Awesome Fedi Admin Resources
A collection of awesome resources for running your own federated social media website.
- General guides
- Installation, configuration & scaling
- Moderation & blocking
- Legal, financial & governance resources
- Migration & shutdown
- Admin community
- runyourown.social: Darius Kazemi's guide to running a small social network site for your friends.
A number of small independent companies offer managed Mastodon hosting, where they take care of technical aspects of installation and updates. You won't have direct server access/control, which may come into play if you want to do advanced customization and configuration.
Prices given are for the lowest tiers.
- Masto.host: Managed hosting for Mastodon ($6 USD/month).
- Fedi Monster: Managed hosting for Mastodon, glitch-soc, and Hometown (€9/month), Pixelfed (€7/month), and GoToSocial (€5/month).
- Spacebear: Managed hosting for Mastodon, Hometown, and Pleroma (€16/month), Pixelfed (€12/month), and PeerTube (€20/month).
- Toot.io: Managed hosting for Mastodon ($24 USD/month).
- Cloudplane: Managed hosting for Mastodon and GoTosocial (€6/month).
- Weingärtner IT Services: Managed hosting for BookWyrm (€11/month), CalcKey (€5/month), Castopod (€7/month), Funkwhale (€7/month), Lemmy (€11/month), Mastodon (€4.50/month), Peertube (€7/month), and Pixelfed (€11/month). EU & Switzerland only.
- Thunderhost: Managed hosting for Mastodon ($15 USD/month).
Other hosts do not manage it for you, but allow easy installation.
- DigitalOcean: starting at $4 USD/month for hosting (but realistically more like $12) and $5/month for storage.
- Jortage: Cloud storage for fediverse servers.
Installation, configuration & scaling
How to install Mastodon + Hometown for absolute n00bs: @firstname.lastname@example.org's guide to setting up a Hometown server on a Linode VPS, from buying a domain to long-term maintenance.
Hosting your own Mastodon server: Paul Stamatiou's guide to installing Mastodon on a managed host and on a VPS with a regular web host, as well as migration, regular maintenance, optimization, and scaling.
"Deploying the Takahē Fediverse Server on Debian 11": @email@example.com's low-level instructions for setting up the lightweight Fediverse server Takahē on Debian 11.
Scaling & Configuration
"Scaling Mastodon in the Face of an Exodus": Nora Tindall's recap of how to configure and scale Mastodon to handle a massive user influx.
"Scaling Mastodon: The Compendium": Hazel Weakly of hachyderm.io's collection of notes and snippets on Mastodon scaling.
"What does AUTHORIZED_FETCH actually do?": @firstname.lastname@example.org explains the pros and cons of the features
Disallow Unauthenticated API Access.
"Setting up email in Mastodon using an external SMTP server": what it says on the tin, by drakfrid.
Here are swatches of default Mastodon and Hometown theme colours for testing the appearance of custom emoji. For use in Inkscape, here's an SVG version.
"Custom Emoji on Mastodon": Laura Kalbag's tips for making and adding custom emoji.
Moderation & blocking
Note: I can't believe I have to write this, but if you have no moderating experience—like, not even a YouTube video's comments section—I would strongly suggest not starting a Fediverse server at all until you have help. Yes, even if you are a tech-savvy, well-meaning white guy. ESPECIALLY if you are a tech-savvy, well-meaning white guy.
A Guide to Moderating in the Fediverse: The Basics: @email@example.com's explanation of moderation basics like separating personal and admin/mod accounts, proactive vs. reactive moderation, and more.
Toot.Wales' Content and Account Action Process Manual: A guide for toot.wales moderators, describing content that requires action, actions they can take (deleting, marking media sensitive, etc.), the strike system, etc. There is also a Github repo with more moderator resources.
Mastodon Moderation Puzzles: @firstname.lastname@example.org's list of hypothetical moderation scenarios. Not so much a test with right or wrong answers as an interesting exploratory exercise for gauging moderation styles.
Note: You must have a blocklist in place before accepting members. You should also independently verify that each server is block-worthy, unless you personally trust the person who compiled the blocklist.
Weirder.earth's Suggested Instance Blocks: A minimal worst-of-the-worst blocklist that is a good starting point. (Note: At this point somewhat outdated—some servers have closed, others have cleaned up their act or may be below other people's thresholds of blockworthiness—but useful for historical reference.)
Ten Forward Instance Suspensions: A solid (~280) blocklist, most with links to the admin's announcement with reasons for blocking.
PaulaToThePeople's blocklist: Basic blocklist divided into categories: worst-of-the-worst, malware, Twitter crossposters, etc.
Garden Fence: @email@example.com's basic blocklist, periodically generated based on servers blocked by at least 75% of a small group of trusted "reference servers".
Oliphant.social Shared Blocklist Files: a more granular set of lists based on different tiers of consensus (60%+, 50%, 33%, etc.), using a nearly identical list of trusted servers.
Seirdy's Fediverse blocklists: @firstname.lastname@example.org's blocklists, consisting of the pleroma.envs.net blocklist, a smaller subset suitable for servers that have signed on to the Mastodon Covenant, and an even smaller "worst of the worst" subset.
Blocking & moderation tools
mastodon-block-tools: ineffyble's extensive collection of tools for importing and syncing blocklists.
The Bad Space: Are0h's searchable catalog of known block-worthy instances, with reasons. Under development.
Fediblock, deduped: A Mastodon account boosting new #FediBlock posts beyond the "usual suspects". Good to follow once one has a solid blocklist in place.
Legal, financial & governance resources
Loomio: A platform for collective decision-making.
OpenCollective: A fundraising and collective money management platform for grassroots groups.
"A guide to potential liability pitfalls for people running a Mastodon instance": Denise Paolucci's overview of how to cover your ass, legally (US-specific).
Notes on operating fediverse services (Mastodon, Pleroma etc) from an English law point of view: Tech lawyer Neil Brown's overview of English laws that likely apply to people running fediverse servers. See also his comments regarding the Online Safety Bill.
Artisan.chat's Disaster Recovery Plan: ArtiChat's "what if our datacentres burn down?"/"what if we get phished?"/"what if the admin gets hit by a beer truck?" worst-case-scenario contingency plans.
"Towards 'Hit By a Bus' #FediAdmin Best Practices": My (@email@example.com') list of what the backup admin has access to, to keep the site running in case of an emergency.
Migration & shutdown
The Mastodon Server Covenant requires admins notify users at least 3 months in advance before shutting down the server.
Cybre.space end-of-life announcement: One example of a long-running server announcing its shutdown. The admin gives users 3 months before making the server read-only (so users can log in and manage their accounts, but not post or follow new people), and then at least 1 year before taking the server down completely.
Donate to Mastodon's Patreon to get access to the official development Discord.
FediAdmin Forum: A community for fediverse instance administrators to connect and network with each other. Aiming to be a one-stop-shop for all things fediverse administration.
I Know Someone running a Discord for like-minded admins, but I don't know if they want it to be public information, so uhhh…if you're an admin, contact me on Mastodon and I'll pass your name along?
Who else should we be following!?
Thanks goes to these contributors!