adventures of a n00b admin 

First foray into instance administratorship going gr8 by being unable to log in after changing root password as required, and having to send a support ticket asking them to reset :flan_on_fire:

adventures of a n00b admin, oh wait 

...The earlier thing was my mistake, I've now changed passwords and am successfully logged in as root. Now to make a new user and add an SSH key so I can skedaddle out of root ASAP.

adventures of a n00b admin, root out 

Created new account for administration and added it to sudo. Will have to do the whole SSH key thing so I can log in with SSH. Exited out of root and taking a break to cuddle.

Also it's kind of neat how there's a small delay in the terminal input when I'm connecting remotely, feels all real & shit.

adventures of a n00b admin, do-over 

Got as far as successfully logging in with SSH (thanks to @s0 's guide https://gitea.s0.is/s0/Mastodon-Server-Setup ) and then wiped the server because I had installed the wrong Linux to use Yunohost 🙃 fun fun.

adventures of a n00b admin, cryptic as in crypt 💀 

Okay, was anybody going to tell me that the fail message from the server telling me to add a key to known_hosts meant I actually needed to DELETE prior keys from known_hosts, or was I just supposed to find out from a throwaway mention on a random Stack Exchange question myself?

adventures of a n00b admin, back in 

Me: I'm logged back in my newly rebuilt Debian 10 server, account and SSH key set up. L.J. can have little a Yunohost now, as a treat?
Server: You need to run this as root, maybe try sudo -i
Me: sudo -i curl https://install.yunohost.org | bash
Server: You need to run this as root, maybe try sudo -i

adventures of a n00b admin, facepalm 

Okay sudo -i needed to be its own line, fun!

adventures of a n00b admin, Yunohost 

Yunohost has a colorful installation progress bar and I love watching it. Prettyyy

Yunohost is also taking over all kinds of configurations, I'm sure this is fine :thisisfine:

Filing issue ticket saying "Diagnosis" should be "Diagnostic" so people can feel like they're in Star Trek :trek:

adventures of a n00b admin, diagnostic complete 

I got a couple errors in the initial diagnostic (I will not call it diagnosis!!) but they seem easy enough to fix, hyperfocus brain pls give me a break long enough to finish dinner

adventures of a n00b admin, Hubzilla 

I've installed Hubzilla through Yunohost, but being able to send email through the server is going to take some configuration and time (the server deems my account too new to request to unblock Port 25, for instance), and evidently without a working email system I can't register an account or even administrate Hubzilla...? 🤔 The Hubzilla documentation itself says to register an admin account through the on-site form so the installation is just inert until I can get email working I guess :oh_no:

adventures of a n00b admin, site down 

In one of my impatient checks to see if the name server changes to the DNS have propagated, I found out the site is down altogether 🤷‍♀️ Oh well, an error means I'm getting somewhere, right? They did say changes take up to 48 hours to propagate so nothing to do but be patient and wait :blobuwu:

*refreshes site every 5 minutes*

adventures of a n00b admin, site back up, 

Site is back up after fixing some DNS records, some other fixes seem to take time to propagate, though.

Also the more I find out about Hubzilla's capabilities the more interested I get. Social media, forum, file sharing, wiki, calendar and chat functionality, all with what looks like way more granular access and privacy controls than I'm used to from Mastodon. Can't wait for my setup to become functional so I can play around with it myself and set things up, maybe write some documentation for users.

adventures of a n00b admin, DNS & ports 

Well I think I've edited all the necessary DNS records and configured reverse DNS lookup, so just need to wait to request Port 25 unblocking.

So stop picking at those server settings already self, it's not getting us anywhere!!

adventures of a n00b admin, so close!, rant 

The server is really close to having email capability; all that's missing, according to the YunoHost diagnostic, is the blocked Port 25. After adding a bunch of DNS records and configuring reverse DNS (I'm still in shock I got reverse DNS on IPv6 working lol), everything else needed for email is good to go.

I did a little searching and it turns out I can make a request to my provider to unblock the port once I've paid my first invoice, which is on the 4th?! :flan_piteous: So what, I need to waste half a month twiddling my thumbs with an installation I can't do anything with, all because an at best ancillary functionality is (understandably) blocked by my server?

That doesn't sound right. I might not be ready to take on users yet, and not just technologically, but I should at least be able to make an admin account and set things up/play around. Going to dig around the documentation and forums to see what I can do--and for all I know, just studying the documentation will take me into February lol.

adventures of a n00b admin, hubzilla documentation 

Looked up the documentation, it really is true that I need to either have email capability or mess with the database directly to start administering Hubzilla. https://zotlabs.org/help/en/admin/administrator_guide#Administration

"In order to access this page you must have administration rights to the server. Administration rights are granted to the first account to register on your site, PROVIDED the email address of that account exactly matches the email address you provided as the administrator's email address during setup.

"There are several ways that this can fail and leave the system without an administrator account . . ."

Yeah I'll say lol

"For security reasons there is no web page or interface on the system which will give you administrator access. If you need to correct a situation where a system has no administrator account it MUST be done by editing the account table in the database."

Oh great! :oh_no:

adventures of a n00b admin, terminal access 

I'll need sudo terminal access to edit the database, but either YunoHost or I messed up something with the admin account and I can't log in with it anymore. Should have disabled password access and gone SSH-only before I installed Yuno, argh.

Since YunoHost--sensibly!--disabled root access, that means I don't have ANY superuser access outside of what's allowed through the YunoHost GUI which is somewhat... limited if I want to get my hands dirty. I sent a support request for root access to be re-enabled and the password reset. I'll just get the admin password working and get it to log in with the public key only before I block root access again.

adventures of a n00b admin, hubzilla again 

I think I'll just wipe the Hubzilla install--no biggie, it only took me a few minutes on YunoHost. Even a brief assessment of its codebase is hair-raising, and the technical mindset behind it is actively user-hostile and wrongheaded.

And the search for an app continues... maybe some flavor of Mastodon combined with Nextcloud, idk.

adventures of a n00b admin, testing 

I finally grew a little sense and made a testing subdomain to test stuff out (friendica for now), but I guess the effing DNS records take time to propagate... again. Oh well, I have other work to get to so hopefully this hyperfocus will stay on ice for a little while.

adventures of a n00b admin, GoToSocial?, app thoughts 

Oh wow, I've been reading GoToSocial's readme and it's basically the wishlists I've seen floating around about Mastodon, made into an actual working (if pre-release) codebase! Opt-in federation, granular post settings including mutuals-only, full integration with popular mobile apps like Tusky... this looks really, really promising. GoTo not offered on YunoHost but that's fine, I can install it manually if needed. (They said, before ragequitting)

I mean I was very taken at the idea of an instance with more capabilities than microblogging/social media, like calendars and file/document sharing that would build community and be useful to writers, but it's just occurred to me that such platforms' mobile usability and app integration might not be the best which is a potential access barrier. I think I might actually be better off having a separate Nextcloud installation on the instance for those functionalities rather than try to make a social media app do everything.

Oh, here's GoToSocial's GitHub page that I've been reading: https://github.com/superseriousbusiness/gotosocial#mastodon-api-compatibility The readme actually feels user-friendly with clarity and detail, another big plus.

"why are you judging a software project on its writing"

I mean writing is a huge fucking deal, the only way to present a project to the 90% of the population who can't dig into the codebase to understand it, and it's perfectly valid to judge a project and its community based on how they present and who they're presenting to? 🤷‍♀️

I think I'm at the point where I won't bother anymore with poorly- or inaccessibly-documented projects because I have to assume I'm not a targeted or wanted user.

I can't bear to close the GoToSocial GitHub page lmao it's so beautifully written with the right amount of details and references, such a great example of clear, user-friendly communication :blobcatheart: And that cute smiling sloth omg!

adventures of a n00b admin, GoToSocial + 

The GoToSocial documentation is a pleasure to read in itself. What business does a v0.1.1 project have with documentation this good??

"Configuring GoToSocial to send emails is NOT REQUIRED in order to have a properly running instance. Still, it's very useful for doing things like sending confirmation emails and notifications, and handling password reset requests."

That's what I like to hear, email as a perk and not a requirement :blobuwu: https://docs.gotosocial.org/en/latest/configuration/smtp/ Also none of this nonsense about editing databases, users can be created and modified from the command line much like Mastodon. https://docs.gotosocial.org/en/latest/installation_guide/binary/

adventures of a n00b admin, Friendica ~ 

The Friendica documentation, while somewhat disorganized, has a lot of resources and I can really sense the history and community behind it. The plugin RSStoFriendika is a function that's been requested by a potential member and seems useful in general for a writing-focused instance where members are likely to have blogs, so that's intriguing too. https://github.com/pafcu/RSStoFriendika

OTOH their implementation of blocking sounds uhhh... different from what I'd prefer?

"We prevent direct communication with blocked contacts. They are not included in delivery, and their own posts to you are not imported; however their conversations with your friends will still be visible in your stream." https://github.com/friendica/friendica/wiki/FAQ#what-is-the-difference-between-blockedignoredarchivedhidden-contacts

adventures of a n00b admin, Friendica ~, cissexism 

'[A plugin called "blockem" can be installed to collapse/hide all posts from a particular person in your stream if you desire complete blocking of an individual, including his/her conversations with your other friends.]'

1. Why is a plugin required do what blocks are *supposed* to do in the first place, I mean the wording seems to admit the default blocking function is "incomplete" by comparison??
2. "his/her" 🙃

adventures of a n00b admin, Friendica & login 

Friendica install is borked to hell with all links broken at the login page, and I'm GUESSING it's because I installed to a subdomain and the DNS records I so lovingly entered for it haven't propagated. i could test that theory by installing to the main domain, but God I don't have the energy.

Not that it matters anyway because Friendica evidently has the same "functional email is required for a functioning app and you can't create users from the command line because we don't care about the modern reality of email hosting, failsafes in case registration doesn't go perfectly, or user convenience and also fuck you that's why" thing going on as Hubzilla. At least the documentation doesn't explicitly tell me to edit the database, but I am also left with no other fallback.

Hosting told me how to reset my root password but evidently didn't notice the part of my ticket where I said root login was likely disabled. I tried login but it failed, and had to send another ticket reminding them to check if root access was disabled & enable it. If they tell me they can't, well, I'll have to wipe the server a second time and start over :D

Wow, why AREN'T people beating down the doors to be instance admins? A mystery for the ages 🤔

adventures of a n00b admin, Nextcloud - 

Nextcloud installation is also borked with no registration possible through the webform and the config panel crapping out, so until I at least have terminal access this fish is dead in the water. That's 0/3 apps I've gotten to work on this server, feeling so successful rn ✌️

adventures of a n00b admin, YunoHost 

Thinking of simply bulldozing the server along with YunoHost and suffering through the terminal like the Linux gods intended. Yuno is neat because I can install apps in literally seconds, but nothing I've installed has worked so far. That's not YunoHost's fault as far as I can tell, but nevertheless troubleshooting is harder when I've installed through it because configurations I didn't do myself are harder to check. Especially when I don't have fucking terminal access, which I will have to wait for yet longer while support works through its queue unless I start over!! :flan_piteous:

adventures of a n00b admin, Nextcloud + 

Oh hey, finally figured out the login and I'm at least logged in, which is farther I've gotten than with any other app! Not quite sure I'm an admin user, but let's see how this goes...

adventures of a n00b admin, Nextcloud, disability language lol 

Okay maybe it's because I made this test installation to check accessibility, but when I saw the item "disabled users" in the dashboard my first thought was "Oh I have to manage screen reader users in a separate group?" XD Actually it means deactivated users lol.

adventures of a n00b admin, Nextcloud ~, YunoHost + 

Okay Nextcloud installation is... functional, like I can edit and upload files and even watch the sample uploaded video, but the performance is definitely not there even with just one user and I am definitely not going to offer any kind of serious file hosting and sharing service. Not unless we scrape together the dough to upgrade the server hardware by A Lot anyway. If we do continue using Nextcloud it's going to be mostly for community/shared calendars with small individual file quotas and restrictions on the size of files shared.

Anyway I hereby eat my words about wiping YunoHost, it gave me a functioning Nextcloud instance in minutes of installation and about half an hour of screaming and flailing, it is awesome and I worship at its altar.

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adventures of a n00b admin, Nextcloud ~, YunoHost + 

@ljwrites yup, yunohost is sometimes magic. It was the only way I managed to get a mailing list set up!!!

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adventures of a n00b admin, Nextcloud ~, YunoHost + 

@darius so much complex setup abstracted in an easy-to-use way, I'm in awe :blobcatmeltlove:

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