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    Deploying Rocket.Chat on FreeBSD

    Note: This is a community supported installation method. You can discuss about this in the forum thread .


    Valid for:

    • FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE

    (64bit, meteor's development scripts will not compile under 32bit)

    Please use a fresh system without traces of node or npm. Most of my initial problems came from old and/or special versions of node/npm/meteor


    You need to install the following packages either as root or via sudo:

    $ sudo pkg install git scons python gcc48 gmake npm bash wget

    Also install mongodb if you will be running the database setup on this server as well.

    If you get the following output:

    The package management tool is not yet installed on your system.
    Do you want to fetch and install it now? [y/N]:

    It's just because the pkg-ng binary package system have not been setup / bootstraped yet. Simply choose yes (y) here. And press enter.

    Installing pm2

    We need pm2 later to daemonize or Rocket.Chat build.

    Now, install pm2:

    $ sudo npm install pm2 -g
    $ sudo pm2 startup freebsd

    Add user for Rocket.Chat

    This user will be the one used for running Rocket.Chat server.

    $ adduser
    Username: rocketchat
    Full name: User used for running rocket chat
    Uid (Leave empty for default): *press enter*
    Login group [rocketchat]: *press enter*
    Login group is rocketchat. Invite rocketchat into other groups? []: *press enter*
    Login class [default]: *press enter*
    Shell (sh csh tcsh git-shell bash rbash nologin) [sh]: bash
    Home directory [/home/rocketchat]: *press enter, or pick where you want your Rocket.Chat installation to be*
    Home directory permissions (Leave empty for default): *press enter*
    Use password-based authentication? [yes]: *press enter*
    Use an empty password? (yes/no) [no]: *press enter*
    Use a random password? (yes/no) [no]: yes
    Lock out the account after creation? [no]: *press enter*
    Username   : rocketchat
    Password   : <random>
    Full Name  : User used for running Rocket.Chat
    Uid        : 1001
    Class      :
    Groups     : rocketchat
    Home       : /home/rocketchat
    Home Mode  :
    Shell      : /usr/local/bin/bash
    Locked     : no
    OK? (yes/no): yes
    adduser: INFO: Successfully added (rocketchat) to the user database.
    adduser: INFO: Password for (rocketchat) is: qGn&j9nXBx&j*C#u
    Add another user? (yes/no): no

    Be sure to save the password somewhere safe if you will need to login as the Rocket.Chat user in the future.

    Switch to the newly created user

    $ su -l rocketchat

    (Or what ever username you picked).

    Building the dev_bundle

    Setting up the environment

    Set some environment Variables to make the build work under FreeBSD:

    $ export MAKE_CMD=gmake
    $ export CXX=clang++
    $ export CC=clang

    MAKE_CMD=gmake is important, because meteor requires GNU make to build. The fork we will be building lets us set MAKE_CMD so we don't have to do nasty stuff to our BSD make.

    Building meteor

    We need a fork of meteor which allows us to set MAKE_CMD as mentioned before:

    $ cd $HOME
    $ git clone -b freebsd

    Meteor comes with scripts to build it:

    $ cd meteor
    $ ./scripts/
    $ ./scripts/
    $ ./scripts/

    (These commands might take a long time to run depending on your hardware)

    After compiling the development bundles above test out the meteor setup

    $ ./meteor --version

    This should give you output:

    It's the first time you've run Meteor from a git checkout.
    I will download a kit containing all of Meteor's dependencies.
    Skipping download and installing kit from /usr/home/rocketchat/meteor2/dev_bundle_FreeBSD_amd64_0.5.16.tar.gz
    *** SNIPPED HERE ***
    Unreleased, running from a checkout at 9719021 (HEAD -> freebsd, origin/freebsd)

    This should output no errors (Also version numbers might change).


    That should run without problems. If you run into issues check the following:

    • is the Environment setup right?

    • Are the scripts running in bash?

    • do I have gmake installed?

    Running Rocket.Chat

    First, we need the meteor binary in our $PATH

    $ export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/meteor

    Next, we need to download Rocket.Chat:

    $ cd $HOME
    $ git clone
    $ cd Rocket.Chat

    We need to install bcrypt separately.

    $ npm install --clang=1 bcrypt

    After that: Go ahead and start Rocket.Chat!

    $ meteor

    The first launch of Rocket.Chat might take some time as its installing dependencies. If all goes well you would see output like this:

    => App running at: http://localhost:3000/
    I20160422-21:52:50.733(2)? ➔ System ➔ startup
    I20160422-21:52:50.734(2)? ➔ +----------------------------------------+
    I20160422-21:52:50.735(2)? ➔ |             SERVER RUNNING             |
    I20160422-21:52:50.735(2)? ➔ +----------------------------------------+
    I20160422-21:52:50.736(2)? ➔ |                                        |
    I20160422-21:52:50.737(2)? ➔ |       Version: 0.27.0                  |
    I20160422-21:52:50.737(2)? ➔ |  Process Port: 21690                   |
    I20160422-21:52:50.738(2)? ➔ |      Site URL: http://localhost:3000/  |
    I20160422-21:52:50.739(2)? ➔ |                                        |
    I20160422-21:52:50.739(2)? ➔ +----------------------------------------+

    If you would like to have the Rocket.Chat daemon running while signed out. You could use tmux to keep it running.

    Install tmux (optional)

    $ sudo pkg install tmux

    Start a tmux session and run Rocket.Chat

    $ tmux (when tmux is running)
    $ meteor

    This will run Rocket.Chat inside a tmux session allowing you to disconnect from the terminal and let the daemon running.

    • Press ctrl+b d to exit the tmux session.

    • And use tmux a to access the session again.

    To read more about using tmux see this page:

    Or look up one of the many tmux guides online.

    Troubleshooting tmux

    If you run into any troubles with bcrypt, try this: cp -R ~/meteor/packages/non-core/npm-bcrypt ~/Rocket.Chat/packages/*

    If you run into problems with fibers check your node and npm version. Then try to build it again.


    • This guide is tested in a FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE jail.

    • Ensure you don't expose the mongoDB instance to the internet without setting up security for it!


    • Filias Heidt

    • Matt Olander

    • William Grzybowski

    • Cory Smelosky

    • Sing Li

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