Binary Installation From Release

This is the binary installation guide for GoToSocial. It is assumed that you already have a properly configured VPS running in the cloud, or a suitable homeserver that is accessible with port forwarding.

1: Prepare VPS

In a terminal on the VPS or your homeserver, make the directory that GoToSocial will run from, the directory it will use as storage, and the directory it will store LetsEncrypt certificates in:

mkdir /gotosocial && mkdir /gotosocial/storage && mkdir /gotosocial/storage/certs

If you don't have root permissions on the machine, use something like ~/gotosocial instead.

2: Download Release

In a terminal on the VPS or your homeserver, cd into the base directory for GoToSocial you just created above:

cd /gotosocial

Now, download the latest GoToSocial release archive corresponding to the operating system and architecture you're running on.

For example, for version 0.1.0 running on 64-bit Linux:


Then extract it:

tar -xzf gotosocial_0.1.0_linux_amd64.tar.gz

This will put the gotosocial binary in your current directory, in addition to the web folder, which contains assets for the web frontend, and an example folder, which contains a sample configuration file.

3. Edit Configuration File

Copy the configuration file from the example folder into your current directory:

cp ./example/config.yaml .

Now open the file in your text editor of choice so that you can set some important configuration values. Change the following settings:

  • Set host to whatever hostname you're going to be running the server on (eg.,
  • Set port to 443.
  • Set db-type to sqlite.
  • Set db-address to sqlite.db.
  • Set storage-local-base-path to the storage directory you created above (eg., /gotosocial/storage).
  • Set letsencrypt-cert-dir to the certificate storage directory you created above (eg., /gotosocial/storage/certs).

The above options assume you're using SQLite as your database. If you want to use Postgres instead, see here for the config options.

4: Run the Binary

You can now run the binary.

Start the GoToSocial server with the following command:

./gotosocial server start --config-path ./config.yaml

The server should now start up and you should be able to access the splash page by navigating to your domain in the browser. Note that it might take up to a minute or so for your LetsEncrypt certificates to be created for the first time, so refresh a few times if necessary.

Note that for this example we're assuming that we're allowed to run on port 443 (standard https port), and that nothing else is running on this port.

5: Create and confirm your user

You can use the GoToSocial binary to also create, confirm, and promote your user account.

Run the following command to create a new account:

./gotosocial admin account create --config-path ./config.yaml --username some_username --email --password SOME_PASSWORD

In the above command, replace some_username with your desired username, with the email address you want to associate with your account, and SOME_PASSWORD with a secure password.

Run the following command to confirm the account you just created:

./gotosocial admin account confirm --config-path ./config.yaml --username some_username

Replace some_username with the username of the account you just created.

If you want your user to have admin rights, you can promote them using a similar command:

./gotosocial admin account promote --config-path ./config.yaml --username some_username

Replace some_username with the username of the account you just created.

6. Login

You should now be able to log in to your instance using the email address and password of the account you just created. We recommend using Pinafore or Tusky for this.

7. Enable the systemd service

If you don't like manually starting GoToSocial on every boot you might want to create a systemd service that does that for you. First create a new user and group for your gotosocial installation.

sudo useradd -r gotosocial
sudo groupadd gotosocial
sudo usermod -a -G gotosocial gotosocial

Then make them the owner of your GoToSocial installation since they will need to read and write in it.

sudo chown -R gotosocial:gotosocial /gotosocial

You can find a gotosocial.service file in the example folder on github or your installation. Copy it to /etc/systemd/system/gotosocial.service.

sudo cp /gotosocial/example/gotosocial.service /etc/systemd/system/

Then use sudoedit /etc/systemd/system/gotosocial.service to change the ExecStart= and WorkingDirectory= lines according to your installation. If you have been following this guide word for word the defaults should be fine. After you're done enable the service.

sudo systemctl enable --now gotosocial.service

8. Install the Admin Control Panel (optional)

At some point you'll likely want to do things like change instance information, and block domains you don't want to interact with. See the admin panel instructions for this.

9. Reverse proxy with nginx (optional)

If you want to run other webservers on port 433 or simply want to add an additional layer of security you might want to use nginx as a reverse proxy.