Server Rebuild Questions

Red Hat recently announced that the CentOS distribution will no longer be a generic version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), but will become CentOS Stream … a rolling development release of RHEL. These changes to the future of the CentOS distribution make it necessary for me to rebuild my Diaspora* pod on a different Linux distribution. This raises several questions.

  1. Will I be able to reuse my existing pod name / domain name on the rebuilt server?
  2. Since I will be using the same MAC address and IP address, will other pods be able to recognize the new system as being the same as the old system?
  3. For security purposes I would prefer to install Diaspora in a system folder rather than in a user folder per the published instructions. What issues might I encounter from this approach?
  4. What Linux distribution would be best suited for my use? All my systems are 64 bit systems.

Yeah! Make sure to do a complete backup of your database, as well as the entire diaspora/ folder, ideally. Simply restoring those on your new machine will get you back running.

diaspora* is designed to use domain names, not IPs. Unless you have misconfigured your pod, your user’s diaspora* ID should be username@somedomainname.tld, not username@ip. As long as your domain name points to the new host, you are fine. We don’t actually verify IPs or Domains directly. Instead, we use a asymmetric encryption scheme to verify that known-profiles are still who they claimed to be the first time. This is why it’s crucial that you do not lose your database, as the database contains your user’s private keys. Without those, these profiles are burned forever.

In general, you’re fine to do whatever you want to do, we can’t tell you how to use our software. :wink: However, I would very strongly encourage you to stick to the installation and maintenance guides we created, because that’s the only way we can actually understand your setup and help you if things go wrong.

As for “security”, I see no real difference, to be honest. User home directories should not be readable by other users ever, unless they have superuser access, at which point the installation location doesn’t matter anyway. I’m curious, what security gains did you have in mind when considering the move?

Everything that has installation guides in our wiki should work without issues. That being said, Ubuntu/Debian is probably to be preferred, as that has some representation in the core team, which increases your chances of getting help fast. (And, well, Archlinux, because I run my pod on Arch - but I don’t generally recommend Arch as a server distribution to people unless they know exactly what they’re doing)


If I simply copy the contents of the /home/diaspora/diaspora folder and restore it to the same location on the new system, will the binaries be compatible since I am moving from a CentOS-based server to an Ubuntu-based server?


There are no binaries in that folder. Ruby Gem’s contain some system-specific (due to linking shared libraries) compilates, but you’ll install those again anyway on the new server. See this response for a suggested workflow.


Thank you for your help! I built a new system overnight based upon Ubuntu 20.04 and have it online this morning. So I had no interruption of service on my pod.