Friendica 2021.01 Released

and a happy new year dear reader. Not quiet in time for the holidays, but we are very happy to announce the availability of the latest stable version of the Friendica communications server which bundles up some 270 pull requests closing 86 numbered issues. For a detailed overview of the changes, please have a look at the CHANGELOG, some of the highlights

  • Thanks to Balázs Úr Friendica is now available in Hungarian. The German, Italian and Russian translation was updated as well.
  • hansw-nlo made us aware of some places where user input was not properly escaped. For security reasons we urge you to upgrade to the new release. See Issue 9538 for details.
  • The performance of the background process was further improved. For nodes running on very limited hardware, this might cause some problems. If you are running Friendica on such hardware please be aware that you might need to adjust settings like the worker_cooldown in your configuration file.
  • Friendica is now able to directly re-share a posting in addition to the manual cite and re-share we are used to. Additionally the native re-sharing mechanisms of the different protocols supported by Friendica got improved and re-shared postings are now displayed on the users profile page.
Wordcloud from the commit messages of the Friendica 2021.01 release cycle.

How to Update

Updating from old Friendica versions

If you are updating from an older version than the 2020.03 release, please first update your Friendica instance to that version.

In that version we introduced views to the database and some node admins reported that they had to adjust their MariaDB configuration (table_definition_cache). Also setting pdo_emulate_prepares to true in the Friendica configuration might be nessessary.

Pre-Update Procedures

Ensure that the last backup of your Friendica installation was done recently. We had no problems reported during the upgrade process from 2020.09 to the 2020.12 release candidate, so hopefully you will have a smooth transition.

Please make sure to use Barracuda as MySQL DB file format for your Friendica database. Change your database settings before you proceed with the Friendica update. This change will take some time depending on the size of your database.

Using Git

Important: We removed the master branch and are using the stable branch instead.

Updating from the git repositories should only involve a pull from the Friendica core repository and addons repository, regardless of the branch (stable or develop) you are using. Remember to update the dependencies with composer as well.

cd friendica
git fetch
git checkout stable
git pull
bin/composer.phar install --no-dev
cd addon
git fetch
git checkout stable
git pull

Pulling in the dependencies with composer will show some deprecation warning, we will be working on that in the upcoming release. If you want to use the current development version of Friendica instead of the stable released version, you can checkout develop instead, but be aware that the develop branch might be unstable and buggy.

Using the Archive Files

If you had downloaded the source files in an archive file (tar.gz) please download the current version of the archive (friendica-full-2021.01.tar.gz and friendica-addons 2021.01.tar.gz) and unpack it on your local computer.

As many files got deleted or moved around, please upload the unpacked files to a new directory on your server (say friendica_new) and copy over your existing configuration (config/local.config.php and config/addon.config.php) and .htaccess files. Afterwards rename your current Friendica directory (e.g. friendica) to friendica_old and friendica_new to friendica.

The files of the dependencies are included in the archive (make sure you are using the friendica-full-2021.01 archive), so you don’t have to worry about them.

Post Update Tasks

The database update should be applied automatically, but sometimes it gets stuck. If you encounter this, please initiate the DB update manually from the command line by running the script

bin/console dbstructure update

from the base of your Friendica installation. If the output contains any error message, please let us know using the channels mentioned below.

Please note, that some of the changes to the database structure will take some time to be applied, depending on the size of your Friendica database.

Known Issues

Please note, that one of the dependencies of Friendica is currently incompatible with PHP 7.0. If you are still running that version of PHP, please have a look at this forum thread for a workaround.

Some admins had problems during the upgrade of the database structure. See e.g. this issue on github about it.

How to Contribute

If you want to contribute to the project, you don’t need to have coding experience. There are a number of tasks listed in the issue tracker with the label “Junior Jobs” we think are good for new contributors. But you are by no means limited to these – if you find a solution to a problem (even a new one) please make a pull request at github or let us know in the development forum.

Contribution to Friendica is also not limited to coding. Any contribution to the documentation, the translation or advertisement materials is welcome or reporting a problem. You don’t need to deal with Git(Hub) or Transifex if you don’t like to. Just get in touch with us and we will get the materials to the appropriate places.

Thanks everyone who helped making this release possible and have fun!


I found Friendica once again thanks to my brother from Morocco here To Friendica developers, you did great job! Thanks for everything.


MrPetovan says:

Thank you very much for the nice comment and for the nod in the blog post!

Tecoberg says:

I’ve creating my own friendica for the first time and I took the follow tutorial to make it.
All worked fine until the minute 18:11 when I expected to see the friendica comes alive on my browser but it wasn’t. Instead the address line on my browser changed to:
Someone knows what happened here?

Tecoberg says:

I want to create my own friendica server based on Debian. Todo so I’ve following the tutorial on this video:
Also I followed another tutorial much older on YT ( and I stuck in the same issue. When the friendica suppose to run on my browser it changes the my server address to that:
I made a resume of the installation commands I used to get so far.
What I did wrong?

List of commands after a fresh Debina server installation:
apt install apache2
apachectl configtest
nano /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
systemctl restart apache2

1 wget
2 wget
3 cd /var/www/html
4 tar -xzvf ~/friendica-full-s021.01.tar.gz
5 cd friendica-full-s021.01
6 tar -xzvf ~/friendica-addonsl-s021.01.tar.gz

7 apt install mariadb-server
8 mysql_secure_installation
Set root password? [Y/n] Y
Remove anonimous users? [Y/n] Y
Desallow root login remotely? [Y/n] Y
Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] Y
Reload privilage tables now? [Y/n] Y
9 apt install php libapache2-mod-php php-mysql php-curl php-gd php-xml php-mbstring mcrypt
10 systemctl restart apache2
11 nano info.php

12 nano /etc/apache2/mods-enable/dir.conf
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.cgi index.xhtml index htm
13 a2enmod rewrite
14 systemctl restart apache2
15 cd /var/www/html
16 mv friendica-full-s021.01/* .
17 mv friendica-full-s021.01/.htaccess-dist .
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html
chmod -R 755 /var/www/html

Cap_Natation says:

Great, thanks.

utzer says:

@Tecoberg, “mv friendica-full-s021.01/.htaccess-dist .” should be “mv friendica-full-s021.01/.htaccess-dist ./.htaccess” I think. The .htaccess file has to be in the webroot and must be named “.htaccess”.

Also better use the git source to install, so instead of downloading the zip from to to the webroot and use “git clone .” (don’t miss the dot), then “mkdir addon” and “cd addon” and “git clone .”

This way you can later update by just switching the branch of the above two local git repositories.

Also get a Friendica account on any server and ask question in the Friendica help forum on Friendica by mentioning “!” in any post with a question.

charlaMX says:

Hello, it happened to me until I secured the website by SSL, so I started again, secured my website and reinstalled, problem solved, hope it could be solution, Regards!

Tobias says:

For non production server there is a way to disable the need for TLS setup with the command line console of Friendica. But you really should not do this on a production side you plan to actually use as social networking page.

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