How to build MongooseIM

Instructions provided in this page are verified for:

  • CentOS 7
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial)
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic)
  • macOS 10.14 (Mojave)

For any other OS versions, the instructions should still work, however, some steps or file paths may be different.


To compile MongooseIM you need:

  • Make
    • CentOS: make
    • Ubuntu: make
    • Mac: Xcode Command Line Tools
  • C and C++ compiler
    • CentOS: gcc, gcc-c++
    • Ubuntu: gcc, g++
    • Mac: Xcode Command Line Tools
  • Erlang/OTP 21.2 or higher;
    • CentOS: erlang
    • Ubuntu: erlang
    • Mac (Homebrew): erlang
    • Alternative for CentOS and Ubuntu: esl-erlang from Erlang Solutions website
    • Alternative for all OS: kerl
  • OpenSSL 0.9.8 or higher, for STARTTLS, SASL and SSL encryption
    • CentOS: openssl and openssl-devel
    • Ubuntu: libssl-dev
    • Mac (Homebrew): openssl
  • ODBC library
    • CentOS: unixODBC-devel
    • Ubuntu: unixodbc-dev
    • Mac (Homebrew): unixodbc
  • Zlib 1.2.3 or higher
    • CentOS: zlib-devel
    • Ubuntu: zlib1g-dev
    • Mac: built-in

Preparing macOS environment

Step 1

Install Homebrew to manage packages on your Mac. You may use a different package manager but you'll need to figure out the package names and file paths on your own.

Step 2

Install Xcode Command Line Tools.

$ xcode-select --install # install compilation tools

Step 3

Install dependencies with Brew.

$ brew install erlang openssl unixodbc

Step 4

Add OpenSSL paths to the compiler and linker environment variables:

$ export LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/opt/openssl/lib"
$ export CFLAGS="-I/usr/local/opt/openssl/include"

Now, please proceed to the "Building" section.

Preparing CentOS environment

Please install the required dependencies:

$ sudo yum install git make zlib-devel openssl openssl-devel unixODBC-devel gcc gcc-c++ erlang

Now, please proceed to the "Building" section.

Preparing Ubuntu environment

Please install the required dependencies:

$ sudo apt install git make zlib1g-dev libssl-dev unixodbc-dev gcc g++ erlang

Now, please proceed to the "Building" section.


To compile MongooseIM, navigate to the main repo directory (referenced as $REPO in this guide) and execute:

$ make [rel]

rel is optional as it is the default target. This will download all dependencies, compile everything and build a prod release.

If a more advanced release is required (with only specific DB support, e.g. mysql or pgsql) or you want to set the prefix or user for the installation script please refer to the release configuration page in our documentation.

The make rel commands will generate a self-contained OTP system structure in the project's _build/prod/rel/mongooseim subdirectory. The contents of that directory are as follows:

  • bin - startup/administration scripts,
  • etc - configuration files,
  • lib - MongooseIM binary, header and runtime files,
  • var - spool directory,
  • log - log file directory,
  • releases - release files directory.

Running MongooseIM

To run MongooseIM from the project tree after compiling it, change to $REPO/_build/prod/rel/mongooseim.

There you can use the mongooseim command line administration script to start and stop MongooseIM. For example, this command will start the server:

$ bin/mongooseim start

You can also run the server in interactive mode (drop into an Erlang shell):

$ bin/mongooseim live

There's also a tool called mongooseimctl to perform some operations on a running instance, e.g.:

$ bin/mongooseimctl status
MongooseIM node mongooseim@localhost:
    operating system pid: 3105
    Erlang VM status: started (of: starting | started | stopping)
    boot script status: started
    version: 3.4.0-7-gaec944c92 (as mongooseim)
    uptime: 0 days 00:00:12
    distribution protocol: inet_tcp

Building the testing target and running tests

For testing purposes there's a different make target available:

$ make devrel

which will generate releases mim1, mim2, mim3, fed1, reg1 in $REPO/_build/ and prepare them for testing and generating coverage reports.

In order to learn how to execute tests, please consult Testing MongooseIM page