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Joe Heaton's Webzone
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Online since 2011

Pixelfed - self-hosted & federated photo hosting

In addition to a typical PHP server, you will need to install the php-bcmath package. Install image processing libraries apt install jpegoptim optipng pngquant.

Following PixelFed’s Manual Setup instructions.

git clone
cd pixelfed
composer install
chown -c www-data:www-data -R storage/

Set the website domain name for the following variables in .env:

  • APP_URL, with protocol (https://)

Using the Laravel “Artisan” console we prepare the app & database.

php artisan key:generate
php artisan migrate
php artisan config:cache
php artisan route:cache
php artisan horizon:install
php artisan storage:link
php artisan optimize


Application logs can be found in ./storage/logs/laravel.log, although, unless PHP is crashing you won’t find much in these logs. Luckily you can put the app into debug mode with DEBUG=true in .env.

Once in debug mode any internal errors are explained on in-place of the page you’re trying to load.

My particular issue was caused by me setting MAIL_ENCRYPTION to tls instead of ssl

Joe Heaton

Email: [email protected]


Joe’s technology-focused murmurings.
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