Information for packagers

Prosody's main goal is to be user-friendly and easy to use. One of the hardest parts of this task is getting the server installed and running in the first place. By providing reliable high quality packages then on most systems installing Prosody should take no more than a minute of the user's time.

If you're planning to, or already, maintain packages for Prosody, thanks! This page is here just for you. If you feel there is anything that should be added, or have any questions about how to best package Prosody feel free as always to ask us.



  • Lua 5.1 no longer supported
  • LuaSQLite3 can be used to provide SQLite3 support instead of LuaDBI.
  • All Lua modules moved under a single namespace, so e.g. prosody.util.stanza which should allow Prosody to be installed the same way as other Lua packages. A prosody.loader module is introduced to provide backwards compatibility. See #1223.



  • The prosody executable now supports command line flags to control daemonization, -D to daemonize and -F to force foreground operation, meant to be used in service/init scripts.


  • Lua 5.2 is now the recommended version, but Lua 5.1 is still supported. Lua 5.3 is still not officially supported.
  • make test now runs tests using Busted and lints with luacheck.
  • The utility util.time has been rewritten in C to gain access to clock_gettime(). Systems with glibc before 2.17 may need to be linked with -lrt to work. See #1219
  • Makefile renamed GNUmakefile to reflect use of GNU-isms. There’s also a makefile meant to be compatible with BSD make.


Follows some common questions or issues that new packagers have or stumble upon.

Lua versions

Recommended Lua versions by Prosody release:

  • 0.11: Lua 5.2 (recommended), Lua 5.1 (supported), Lua 5.3 (experimental)
  • 0.12: Lua 5.4 (recommended), Lua 5.2/Lua 5.3 (supported)

Init script

Most platforms are using start-stop-daemon for their Prosody init scripts, as it is a little more flexible than prosodyctl at the moment. For reference, the Debian init script can be found here.

We also have user-contributed scripts for systemd as attachments to issue #280.

Pidfile option

In order for prosodyctl to locate a running Prosody, and for Prosody to detect multiple running instances, you need to set the pidfile option in the default config. It needs to point to a filename that is within a directory writeable by Prosody. On Debian we use:

    pidfile = "/var/run/prosody/"


On POSIX platforms (that is well, all of them except Windows) you should make sure that mod_posix is enabled in the default config file. It adds features like syslog support, daemonizing, and writing the pidfile.


Check you have sensible defaults for Logging. If your platform uses logrotate or something similar then include a config file for that too.

As with the pidfile, the logs need to go into a directory writeable by Prosody.

Example logging config on Debian:

        -- Hint: If you create a new log file or rename them, don't forget to update the
        --       logrotate config at /etc/logrotate.d/prosody
        log = {
                -- Log all error messages to prosody.err
                { levels = { min = "error" }, to = "file", filename = "/var/log/prosody/prosody.err" };
                -- Log everything of level "info" and higher (that is, all except "debug" messages)
                -- to prosody.log
                { levels = { min =  "info" }, to = "file", filename = "/var/log/prosody/prosody.log" };

As noted, if usual on your platform then include a logrotate config for Prosody. Debian uses this:

/var/log/prosody/prosody.log /var/log/prosody/prosody.err {
        rotate 14
                /etc/init.d/prosody reload > /dev/null

Tip: Don't be tempted to use /var/log/prosody/prosody.* here 😄. Finding sensible defaults is difficult, as log noise will vary depending on usage. We had rough consensus in the Prosody chatroom that 14 days of logs rotated daily was a decent mid-way point.

Prosody user account

Prosody never needs to run as root. Upon installation your package should create a system user, preferably called 'prosody', with a group of the same name. If you use another name then be sure to set prosody_user in the default configuration file.

A suitable user can be created with this shell code:

if ! getent passwd prosody >/dev/null; then
    adduser --disabled-password --quiet --system \
            --home /var/lib/prosody --no-create-home \
            --gecos "Prosody XMPP Server" --group prosody

Registration policy

For security reasons the default configuration file has in-band account registration disabled (allow_registration = false). Note that mod_register is still loaded though, because the same protocol is used for existing users to change their passwords. Admins are encouraged to use prosodyctl to create new users. See Creating accounts.

Data directory

On most systems the default data directory is /var/lib/prosody. This needs to be passed to ./configure using the –data-dir flag.

Make sure that upon installation the directory is created, owned by Prosody, and is not world-readable (the data files contain passwords and other sensitive information).

   chown prosody:prosody /var/lib/prosody
   chmod 750 /var/lib/prosody

Including separate files

Some systems might find it desirable to split the configuration file into multiple files. To achieve this you can use the Include directive. This also supports including files by wildcard.

Include "base_config.lua"
Include "vhosts.d/*.lua"