Quick and Dirty

This is the quick and dirty getting started guide. It's not recommended to run GtS like this in production, but if you want to quickly get a server up and running, this is a good way to do it.

Table of Contents

1: Domain Name

Get a domain name -- Namecheap is a good place to do this, but you can use any domain name registrar that lets you manage your own DNS.

2: VPS

Spin yourself up a cheap VPS with Linux running on it, or get a homeserver ready with Ubuntu Server or something similar.

Hostwinds is a good option here: it's cheap and they throw in a static IP address for free.

Greenhost is also great: it has zero co2 emissions, but is a bit more costly.

This guide won't go into running UFW and Fail2Ban but you absolutely should do that. Leave ports 443 and 80 open.

3: DNS

Point your domain name towards the server you just spun up.

4: Postgres

Install Postgres on your server and run it.

If you have Docker installed on your server, this is as easy as running:

docker run -d --network host --user postgres -e POSTGRES_PASSWORD=some_password postgres

5: Build the Binary

On your local machine (not your server), with Go installed, clone the GoToSocial repository, and build the binary with the provided build script:

./scripts/build.sh

If you need to build for a different architecture other than the one you're running the build on (eg., you're running on a Raspberry Pi but building on an amd64 machine), you can put set GOOS or GOARCH environment variables before running the build script, eg:

GOARCH=arm64 ./scripts/build.sh

6: Prepare VPS

On the VPS or your homeserver, make the directory that GoToSocial will run from, and the directory it will use as storage:

mkdir /gotosocial && mkdir /gotosocial/storage

7: Copy Binary

Copy your binary from your local machine onto the VPS, using something like the following command (where example.org is the domain you set up in step 1):

scp ./gotosocial root@example.org:/gotosocial/gotosocial

Replace root with whatever user you're actually running on your remote server (you wouldn't run as root right? ;).

8: Copy Web Dir

GoToSocial uses some web templates and static assets, so you need to copy these over to your VPS as well (where example.org is the domain you set up in step 1):

scp -r ./web root@example.org:/gotosocial/

9: Run the Binary

You can now run the binary.

First cd into the directory you created on your remote machine in step 6:

cd /gotosocial

Then start the GoToSocial server with the following command (where example.org is the domain you set up in step 1, and some_password is the password you set for Postgres in step 4):

./gotosocial --host example.org --port 443 --storage-serve-host example.org --letsencrypt-enabled=true server start

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.

10: Create and confirm your user

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

Create

Run the following command to create a new account:

./gotosocial --host example.org admin account create --username some_username --email some_email@whatever.org --password SOME_PASSWORD

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

Confirm

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

./gotosocial --host example.org admin account confirm --username some_username

Replace example.org with your domain and some_username with the username of the account you just created.

Promote

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

./gotosocial --host example.org admin account promote --username some_username

Replace example.org with your domain and some_username with the username of the account you just created.

11. 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.