon? no

PostgreSQL host: /var/run/postgresql
PostgreSQL port: 5432
Name of PostgreSQL database: mastodon_production
Name of PostgreSQL user: mastodon
Password of PostgreSQL user:
Database configuration works! 🎆

Redis host: localhost
Redis port: 6379
Redis password:
Redis configuration works! 🎆

Do you want to store uploaded files on the cloud? No

Do you want to send e-mails from localhost? yes
E-mail address to send e-mails "from": Mastodon <>
Send a test e-mail with this configuration right now? no

This configuration will be written to .env.production
Save configuration? Yes

Now that configuration is saved, the database schema must be loaded.
If the database already exists, this will erase its contents.
Prepare the database now? Yes
Running `RAILS_ENV=production rails db:setup` ...

Created database 'mastodon_production'



The final step is compiling CSS/JS assets.
This may take a while and consume a lot of RAM.
Compile the assets now? Yes
Running `RAILS_ENV=production rails assets:precompile` ...

yarn install v1.9.4


Using /home/mastodon/live/config/webpacker.yml file for setting up webpack paths
  Compiled all packs in /home/mastodon/live/public/packs
  Rendering errors/500.html.haml within layouts/error
  Rendered errors/500.html.haml within layouts/error (2596.9ms)

All done! You can now power on the Mastodon server 🐘

Do you want to create an admin user straight away? Yes
Username: admin
You can login with the password: 80b4aA233adaeS86d095Scbf79302f81
You can change your password once you login.

9. Create Mastodon systemd units

The following commands are run as root or sudo user.

Open your text editor and create the following systemd unit files:

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sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/mastodon-web.service

ExecStart=/home/mastodon/.rbenv/shims/bundle exec puma -C config/puma.rb
ExecReload=/bin/kill -SIGUSR1 $MAINPID

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/mastodon-sidekiq.service

ExecStart=/home/mastodon/.rbenv/shims/bundle exec sidekiq -c 5 -q default -q push -q mailers -q pull

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/mastodon-streaming.service

ExecStart=/usr/bin/npm run start


Enable and start all services:

sudo systemctl enable mastodon-web.service
sudo systemctl enable mastodon-sidekiq.service
sudo systemctl enable mastodon-streaming.service

sudo systemctl start mastodon-web.service
sudo systemctl start mastodon-sidekiq.service
sudo systemctl start mastodon-streaming.service

10. Install and configure Nginx

To install Nginx run the following command:

sudo yum install nginx

Once nginx is installed, create a server block for your domain. Do not forget to set the correct path to the SSL certificate and private key.

sudo nano /etc/nginx/conf.d/
map $http_upgrade $connection_upgrade {
  default upgrade;
  ''      close;

server {
  listen 80;
  listen [::]:80;
  root /home/mastodon/live/public;
  # Useful for Let's Encrypt
  location /.well-known/acme-challenge/ { allow all; }
  location / { return 301 https://$host$request_uri; }

server {
  listen 443 ssl http2;
  listen [::]:443 ssl http2;

  ssl_protocols TLSv1.2;
  ssl_ciphers HIGH:!MEDIUM:!LOW:!aNULL:!NULL:!SHA;
  ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
  ssl_session_cache shared:SSL:10m;

  ssl_certificate     /etc/ssl/certs/certificate.crt;
  ssl_certificate_key /etc/ssl/private/certificate.key;

  keepalive_timeout    70;
  sendfile             on;
  client_max_body_size 80m;

  root /home/mastodon/live/public;

  gzip on;
  gzip_disable "msie6";
  gzip_vary on;
  gzip_proxied any;
  gzip_comp_level 6;
  gzip_buffers 16 8k;
  gzip_http_version 1.1;
  gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;

  add_header Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=31536000";

  location / {
    try_files $uri @proxy;

  location ~ ^/(emoji|packs|system/accounts/avatars|system/media_attachments/files) {
    add_header Cache-Control "public, max-age=31536000, immutable";
    try_files $uri @proxy;
  location /sw.js {
    add_header Cache-Control "public, max-age=0";
    try_files $uri @proxy;

  location @proxy {
    proxy_set_header Host $host;
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto https;
    proxy_set_header Proxy "";
    proxy_pass_header Server;

    proxy_buffering off;
    proxy_redirect off;
    proxy_http_version 1.1;
    proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
    proxy_set_header Connection $connection_upgrade;

    tcp_nodelay on;

  location /api/v1/streaming {
    proxy_set_header Host $host;
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto https;
    proxy_set_header Proxy "";

    proxy_buffering off;
    proxy_redirect off;
    proxy_http_version 1.1;
    proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
    proxy_set_header Connection $connection_upgrade;

    tcp_nodelay on;

  error_page 500 501 502 503 504 /500.html;

Save the file and restart the nginx service:

sudo systemctl restart nginx

You can now open your browser, type your domain and you will be presented with the Mastodon login form.

installing mastodon on CentOS 7


install mastodon on CentOS 7 Of course, you don’t have to install Mastodon on CentOS 7, if you use one of our managed hosting services, in which case you can simply ask our expert Linux admins to install Mastodon for you. They are available 24×7 and will take care of your request immediately.

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1 thought on “How to install Mastodon on CentOS 7”

  1. hi there,

    i did follow the guide which was helpful thank you. I have a problem, UI doesnt look anything like the screenshot . it looks like some distorted mobile site. how do I fix that?

    Side note: rbenv install 2.5.1 wont work when u run bundler tasks it requests version 2.6.1, then it . works


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