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StatusNet 0.9.5 "What's The Frequency, Kenneth?"
10 September 2010

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This is the README file for StatusNet, the Open Source microblogging
platform. It includes installation instructions, descriptions of
options you can set, warnings, tips, and general info for
administrators. Information on using StatusNet can be found in the
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"doc" subdirectory or in the "help" section on-line.


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StatusNet is a Free and Open Source microblogging platform. It helps
people in a community, company or group to exchange short (140
characters, by default) messages over the Web. Users can choose which
people to "follow" and receive only their friends' or colleagues'
status messages. It provides a similar service to sites like Twitter,
Google Buzz, or Yammer.
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With a little work, status messages can be sent to mobile phones,
instant messenger programs (GTalk/Jabber), and specially-designed
desktop clients that support the Twitter API.

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StatusNet supports an open standard called OStatus
<> that lets users in different networks follow
each other. It enables a distributed social network spread all across
the Web.

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StatusNet was originally developed for the Open Software Service,
34 <>. It is shared with you in hope that you
too make an Open Software Service available to your users. To learn
more, please see the Open Software Service Definition 1.1:


StatusNet, Inc. <> also offers this software as a
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Web service, requiring no installation on your part. See
<> for details. The software run
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on is identical to the software available for download, so
you can move back and forth between a hosted version or a version
installed on your own servers.

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A commercial software subscription is available from StatusNet Inc. It
includes 24-hour technical support and developer support. More
information at or email

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This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as
published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the
License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
Affero General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero General Public
License along with this program, in the file "COPYING".  If not, see

    IMPORTANT NOTE: The GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL) has
    *different requirements* from the "regular" GPL. In particular, if
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    you make modifications to the StatusNet source code on your server,
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    you *MUST MAKE AVAILABLE* the modified version of the source code
    to your users under the same license. This is a legal requirement
    of using the software, and if you do not wish to share your
    modifications, *YOU MAY NOT INSTALL STATUSNET*.

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Documentation in the /doc-src/ directory is available under the
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license, with attribution to
"StatusNet". See for details.

CSS and images in the /theme/ directory are available under the
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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license, with attribution to
"StatusNet". See for details.
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Our understanding and intention is that if you add your own theme that
uses only CSS and images, those files are not subject to the copyleft
requirements of the Affero General Public License 3.0. See . This is not
legal advice; consult your lawyer.

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Additional library software has been made available in the 'extlib'
directory. All of it is Free Software and can be distributed under
liberal terms, but those terms may differ in detail from the AGPL's
particulars. See each package's license file in the extlib directory
for additional terms.

New this version

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This is a security, bug and feature release since version 0.9.4 released on
16 August 2010.

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For best compatibility with client software and site federation, and a lot of
bug fixes, it is highly recommended that all public sites upgrade to the new

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Notable changes this version:

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- Change of license for default themes and documentation from
  AGPLv3 to CC-By 3.0 Unported.
- An experimental TinyMCE plugin to do in-browser rich editing of
  status updates. Does not support StatusNet syntax like @-replies or
  #hashtags very well.
- An experimental plugin to add titles to notices.
- A plugin to support the Echo <> commenting
- A plugin to support the Disqus <> commenting system.
- Changes to OStatus support to make StatusNet work for the Social Web
  Acid Test Level 0 <>.
- Themes now support a theme.ini file for theme configuration, including
  defining a "base" theme.
- Improved two-way Twitter integration, including support for
  repeats and retweets, replies, and faves going both ways across the
  bridge, as well as better parsing of Twitter statuses.

A full changelog is available at
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The following software packages are *required* for this software to
run correctly.

- PHP 5.2.3+. It may be possible to run this software on earlier
  versions of PHP, but many of the functions used are only available
  in PHP 5.2 or above. 5.2.6 or later is needed for XMPP background
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  daemons on 64-bit platforms. PHP 5.3.x should work correctly in this
  release, but problems with some plugins are possible.
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- MySQL 5.x. The StatusNet database is stored, by default, in a MySQL
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  server. It has been primarily tested on 5.x servers, although it may
  be possible to install on earlier (or later!) versions. The server
  *must* support the MyISAM storage engine -- the default for most
  MySQL servers -- *and* the InnoDB storage engine.
- A Web server. Preferably, you should have Apache 2.2.x with the
  mod_rewrite extension installed and enabled.
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Your PHP installation must include the following PHP extensions:

- Curl. This is for fetching files by HTTP.
- XMLWriter. This is for formatting XML and HTML output.
- MySQL. For accessing the database.
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- GD. For scaling down avatar images.
- mbstring. For handling Unicode (UTF-8) encoded strings.
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For some functionality, you will also need the following extensions:

- Memcache. A client for the memcached server, which caches database
  information in volatile memory. This is important for adequate
  performance on high-traffic sites. You will also need a memcached
  server to store the data in.
- Mailparse. Efficient parsing of email requires this extension.
  Submission by email or SMS-over-email uses this extension.
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- Sphinx Search. A client for the sphinx server, an alternative
  to MySQL or Postgresql fulltext search. You will also need a
  Sphinx server to serve the search queries.
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- bcmath or gmp. For Salmon signatures (part of OStatus). Needed
  if you have OStatus configured.
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- gettext. For multiple languages. Default on many PHP installs;
  will be emulated if not present.

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You will almost definitely get 2-3 times better performance from your
site if you install a PHP bytecode cache/accelerator. Some well-known
examples are: eaccelerator, Turck mmcache, xcache, apc. Zend Optimizer
is a proprietary accelerator installed on some hosting sites.

External libraries

A number of external PHP libraries are used to provide basic
functionality and optional functionality for your system. For your
convenience, they are available in the "extlib" directory of this
package, and you do not have to download and install them. However,
you may want to keep them up-to-date with the latest upstream version,
and the URLs are listed here for your convenience.

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- DB_DataObject
- Validate
- OpenID from OpenIDEnabled (not the PEAR version!). We decided
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  to use the version since it's more widely
  implemented, and seems to be better supported.
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- PEAR DB. Although this is an older data access system (new
  packages should probably use PHP DBO), the OpenID libraries
  depend on PEAR DB so we use it here, too. DB_DataObject can
  also use PEAR MDB2, which may give you better performance
  but won't work with OpenID.
- OAuth.php from
- markdown.php from
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- PEAR Mail, for sending out mail notifications
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- PEAR Net_SMTP, if you use the SMTP factory for notifications
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- PEAR Net_Socket, if you use the SMTP factory for notifications
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- XMPPHP, the follow-up to Class.Jabber.php. Probably the best XMPP
  library available for PHP. Note that
  as of this writing the version of this library that is available in
  the extlib directory is *significantly different* from the upstream
  version (patches have been submitted). Upgrading to the upstream
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  version may render your StatusNet site unable to send or receive XMPP
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- Facebook library. Used for the Facebook application.
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- PEAR Services_oEmbed. Used for some multimedia integration.
- PEAR HTTP_Request is an oEmbed dependency.
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- PEAR Validate is an oEmbed dependency.
- PEAR Net_URL2 is an oEmbed dependency.
- Console_GetOpt for parsing command-line options.
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- libomb. a library for implementing OpenMicroBlogging 0.1, the
  predecessor to OStatus.
- HTTP_Request2, a library for making HTTP requests.

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A design goal of StatusNet is that the basic Web functionality should
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work on even the most restrictive commercial hosting services.
However, additional functionality, such as receiving messages by
Jabber/GTalk, require that you be able to run long-running processes
on your account. In addition, posting by email or from SMS require
that you be able to install a mail filter in your mail server.


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Installing the basic StatusNet Web component is relatively easy,
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especially if you've previously installed PHP/MySQL packages.

1. Unpack the tarball you downloaded on your Web server. Usually a
   command like this will work:

       tar zxf statusnet-0.9.5.tar.gz

   ...which will make a statusnet-0.9.5 subdirectory in your current
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   directory. (If you don't have shell access on your Web server, you
   may have to unpack the tarball on your local computer and FTP the
   files to the server.)

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2. Move the tarball to a directory of your choosing in your Web root
   directory. Usually something like this will work:

       mv statusnet-0.9.5 /var/www/statusnet

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   This will make your StatusNet instance available in the statusnet path of
   your server, like "". "microblog" or
   "statusnet" might also be good path names. If you know how to
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   configure virtual hosts on your web server, you can try setting up
   "" or the like.

3. Make your target directory writeable by the Web server.

       chmod a+w /var/www/statusnet/

   On some systems, this will probably work:

       chgrp www-data /var/www/statusnet/
       chmod g+w /var/www/statusnet/
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   If your Web server runs as another user besides "www-data", try
   that user's default group instead. As a last resort, you can create
   a new group like "statusnet" and add the Web server's user to the group.

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4. You should also take this moment to make your avatar, background, and
   file subdirectories writeable by the Web server. An insecure way to do
   this is:

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       chmod a+w /var/www/statusnet/avatar
       chmod a+w /var/www/statusnet/background
       chmod a+w /var/www/statusnet/file

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   You can also make the avatar, background, and file directories
   writeable by the Web server group, as noted above.
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5. Create a database to hold your microblog data. Something like this
   should work:

       mysqladmin -u "username" --password="password" create statusnet

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   Note that StatusNet must have its own database; you can't share the
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   database with another program. You can name it whatever you want,

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   (If you don't have shell access to your server, you may need to use
   a tool like PHPAdmin to create a database. Check your hosting
   service's documentation for how to create a new MySQL database.)

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6. Create a new database account that StatusNet will use to access the
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   database. If you have shell access, this will probably work from the
   MySQL shell:

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       GRANT ALL on statusnet.*
       TO 'statusnetuser'@'localhost'
       IDENTIFIED BY 'statusnetpassword';

   You should change 'statusnetuser' and 'statusnetpassword' to your preferred new
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   username and password. You may want to test logging in to MySQL as
   this new user.

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7. In a browser, navigate to the StatusNet install script; something like:

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   Enter the database connection information and your site name. The
   install program will configure your site and install the initial,
   almost-empty database.

8. You should now be able to navigate to your microblog's main directory
   and see the "Public Timeline", which will be empty. If not, magic
   has happened! You can now register a new user, post some notices,
   edit your profile, etc. However, you may want to wait to do that stuff
   if you think you can set up "fancy URLs" (see below), since some
   URLs are stored in the database.

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Fancy URLs

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By default, StatusNet will use URLs that include the main PHP program's
name in them. For example, a user's home profile might be
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found at:

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On certain systems that don't support this kind of syntax, they'll
look like this:

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It's possible to configure the software so it looks like this instead:

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These "fancy URLs" are more readable and memorable for users. To use
fancy URLs, you must either have Apache 2.x with .htaccess enabled and
mod_rewrite enabled, -OR- know how to configure "url redirection" in
your server.

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1. Copy the htaccess.sample file to .htaccess in your StatusNet
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   directory. Note: if you have control of your server's httpd.conf or
   similar configuration files, it can greatly improve performance to
   import the .htaccess file into your conf file instead. If you're
   not sure how to do it, you may save yourself a lot of headache by
   just leaving the .htaccess file.

2. Change the "RewriteBase" in the new .htaccess file to be the URL path
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   to your StatusNet installation on your server. Typically this will
   be the path to your StatusNet directory relative to your Web root.
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3. Add or uncomment or change a line in your config.php file so it says:

       $config['site']['fancy'] = true;

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You should now be able to navigate to a "fancy" URL on your server,

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If you changed your HTTP server configuration, you may need to restart
the server first.

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If it doesn't work, double-check that AllowOverride for the StatusNet
directory is 'All' in your Apache configuration file. This is usually
/etc/httpd.conf, /etc/apache/httpd.conf, or (on Debian and Ubuntu)
/etc/apache2/sites-available/default. See the Apache documentation for
.htaccess files for more details:

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Also, check that mod_rewrite is installed and enabled:


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To use a Sphinx server to search users and notices, you'll need to
enable the SphinxSearch plugin. Add to your config.php:

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    $config['sphinx']['server'] = 'searchhost.local';

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You also need to install, compile and enable the sphinx pecl extension for
php on the client side, which itself depends on the sphinx development files.

See plugins/SphinxSearch/README for more details and server setup.

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StatusNet supports a cheap-and-dirty system for sending update messages
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to mobile phones and for receiving updates from the mobile. Instead of
sending through the SMS network itself, which is costly and requires
buy-in from the wireless carriers, it simply piggybacks on the email
gateways that many carriers provide to their customers. So, SMS
configuration is essentially email configuration.

Each user sends to a made-up email address, which they keep a secret.
Incoming email that is "From" the user's SMS email address, and "To"
the users' secret email address on the site's domain, will be
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converted to a notice and stored in the DB.
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For this to work, there *must* be a domain or sub-domain for which all
(or most) incoming email can pass through the incoming mail filter.

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1. Run the SQL script carrier.sql in your StatusNet database. This will
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   usually work:

       mysql -u "statusnetuser" --password="statusnetpassword" statusnet < db/carrier.sql
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   This will populate your database with a list of wireless carriers
   that support email SMS gateways.

2. Make sure the maildaemon.php file is executable:

       chmod +x scripts/maildaemon.php

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   Note that "daemon" is kind of a misnomer here; the script is more
   of a filter than a daemon.

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2. Edit /etc/aliases on your mail server and add the following line:

       *: /path/to/statusnet/scripts/maildaemon.php
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3. Run whatever code you need to to update your aliases database. For
   many mail servers (Postfix, Exim, Sendmail), this should work:


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   You may need to restart your mail server for the new database to
   take effect.

4. Set the following in your config.php file:

       $config['mail']['domain'] = '';

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At this point, post-by-email and post-by-SMS-gateway should work. Note
that if your mail server is on a different computer from your email
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server, you'll need to have a full installation of StatusNet, a working
config.php, and access to the StatusNet database from the mail server.
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XMPP (eXtended Message and Presence Protocol, <>) is the
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instant-messenger protocol that drives Jabber and GTalk IM. You can
distribute messages via XMPP using the system below; however, you
need to run the XMPP incoming daemon to allow incoming messages as

1. You may want to strongly consider setting up your own XMPP server.
   Ejabberd, OpenFire, and JabberD are all Open Source servers.
   Jabber, Inc. provides a high-performance commercial server.

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2. You must register a Jabber ID (JID) with your new server. It helps
   to choose a name like "" or "notice" or something
   similar.  Alternately, your "update JID" can be registered on a
   publicly-available XMPP service, like or GTalk.

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   StatusNet will not register the JID with your chosen XMPP server;
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   you need to do this manually, with an XMPP client like Gajim,
   Telepathy, or

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3. Configure your site's XMPP variables, as described below in the
   configuration section.

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On a default installation, your site can broadcast messages using
XMPP. Users won't be able to post messages using XMPP unless you've
got the XMPP daemon running.  See 'Queues and daemons' below for how
to set that up. Also, once you have a sizable number of users, sending
a lot of SMS, OMB, and XMPP messages whenever someone posts a message
can really slow down your site; it may cause posting to timeout.

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NOTE: stream_select(), a crucial function for network programming, is
broken on PHP 5.2.x less than 5.2.6 on amd64-based servers. We don't
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work around this bug in StatusNet; current recommendation is to move
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off of amd64 to another server.

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Public feed

You can send *all* messages from your microblogging site to a
third-party service using XMPP. This can be useful for providing
search, indexing, bridging, or other cool services.

To configure a downstream site to receive your public stream, add
their "JID" (Jabber ID) to your config.php as follows:

    $config['xmpp']['public'][] = '';

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(Don't miss those square brackets at the end.) Note that your XMPP
broadcasting must be configured as mentioned above. Although you can
send out messages at "Web time", high-volume sites should strongly
consider setting up queues and daemons.

Queues and daemons

Some activities that StatusNet needs to do, like broadcast OStatus, SMS,
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and XMPP messages, can be 'queued' and done by off-line bots instead.
For this to work, you must be able to run long-running offline
processes, either on your main Web server or on another server you
control. (Your other server will still need all the above
prerequisites, with the exception of Apache.) Installing on a separate
server is probably a good idea for high-volume sites.

1. You'll need the "CLI" (command-line interface) version of PHP
   installed on whatever server you use.

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2. If you're using a separate server for queues, install StatusNet
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   somewhere on the server. You don't need to worry about the
   .htaccess file, but make sure that your config.php file is close
   to, or identical to, your Web server's version.

3. In your config.php files (both the Web server and the queues
   server!), set the following variable:

       $config['queue']['enabled'] = true;
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   You may also want to look at the 'daemon' section of this file for
   more daemon options. Note that if you set the 'user' and/or 'group'
   options, you'll need to create that user and/or group by hand.
   They're not created automatically.

4. On the queues server, run the command scripts/

This will run the queue handlers:

* queuedaemon.php - polls for queued items for inbox processing and
  pushing out to OStatus, SMS, XMPP, etc.
* xmppdaemon.php - listens for new XMPP messages from users and stores
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  them as notices in the database; also pulls queued XMPP output from
  queuedaemon.php to push out to clients.

These two daemons will automatically restart in most cases of failure
including memory leaks (if a memory_limit is set), but may still die
or behave oddly if they lose connections to the XMPP or queue servers.

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Additional daemons may be also started by this script for certain
plugins, such as the Twitter bridge.

It may be a good idea to use a daemon-monitoring service, like 'monit',
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to check their status and keep them running.

All the daemons write their process IDs (pids) to /var/run/ by
default. This can be useful for starting, stopping, and monitoring the

Since version 0.8.0, it's now possible to use a STOMP server instead of
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our kind of hacky home-grown DB-based queue solution. This is strongly
recommended for best response time, especially when using XMPP.

See the "queues" config section below for how to configure to use STOMP.
As of this writing, the software has been tested with ActiveMQ 5.3.

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There are two themes shipped with this version of StatusNet: "identica",
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which is what the site uses, and "default", which is a good
basis for other sites.

As of right now, your ability to change the theme is site-wide; users
can't choose their own theme. Additionally, the only thing you can
change in the theme is CSS stylesheets and some image files; you can't
change the HTML output, like adding or removing menu items.

You can choose a theme using the $config['site']['theme'] element in
the config.php file. See below for details.

You can add your own theme by making a sub-directory of the 'theme'
subdirectory with the name of your theme. Each theme can have the
following files:

display.css: a CSS2 file for "default" styling for all browsers.
ie6.css: a CSS2 file for override styling for fixing up Internet
    Explorer 6.
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ie7.css: a CSS2 file for override styling for fixing up Internet
    Explorer 7.
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logo.png: a logo image for the site.
default-avatar-profile.png: a 96x96 pixel image to use as the avatar for
    users who don't upload their own.
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default-avatar-stream.png: Ditto, but 48x48. For streams of notices.
default-avatar-mini.png: Ditto ditto, but 24x24. For subscriptions
    listing on profile pages.
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You may want to start by copying the files from the default theme to
your own directory.

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NOTE: the HTML generated by StatusNet changed *radically* between
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version 0.6.x and 0.7.x. Older themes will need signification
modification to use the new output format.

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Translations in StatusNet use the gettext system <>.
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Theoretically, you can add your own sub-directory to the locale/
subdirectory to add a new language to your system. You'll need to
compile the ".po" files into ".mo" files, however.

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Contributions of translation information to StatusNet are very easy:
you can use the Web interface at to add one
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or a few or lots of new translations -- or even new languages. You can
also download more up-to-date .po files there, if you so desire.

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For info on helping with translations, see

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There is no built-in system for doing backups in StatusNet. You can make
backups of a working StatusNet system by backing up the database and
the Web directory. To backup the database use mysqldump <>
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and to backup the Web directory, try tar.

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The administrator can set the "private" flag for a site so that it's
not visible to non-logged-in users. This might be useful for
workgroups who want to share a microblogging site for project
management, but host it on a public server.

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Total privacy is not guaranteed or ensured. Also, privacy is
all-or-nothing for a site; you can't have some accounts or notices
private, and others public. The interaction of private sites
with OStatus is undefined.

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Access to file attachments can also be restricted to logged-in users only.
1. Add a directory outside the web root where your file uploads will be
   stored. Usually a command like this will work:

       mkdir /var/www/statusnet-files
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2. Make the file uploads directory writeable by the web server. An
   insecure way to do this is:

       chmod a+x /var/www/statusnet-files
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3. Tell StatusNet to use this directory for file uploads. Add a line
   like this to your config.php:

       $config['attachments']['dir'] = '/var/www/statusnet-files';

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IMPORTANT NOTE: StatusNet 0.7.4 introduced a fix for some
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incorrectly-stored international characters ("UTF-8"). For new
installations, it will now store non-ASCII characters correctly.
However, older installations will have the incorrect storage, and will
consequently show up "wrong" in browsers. See below for how to deal
with this situation.

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If you've been using StatusNet 0.7, 0.6, 0.5 or lower, or if you've
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been tracking the "git" version of the software, you will probably
want to upgrade and keep your existing data. There is no automated
upgrade procedure in StatusNet 0.9.5. Try these step-by-step
instructions; read to the end first before trying them.
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0. Download StatusNet and set up all the prerequisites as if you were
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   doing a new install.
1. Make backups of both your database and your Web directory. UNDER NO
   CIRCUMSTANCES should you try to do an upgrade without a known-good
   backup. You have been warned.
2. Shut down Web access to your site, either by turning off your Web
   server or by redirecting all pages to a "sorry, under maintenance"
3. Shut down XMPP access to your site, typically by shutting down the
   xmppdaemon.php process and all other daemons that you're running.
   If you've got "monit" or "cron" automatically restarting your
   daemons, make sure to turn that off, too.
4. Shut down SMS and email access to your site. The easy way to do
   this is to comment out the line piping incoming email to your
   maildaemon.php file, and running something like "newaliases".
5. Once all writing processes to your site are turned off, make a
   final backup of the Web directory and database.
6. Move your StatusNet directory to a backup spot, like "statusnet.bak".
7. Unpack your StatusNet 0.9.5 tarball and move it to "statusnet" or
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   wherever your code used to be.
8. Copy the config.php file and avatar directory from your old
   directory to your new directory.
9. Copy htaccess.sample to .htaccess in the new directory. Change the
   RewriteBase to use the correct path.
10. Rebuild the database. (You can safely skip this step and go to #12
    if you're upgrading from another 0.9.x version).
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    NOTE: this step is destructive and cannot be
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    do it without a known-good backup!

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    If your database is at version 0.8.0 or above, you can run a
    special upgrade script:

        mysql -u<rootuser> -p<rootpassword> <database> db/08to09.sql

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    Otherwise, go to your StatusNet directory and AFTER YOU MAKE A
    BACKUP run the script like this:

        ./scripts/ rootuser rootpassword database db/statusnet.sql
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    Here, rootuser and rootpassword are the username and password for a
    user who can drop and create databases as well as tables; typically
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    that's _not_ the user StatusNet runs as. Note that drops
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    your database and rebuilds it; if there is an error you have no
    database. Make sure you have a backup.
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    For PostgreSQL databases there is an equivalent,,
    which operates slightly differently. Read the documentation in that
    script before running it.
11. Use mysql or psql client to log into your database and make sure that
    the notice, user, profile, subscription etc. tables are non-empty.
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12. Turn back on the Web server, and check that things still work.
13. Turn back on XMPP bots and email maildaemon. Note that the XMPP
    bots have changed since version 0.5; see above for details.

If you're upgrading from very old versions, you may want to look at
the fixup_* scripts in the scripts directories. These will store some
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precooked data in the DB. All upgraders should check out the inboxes
options below.
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NOTE: the database definition file, laconica.ini, has been renamed to
statusnet.ini (since this is the recommended database name). If you
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have a line in your config.php pointing to the old name, you'll need
to update it.

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Notice inboxes

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Notice inboxes are now required. If you don't have inboxes enabled,
StatusNet will no longer run.

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UTF-8 Database

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StatusNet 0.7.4 introduced a fix for some incorrectly-stored
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international characters ("UTF-8"). This fix is not
backwards-compatible; installations from before 0.7.4 will show
non-ASCII characters of old notices incorrectly. This section explains
what to do.

0. You can disable the new behaviour by setting the 'db''utf8' config
   option to "false". You should only do this until you're ready to
   convert your DB to the new format.
1. When you're ready to convert, you can run the fixup_utf8.php script
   in the scripts/ subdirectory. If you've had the "new behaviour"
   enabled (probably a good idea), you can give the ID of the first
   "new" notice as a parameter, and only notices before that one will
   be converted. Notices are converted in reverse chronological order,
   so the most recent (and visible) ones will be converted first. The
   script should work whether or not you have the 'db''utf8' config
   option enabled.
2. When you're ready, set $config['db']['utf8'] to true, so that
   new notices will be stored correctly.

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Configuration options

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The main configuration file for StatusNet (excepting configurations for
dependency software) is config.php in your StatusNet directory. If you
edit any other file in the directory, like lib/default.php (where most
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of the defaults are defined), you will lose your configuration options
in any upgrade, and you will wish that you had been more careful.

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Starting with version 0.9.0, a Web based configuration panel has been
added to StatusNet. The preferred method for changing config options is
to use this panel.

A command-line script, setconfig.php, can be used to set individual
configuration options. It's in the scripts/ directory.

Starting with version 0.7.1, you can put config files in the
/etc/statusnet/ directory on your server, if it exists. Config files
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will be included in this order:

* /etc/statusnet/statusnet.php - server-wide config
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* /etc/statusnet/<servername>.php - for a virtual host
* /etc/statusnet/<servername>_<pathname>.php - for a path
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* INSTALLDIR/config.php - for a particular implementation

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Almost all configuration options are made through a two-dimensional
associative array, cleverly named $config. A typical configuration
line will be:

    $config['section']['option'] = value;
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For brevity, the following documentation describes each section and


This section is a catch-all for site-wide variables.

name: the name of your site, like 'YourCompany Microblog'.
server: the server part of your site's URLs, like ''.
path: The path part of your site's URLs, like 'statusnet' or ''
    (installed in root).
fancy: whether or not your site uses fancy URLs (see Fancy URLs
    section above). Default is false.
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logfile: full path to a file for StatusNet to save logging
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    information to. You may want to use this if you don't have
    access to syslog.
logdebug: whether to log additional debug info like backtraces on
    hard errors. Default false.
locale_path: full path to the directory for locale data. Unless you
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    store all your locale data in one place, you probably
    don't need to use this.
language: default language for your site. Defaults to US English.
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    Note that this is overridden if a user is logged in and has
    selected a different language. It is also overridden if the
    user is NOT logged in, but their browser requests a different
    langauge. Since pretty much everybody's browser requests a
    language, that means that changing this setting has little or
    no effect in practice.
languages: A list of languages supported on your site. Typically you'd
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    only change this if you wanted to disable support for one
    or another language:
    "unset($config['site']['languages']['de'])" will disable
    support for German.
theme: Theme for your site (see Theme section). Two themes are
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    provided by default: 'default' and 'stoica' (the one used by It's appreciated if you don't use the 'stoica' theme
    except as the basis for your own.
email: contact email address for your site. By default, it's extracted
    from your Web server environment; you may want to customize it.
broughtbyurl: name of an organization or individual who provides the
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    service. Each page will include a link to this name in the
    footer. A good way to link to the blog, forum, wiki,
    corporate portal, or whoever is making the service available.
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broughtby: text used for the "brought by" link.
timezone: default timezone for message display. Users can set their
    own time zone. Defaults to 'UTC', which is a pretty good default.
closed: If set to 'true', will disallow registration on your site.
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    This is a cheap way to restrict accounts to only one
    individual or group; just register the accounts you want on
    the service, *then* set this variable to 'true'.
inviteonly: If set to 'true', will only allow registration if the user
    was invited by an existing user.
private: If set to 'true', anonymous users will be redirected to the
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    'login' page. Also, API methods that normally require no
    authentication will require it. Note that this does not turn
    off registration; use 'closed' or 'inviteonly' for the
    behaviour you want.
notice: A plain string that will appear on every page. A good place
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    to put introductory information about your service, or info about
    upgrades and outages, or other community info. Any HTML will
    be escaped.
logo: URL of an image file to use as the logo for the site. Overrides
    the logo in the theme, if any.
ssl: Whether to use SSL and https:// URLs for some or all pages.
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    Possible values are 'always' (use it for all pages), 'never'
    (don't use it for any pages), or 'sometimes' (use it for
    sensitive pages that include passwords like login and registration,
    but not for regular pages). Default to 'never'.
sslserver: use an alternate server name for SSL URLs, like
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    ''. You should be careful to set cookie
    parameters correctly so that both the SSL server and the
    "normal" server can access the session cookie and
    preferably other cookies as well.
shorturllength: Length of URL at which URLs in a message exceeding 140
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    characters will be sent to the user's chosen
    shortening service.
dupelimit: minimum time allowed for one person to say the same thing
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    twice. Default 60s. Anything lower is considered a user
    or UI error.
textlimit: default max size for texts in the site. Defaults to 140.
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    0 means no limit. Can be fine-tuned for notices, messages,
    profile bios and group descriptions.

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This section is a reference to the configuration options for
DB_DataObject (see <>). The ones that you may want to
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set are listed below for clarity.

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database: a DSN (Data Source Name) for your StatusNet database. This is
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    in the format 'protocol://username:password@hostname/databasename',
    where 'protocol' is 'mysql' or 'mysqli' (or possibly 'postgresql', if you
    really know what you're doing), 'username' is the username,
    'password' is the password, and etc.
ini_yourdbname: if your database is not named 'statusnet', you'll need
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    to set this to point to the location of the
    statusnet.ini file. Note that the real name of your database
    should go in there, not literally 'yourdbname'.
db_driver: You can try changing this to 'MDB2' to use the other driver
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    type for DB_DataObject, but note that it breaks the OpenID
    libraries, which only support PEAR::DB.
debug: On a database error, you may get a message saying to set this
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    value to 5 to see debug messages in the browser. This breaks
    just about all pages, and will also expose the username and
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quote_identifiers: Set this to true if you're using postgresql.
type: either 'mysql' or 'postgresql' (used for some bits of
    database-type-specific SQL in the code). Defaults to mysql.
mirror: you can set this to an array of DSNs, like the above
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    'database' value. If it's set, certain read-only actions will
    use a random value out of this array for the database, rather
    than the one in 'database' (actually, 'database' is overwritten).
    You can offload a busy DB server by setting up MySQL replication
    and adding the slaves to this array. Note that if you want some
    requests to go to the 'database' (master) server, you'll need
    to include it in this array, too.
utf8: whether to talk to the database in UTF-8 mode. This is the default
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    with new installations, but older sites may want to turn it off
    until they get their databases fixed up. See "UTF-8 database"
    above for details.
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schemacheck: when to let plugins check the database schema to add
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    tables or update them. Values can be 'runtime' (default)
    or 'script'. 'runtime' can be costly (plugins check the
    schema on every hit, adding potentially several db
    queries, some quite long), but not everyone knows how to
    run a script. If you can, set this to 'script' and run
    scripts/checkschema.php whenever you install or upgrade a

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By default, StatusNet sites log error messages to the syslog facility.
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(You can override this using the 'logfile' parameter described above).

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appname: The name that StatusNet uses to log messages. By default it's
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    "statusnet", but if you have more than one installation on the
    server, you may want to change the name for each instance so
    you can track log messages more easily.
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priority: level to log at. Currently ignored.
facility: what syslog facility to used. Defaults to LOG_USER, only
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    reset if you know what syslog is and have a good reason
    to change it.
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You can configure the software to queue time-consuming tasks, like
sending out SMS email or XMPP messages, for off-line processing. See
'Queues and daemons' above for how to set this up.

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enabled: Whether to uses queues. Defaults to false.
subsystem: Which kind of queueserver to use. Values include "db" for
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    our hacked-together database queuing (no other server
    required) and "stomp" for a stomp server.
stomp_server: "broker URI" for stomp server. Something like
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    "tcp://hostname:61613". More complicated ones are
    possible; see your stomp server's documentation for
queue_basename: a root name to use for queues (stomp only). Typically
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    something like '/queue/sitename/' makes sense. If running
    multiple instances on the same server, make sure that
    either this setting or $config['site']['nickname'] are
    unique for each site to keep them separate.

stomp_username: username for connecting to the stomp server; defaults
    to null.
stomp_password: password for connecting to the stomp server; defaults
    to null.
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stomp_persistent: keep items across queue server restart, if enabled.
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    Under ActiveMQ, the server configuration determines if and how
    persistent storage is actually saved.

    If using a message queue server other than ActiveMQ, you may
    need to disable this if it does not support persistence.

stomp_transactions: use transactions to aid in error detection.
    A broken transaction will be seen quickly, allowing a message
    to be redelivered immediately if a daemon crashes.

    If using a message queue server other than ActiveMQ, you may
    need to disable this if it does not support transactions.

stomp_acks: send acknowledgements to aid in flow control.
    An acknowledgement of successful processing tells the server
    we're ready for more and can help keep things moving smoothly.

    This should *not* be turned off when running with ActiveMQ, but
    if using another message queue server that does not support
    acknowledgements you might need to disable this.
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softlimit: an absolute or relative "soft memory limit"; daemons will
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    restart themselves gracefully when they find they've hit
    this amount of memory usage. Defaults to 90% of PHP's global
    memory_limit setting.
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inboxes: delivery of messages to receiver's inboxes can be delayed to
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    queue time for best interactive performance on the sender.
    This may however be annoyingly slow when using the DB queues,
    so you can set this to false if it's causing trouble.
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breakout: for stomp, individual queues are by default grouped up for
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    best scalability. If some need to be run by separate daemons,
    etc they can be manually adjusted here.

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        Default will share all queues for all sites within each group.
        Specify as <group>/<queue> or <group>/<queue>/<site>,
        using nickname identifier as site.

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        'main/distrib' separate "distrib" queue covering all sites
        'xmpp/xmppout/mysite' separate "xmppout" queue covering just 'mysite'
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max_retries: for stomp, drop messages after N failed attempts to process.
    Defaults to 10.
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dead_letter_dir: for stomp, optional directory to dump data on failed
    queue processing events after discarding them.

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stomp_no_transactions: for stomp, the server does not support transactions,
    so do not try to user them. This is needed for

stomp_no_acks: for stomp, the server does not support acknowledgements.
    so do not try to user them. This is needed for

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The default license to use for your users notices. The default is the
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, which is probably the right
choice for any public site. Note that some other servers will not
accept notices if you apply a stricter license than this.

type: one of 'cc' (for Creative Commons licenses), 'allrightsreserved'
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    (default copyright), or 'private' (for private and confidential
owner: for 'allrightsreserved' or 'private', an assigned copyright
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    holder (for example, an employer for a private site). If
    not specified, will be attributed to 'contributors'.
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url: URL of the license, used for links.
title: Title for the license, like 'Creative Commons Attribution 3.0'.
image: A button shown on each page for the license.

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This is for configuring out-going email. We use PEAR's Mail module,

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backend: the backend to use for mail, one of 'mail', 'sendmail', and
    'smtp'. Defaults to PEAR's default, 'mail'.
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params: if the mail backend requires any parameters, you can provide
    them in an associative array.

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This is for configuring nicknames in the service.

blacklist: an array of strings for usernames that may not be
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    registered. A default array exists for strings that are
    used by StatusNet (e.g. 'doc', 'main', 'avatar', 'theme')
    but you may want to add others if you have other software
    installed in a subdirectory of StatusNet or if you just
    don't want certain words used as usernames.
featured: an array of nicknames of 'featured' users of the site.
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    Can be useful to draw attention to well-known users, or
    interesting people, or whatever.
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For configuring avatar access.

dir: Directory to look for avatar files and to put them into.
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    Defaults to avatar subdirectory of install directory; if
    you change it, make sure to change path, too.
path: Path to avatars. Defaults to path for avatar subdirectory,
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    but you can change it if you wish. Note that this will
    be included with the avatar server, too.
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server: If set, defines another server where avatars are stored in the
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    root directory. Note that the 'avatar' subdir still has to be
    writeable. You'd typically use this to split HTTP requests on
    the client to speed up page loading, either with another
    virtual server or with an NFS or SAMBA share. Clients
    typically only make 2 connections to a single server at a
    time <>, so this can parallelize the job.
    Defaults to null.
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ssl: Whether to access avatars using HTTPS. Defaults to null, meaning
    to guess based on site-wide SSL settings.
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For configuring the public stream.

localonly: If set to true, only messages posted by users of this
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    service (rather than other services, filtered through OMB)
    are shown in the public stream. Default true.
blacklist: An array of IDs of users to hide from the public stream.
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    Useful if you have someone making excessive Twitterfeed posts
    to the site, other kinds of automated posts, testing bots, etc.
autosource: Sources of notices that are from automatic posters, and thus
    should be kept off the public timeline. Default empty.
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server: Like avatars, you can speed up page loading by pointing the
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    theme file lookup to another server (virtual or real).
    Defaults to NULL, meaning to use the site server.
dir: Directory where theme files are stored. Used to determine
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    whether to show parts of a theme file. Defaults to the theme
    subdirectory of the install directory.
path: Path part of theme URLs, before the theme name. Relative to the
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    theme server. It may make sense to change this path when upgrading,
    (using version numbers as the path) to make sure that all files are
    reloaded by caching clients or proxies. Defaults to null,
    which means to use the site path + '/theme'.
ssl: Whether to use SSL for theme elements. Default is null, which means
    guess based on site SSL settings.
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server: You can speed up page loading by pointing the
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    theme file lookup to another server (virtual or real).
    Defaults to NULL, meaning to use the site server.
path: Path part of Javascript URLs. Defaults to null,
    which means to use the site path + '/js/'.
ssl: Whether to use SSL for JavaScript files. Default is null, which means
    guess based on site SSL settings.

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For configuring the XMPP sub-system.

enabled: Whether to accept and send messages by XMPP. Default false.
server: server part of XMPP ID for update user.
port: connection port for clients. Default 5222, which you probably
    shouldn't need to change.
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user: username for the client connection. Users will receive messages
    from 'user'@'server'.
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resource: a unique identifier for the connection to the server. This
    is actually used as a prefix for each XMPP component in the system.
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password: password for the user account.
host: some XMPP domains are served by machines with a different
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    hostname. (For example, GTalk users connect to Set this to the correct hostname if that's the
    case with your server.
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encryption: Whether to encrypt the connection between StatusNet and the
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    XMPP server. Defaults to true, but you can get
    considerably better performance turning it off if you're
    connecting to a server on the same machine or on a
    protected network.
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debug: if turned on, this will make the XMPP library blurt out all of
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    the incoming and outgoing messages as XML stanzas. Use as a
    last resort, and never turn it on if you don't have queues
    enabled, since it will spit out sensitive data to the browser.
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public: an array of JIDs to send _all_ notices to. This is useful for
    participating in third-party search and archiving services.
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For configuring invites.

enabled: Whether to allow users to send invites. Default true.

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Miscellaneous tagging stuff.

dropoff: Decay factor for tag listing, in seconds.
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    Defaults to exponential decay over ten days; you can twiddle
    with it to try and get better results for your site.

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Settings for the "popular" section of the site.

dropoff: Decay factor for popularity listing, in seconds.
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    Defaults to exponential decay over ten days; you can twiddle
    with it to try and get better results for your site.

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For daemon processes.

piddir: directory that daemon processes should write their PID file
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    (process ID) to. Defaults to /var/run/, which is where this
    stuff should usually go on Unix-ish systems.
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user: If set, the daemons will try to change their effective user ID
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    to this user before running. Probably a good idea, especially if
    you start the daemons as root. Note: user name, like 'daemon',
    not 1001.
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group: If set, the daemons will try to change their effective group ID
    to this named group. Again, a name, not a numerical ID.
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You can get a significant boost in performance by caching some
database data in memcached <>.
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enabled: Set to true to enable. Default false.
server: a string with the hostname of the memcached server. Can also
    be an array of hostnames, if you've got more than one server.
base: memcached uses key-value pairs to store data. We build long,
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    funny-looking keys to make sure we don't have any conflicts. The
    base of the key is usually a simplified version of the site name
    (like "" => "identica"), but you can overwrite this if
    you need to. You can safely ignore it if you only have one
    StatusNet site using your memcached server.
port: Port to connect to; defaults to 11211.

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For post-by-email.

enabled: Whether to enable post-by-email. Defaults to true. You will
    also need to set up maildaemon.php.

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For SMS integration.

enabled: Whether to enable SMS integration. Defaults to true. Queues
    should also be enabled.

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A catch-all for integration with other systems.

taguri: base for tag:// URIs. Defaults to site-server + ',2009'.

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For notice inboxes.

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enabled: No longer used. If you set this to something other than true,
    StatusNet will no longer run.

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For notice-posting throttles.

enabled: Whether to throttle posting. Defaults to false.
count: Each user can make this many posts in 'timespan' seconds. So, if count
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    is 100 and timespan is 3600, then there can be only 100 posts
    from a user every hour.
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timespan: see 'count'.


Profile management.

biolimit: max character length of bio; 0 means no limit; null means to use
    the site text limit default.

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Options with new users.

default: nickname of a user account to automatically subscribe new
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    users to. Typically this would be system account for e.g.
    service updates or announcements. Users are able to unsub
    if they want. Default is null; no auto subscribe.
welcome: nickname of a user account that sends welcome messages to new
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    users. Can be the same as 'default' account, although on
    busy servers it may be a good idea to keep that one just for
    'urgent' messages. Default is null; no message.

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If either of these special user accounts are specified, the users should
be created before the configuration is updated.

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The software will, by default, send statistical snapshots about the
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local installation to a stats server on the Web site. This
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data is used by the developers to prioritize development decisions. No
identifying data about users or organizations is collected. The data
is available to the public for review. Participating in this survey
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helps StatusNet developers take your needs into account when updating
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the software.

run: string indicating when to run the statistics. Values can be 'web'
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    (run occasionally at Web time), 'cron' (run from a cron script),
    or 'never' (don't ever run). If you set it to 'cron', remember to
    schedule the script to run on a regular basis.
frequency: if run value is 'web', how often to report statistics.
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    Measured in Web hits; depends on how active your site is.
    Default is 10000 -- that is, one report every 10000 Web hits,
    on average.
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reporturl: URL to post statistics to. Defaults to StatusNet developers'
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    report system, but if they go evil or disappear you may
    need to update this to another value. Note: if you
    don't want to report stats, it's much better to
    set 'run' to 'never' than to set this value to something

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The software lets users upload files with their notices. You can configure
the types of accepted files by mime types and a trio of quota options:
per file, per user (total), per user per month.

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We suggest the use of the pecl file_info extension to handle mime type

supported: an array of mime types you accept to store and distribute,
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    like 'image/gif', 'video/mpeg', 'audio/mpeg', etc. Make sure you
    setup your server to properly recognize the types you want to
uploads: false to disable uploading files with notices (true by default).
filecommand: The required MIME_Type library may need to use the 'file'
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    command. It tries the one in the Web server's path, but if
    you're having problems with uploads, try setting this to the
    correct value. Note: 'file' must accept '-b' and '-i' options.
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For quotas, be sure you've set the upload_max_filesize and post_max_size
in php.ini to be large enough to handle your upload. In httpd.conf
(if you're using apache), check that the LimitRequestBody directive isn't
set too low (it's optional, so it may not be there at all).

file_quota: maximum size for a single file upload in bytes. A user can send
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    any amount of notices with attachments as long as each attachment
    is smaller than file_quota.
user_quota: total size in bytes a user can store on this server. Each user
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    can store any number of files as long as their total size does
    not exceed the user_quota.
monthly_quota: total size permitted in the current month. This is the total
    size in bytes that a user can upload each month.
dir: directory accessible to the Web process where uploads should go.
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    Defaults to the 'file' subdirectory of the install directory, which
    should be writeable by the Web user.
server: server name to use when creating URLs for uploaded files.
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    Defaults to null, meaning to use the default Web server. Using
    a virtual server here can speed up Web performance.
path: URL path, relative to the server, to find files. Defaults to
    main path + '/file/'.
ssl: whether to use HTTPS for file URLs. Defaults to null, meaning to
    guess based on other SSL settings.
filecommand: command to use for determining the type of a file. May be
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    skipped if fileinfo extension is installed. Defaults to

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Options for group functionality.

maxaliases: maximum number of aliases a group can have. Default 3. Set
    to 0 or less to prevent aliases in a group.
desclimit: maximum number of characters to allow in group descriptions.
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    null (default) means to use the site-wide text limits. 0
    means no limit.

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oEmbed endpoint for multimedia attachments (links in posts).

endpoint: oohembed endpoint using software.

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Some stuff for search.

type: type of search. Ignored if PostgreSQL or Sphinx are enabled. Can either
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    be 'fulltext' (default) or 'like'. The former is faster and more efficient
    but requires the lame old MyISAM engine for MySQL. The latter
    will work with InnoDB but could be miserably slow on large
    systems. We'll probably add another type sometime in the future,
    with our own indexing system (maybe like MediaWiki's).
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Session handling.

handle: boolean. Whether we should register our own PHP session-handling
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    code (using the database and memcache if enabled). Defaults to false.
    Setting this to true makes some sense on large or multi-server
    sites, but it probably won't hurt for smaller ones, either.
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debug: whether to output debugging info for session storage. Can help
    with weird session bugs, sometimes. Default false.

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Users can upload backgrounds for their pages; this section defines
their use.

server: the server to use for background. Using a separate (even
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    virtual) server for this can speed up load times. Default is
    null; same as site server.
dir: directory to write backgrounds too. Default is '/background/'
    subdir of install dir.
path: path to backgrounds. Default is sub-path of install path; note
    that you may need to change this if you change site-path too.
ssl: Whether or not to use HTTPS for background files. Defaults to
    null, meaning to guess from site-wide SSL settings.
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