Installing from source

Building Prosody from source isn't difficult, but it certainly isn't as simple as using one of our ready-made packages.

Why might you want to build from source? Well it's certainly the easiest way to get hacking on Prosody. Or perhaps there isn't a package for your system yet, or perhaps you want to contribute a package. Alternatively you may simply want more control over how and where Prosody is installed on your system.

There are many different kinds of systems, all configured in different ways. No single set of instructions will work for all, though the steps outlined here should be a good guide for most cases. If you are having trouble getting it to work, feel free to let us know your problem, and we'll try to help however we can!

If you are developing packages, or even if you aren't, there are some additional tips to accompany this article that may be useful in our documentation for packagers.

This guide assumes that you are using the command-line on a GNU/Linux or similar system.

Fetching the source

Official releases

First of all, make a directory where we will work on Prosody:

 mkdir prosody-build
 cd prosody-build

Now download the latest release from


Extract it, and move into the newly extracted directory:

 tar xzf prosody-0.12.4.tar.gz
 cd prosody-0.12.4

Direct from our source repository

All daily development occurs in a source repository, powered by Mercurial. If you have Mercurial - 'hg' - installed then you can simply fetch the source through:

 hg clone prosody-trunk

The above will create a new directory, 'prosody-trunk' containing the latest development code. The neat thing about using hg is that if you want to pull down our latest changes then all you need to do is switch into this directory and run:

 hg pull -u



There are a couple of libraries which Prosody needs installed before you can build it. These are:

  • The Lua library
    • Lua version 5.2 is recommended with Prosody 0.11.x
    • Lua version 5.4 is recommended with Prosody 0.12.x
  • OpenSSL
  • String processing library, one of

These can be installed on Debian/Ubuntu by simply running:

apt build-dep prosody

or by manually installing the packages lua5.2, liblua5.2-dev, libidn11-dev and libssl-dev.

On Mandriva try:

urpmi lua liblua-devel libidn-devel libopenssl-devel

On Mac OS X, if you have MacPorts installed, you can try:

sudo port install lua lua-luasocket lua-luasec lua-luaexpat

On other systems… good luck, but please let us know of the best way of getting the dependencies for your system and we can add it here.


The first step of building is to run the configure script. This creates a file called 'config.unix' which is used by the next step to control aspects of the build process.


All options to configure can be seen by running

./configure --help


Once you have run configure successfully, then you can simply run:


Simple? 😄

If you do happen to have problems at this stage, it is most likely due to the build process not finding the dependencies. Ensure you have them installed, and in the standard library paths for your system.

For more help, just ask 😉


Finally, if this is for a real setup and not just development purposes, we recommend installing Prosody system-wide by running:

sudo make install

…it will install into /usr/local/ by default. To change this you can pass to the initial ./configure using the 'prefix' option, or edit config.unix directly. If the new path doesn't require root permission to write to, you also won't need (or want) to use 'sudo' in front of the 'make install'.

Alternatively, you can run Prosody directly from where you built it, with ./prosody (and ./prosodyctl also works)

Have fun, and see you on Jabber!