I wanted to check if there’s an interest in official Debian packages, which can be used to “easily” install Mastodon on Debian-based systems. This package may be distributed via a custom repository, hosted by mastodon (compare the nodejs packages) or via ppa.
Now there are some challenges when it comes to installing mastodon on a default Debian system. From what I’ve found, for example in this forum, there are some dependency incompatibility problems with other packages. For example the
yarn packages provided by the official Debian repositories in stable are outdated. Furthermore mastodon needs a specific ruby version.
I suggest to use the same approach as GitLab does with their Omnibus packages. In addition to their ruby app, they provide already pre-compiled binaries for all their dependencies (e.g. Postgres, nginx, node, etc.). While Mastodon probably doesn’t need that many, because it may still work fine with the default nginx and postgres, all other dependencies might be precompiled aswell and shipped with the package. Experienced sysadmins should be still able to replace the provided binaries with their own (e.g. manually compiled).
That package may create a new user for running mastodon, provide the system services, etc.
It would also handle future updates.
I would like to contribute to the project and work on that feature. I see that it could ease the installation and make it more accessible.