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Docker production installation is now in alpha status. See Docker.


  • A Linux machine with root access
  • A domain name (or subdomain) for the Mobilizon server, e.g.
  • An SMTP server to deliver emails


Mobilizon requires Elixir, NodeJS and PostgreSQL among other things. Prefer to install Elixir and NodeJS from their official repositories instead of your distribution's packages.

Recommended versions:

  • Elixir 1.8+
  • NodeJS 12+
  • PostgreSQL 11+


Installing dependencies depends on the system you're using. Follow the steps of the dependencies guide and come back to this page when done.


We're going to use a dedicated mobilizon user with /home/mobilizon home:

sudo adduser --disabled-login mobilizon


On FreeBSD

sudo pw useradd -n mobilizon -d /home/mobilizon -s /usr/local/bin/bash -m 
sudo passwd mobilizon

Then let's connect as this user:

sudo -i -u mobilizon

Let's start by cloning the repository in a directory named live:

git clone live && cd live

Then pick the latest release (you can get the number version from For instance if the version is 1.0.6:

git checkout 1.0.6

Installing dependencies

Install Elixir dependencies

mix deps.get


When asked for Shall I install Hex? or Shall I install rebar3?, hit the enter key to confirm.

Then compile these dependencies and Mobilizon (this can take a few minutes, and can output all kinds of warnings, such as depreciation issues)

MIX_ENV=prod mix compile

Go into the js/ directory

cd js

and install the Javascript dependencies

yarn install

Finally, we can build the front-end (this can take a few seconds).


Building front-end can consume up to 2048MB of RAM by default. If it's too much or not sufficient for your setup, you can adjust the maximum memory used by prefixing the command with the following option:


yarn run build

Let's go back to the main directory

cd ../


Mobilizon provides a command line tool to generate configuration

MIX_ENV=prod mix mobilizon.instance gen

This will ask you questions about your setup and your instance to generate a prod.secret.exs file in the config/ folder, and a setup_db.psql file to setup the database.

Database setup

The setup_db.psql file contains SQL instructions to create a PostgreSQL user and database with the chosen credentials and add the required extensions to the Mobilizon database.

Exit running as the mobilizon user (as it shouldn't have root/sudo rights) and execute in the /home/mobilizon/live directory:

sudo -u postgres psql -f setup_db.psql

It should output something like:

You are now connected to database "mobilizon_prod" as user "postgres".

Let's get back to our mobilizon user:

sudo -i -u mobilizon
cd live


When it's done, don't forget to remove the setup_db.psql file.

Database Migration

Run database migrations:

MIX_ENV=prod mix ecto.migrate


Note the MIX_ENV=prod environment variable prefix in front of the command. You will have to use it for each mix command from now on.

You will have to do this again after most updates.


If some migrations fail, it probably means you're not using a recent enough version of PostgreSQL, or that you haven't installed the required extensions.


We can quit using the mobilizon user again.


Copy the support/systemd/mobilizon.service to /etc/systemd/system.

sudo cp support/systemd/mobilizon.service /etc/systemd/system/

Reload Systemd to detect your new file

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

And enable the service

sudo systemctl enable --now mobilizon.service

It will run Mobilizon and enable startup on boot. You can follow the logs with

sudo journalctl -fu mobilizon.service

You should see something like this:

Running Mobilizon.Web.Endpoint with cowboy 2.8.0 at :::4000 (http)
Access Mobilizon.Web.Endpoint at

The Mobilizon server runs on port 4000 on the local interface only, so you need to add a reverse-proxy.

Reverse proxy


Copy the file from support/nginx/mobilizon.conf to /etc/nginx/sites-available.

sudo cp support/nginx/mobilizon.conf /etc/nginx/sites-available

Then symlink the file into the /etc/nginx/sites-enabled directory.

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/mobilizon.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Edit the file /etc/nginx/sites-available/mobilizon.conf and adapt it to your own configuration.

Test the configuration with sudo nginx -t and reload nginx with sudo systemctl reload nginx.

Let's Encrypt

The nginx configuration template handles the HTTP-01 challenge with the webroot plugin:

sudo mkdir /var/www/certbot

Run certbot with (don't forget to adapt the command)

sudo certbot certonly --rsa-key-size 4096 --webroot -w /var/www/certbot/ --email --agree-tos --text --renew-hook "/usr/sbin/nginx -s reload" -d

Then adapt the nginx configuration /etc/nginx/sites-available/mobilizon.conf by uncommenting certificate paths and removing obsolete blocks.

Finish by testing the configuration with sudo nginx -t and reloading nginx with sudo systemctl reload nginx.

You should now be able to load inside your browser.

Creating your first user

Login back as the mobilizon system user:

sudo -i -u mobilizon
cd live

Create a new user:

 MIX_ENV=prod mix "" --admin --password "Y0urP4ssw0rd"


Don't forget to prefix the command with an empty space so that the chosen password isn't kept in your shell history.


You can ignore the --password option and Mobilizon will generate one for you.

See the full documentation for this command.

You may now login with your credentials and discover Mobilizon. Feel free to explore configuration documentation as well.

Suggested tasks

Configure emails

The default Mobilizon configuration assumes a local SMTP server is available on the same server. To tweak this for your own setup, see this page.

Configure 3rd-party auth

Mobilizon can use LDAP or OAuth-based login providers (Facebook, Google, etc.) to help register or login users. Configuration can be found here.

Configure geocoders

This will allow the address autocomplete field to provide addresses when editing an event. The default value uses OpenStreetMap's Nominatim provider but you can change it to the provider of your choice.


When using the default OpenStreetMap's Nominatim provider, autocomplete is disabled and using the service implies that you accept their Usage Policy.

Geolocation databases

Mobilizon can use geolocation from MMDB format data from sources like MaxMind GeoIP databases or databases. This allows showing events happening near the user's location.

You will need to download the City database and put it into priv/data/GeoLite2-City.mmdb. Finish by restarting the mobilizon service.

Mobilizon will only show a warning at startup if the database is missing, but it isn't required.

Last update: February 26, 2021