Soapbox is a social media server empowering communities online. Today we're releasing Soapbox BE v1.1 with media improvements and a fixed installation guide.
I hate to start off with something negative, but it needs to be addressed.
For a long time we pointed to Pleroma's source install guide, and even used it as the starting point for our own install docs.
In that guide, we recommended installing a repo from "erlang-solutions.com" on your server.
This was a mistake, as that repo pushes out bleeding edge versions of Erlang literally on the day of a new release.
As a result, Pleroma installations (and Soapbox BE) installed this way stopped functioning when Erlang 24 was released, and after running
apt upgrade on the machine.
It is normal for software to lag a bit behind major language releases. We are working on updating Soapbox BE to be Erlang 24 compatible. What's not normal is deploying a repo with breaking changes in a production setting.
Our install guide has been updated to recommend using asdf version manager instead.
This will allow us to specify the Erlang/Elixir version for a release, while the server admin need only run
asdf install to get the right versions.
If you already have Soapbox BE 1.0 or a vanilla Pleroma 2.3 server, you can follow these steps to update your system to Soapbox BE 1.1. This guide assumes you're using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
First, install new OS requirements:
apt install imagemagick ffmpeg libimage-exiftool-perl unzip libssl-dev automake autoconf libncurses5-dev
Next, become the pleroma user and switch to the latest Soapbox:
cd /opt/pleroma sudo -Hu pleroma bash git remote set-url origin https://gitlab.com/soapbox-pub/soapbox.git git fetch origin --tags git checkout soapbox-v1.1.1
Next, install asdf, Elixir 1.11, and Erlang 23:
git clone https://github.com/asdf-vm/asdf.git ~/.asdf --branch v0.8.0 echo ". $HOME/.asdf/asdf.sh" >> ~/.bashrc echo ". $HOME/.asdf/completions/asdf.bash" >> ~/.bashrc exec bash asdf plugin-add erlang asdf plugin-add elixir asdf install
(Erlang gets built from source, so this will take about 15 minutes ☕)
mix local.hex --force mix local.rebar --force mix deps.get MIX_ENV=prod mix compile
(This will take about 10 minutes ☕)
If you started with a Pleroma version prior to 2.3, you need to also update the database:
MIX_ENV=prod mix ecto.migrate
Next, become root:
Finally, as root, copy the updated systemd file, and restart:
cp /opt/pleroma/installation/pleroma.service /etc/systemd/system/pleroma.service systemctl daemon-reload systemctl restart pleroma
At this point Soapbox BE will be using Erlang/Elixir installed from asdf, so you can now safely
apt upgrade without breaking your system.
If you have a Pleroma server and do not want to switch to Soapbox BE, you can follow these instructions on switching to asdf instead.
In the future, upgrading Soapbox BE will be a lot easier. Thanks for your patience!
Uploaded attachments are now inspected for their length/width in pixels, which lets us render them beautifully, unletterboxed.
We still don't process remote media, though (yet). We send our own attachment data out through ActivityPub, and receive incoming attachment data. As a result, Soapbox to Soapbox federation renders images unletterboxed.
If you previously configured upload filters, you'll need to ensure that
SetMeta is enabled in AdminFE under "Uploads > Filters":
Exiftool be enabled for security reasons as well, as it strips GPS data from uploads. Click the trash icon to return to the defaults.)
Uploaded images now have blurhash support, which makes them look nicer while loading, and improves the look of images with content warnings.
The same rules as unletterboxed media apply: the
SetMeta upload filter must be enabled, and blurhash only federates between supported servers (including Mastodon).
To install a fresh server, see our install guide.
A new minor release fixes the following bugs:
Soapbox is funded entirely by donations. If you would like to support me, you can send me a donation. Your support is greatly appreciated, and every bit counts.
A huge thank you for everyone's patience as we resolve these difficult challenges. Social media is hard, and computers are harder. I'm glad this project is more resilient now.