Custom front end for Mastodon
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Build Status Code Climate

Mastodon is a federated microblogging engine. An alternative implementation of the GNU Social project. Based on ActivityStreams, Webfinger, PubsubHubbub and Salmon.

Focus of the project on a clean REST API and a good user interface. Ruby on Rails is used for the back-end, while React.js and Redux are used for the dynamic front-end. A static front-end for public resources (profiles and statuses) is also provided.

If you would like, you can support the development of this project on Patreon.

Current status of the project is early development



  • GNU Social users can follow Mastodon users
  • Mastodon users can follow GNU Social users
  • Retweets, favourites, mentions, replies work in both directions
  • Public pages for profiles and single statuses
  • Sign up, login, forgotten passwords and changing password
  • Mentions and URLs converted to links in statuses
  • REST API, including home and mention timelines
  • OAuth2 provider system for the API
  • Upload header image for profile page
  • Deleting statuses, deletion propagation
  • Real-time timelines via Websockets


  • LOCAL_DOMAIN should be the domain/hostname of your instance. This is absolutely required as it is used for generating unique IDs for everything federation-related
  • LOCAL_HTTPS set it to true if HTTPS works on your website. This is used to generate canonical URLs, which is also important when generating and parsing federation-related IDs
  • HUB_URL should be the URL of the PubsubHubbub service that your instance is going to use. By default it is the open service of Superfeedr

Consult the example configuration file, .env.production.sample for the full list.


  • PostgreSQL
  • Redis

Running with Docker and Docker-Compose

The project now includes a Dockerfile and a docker-compose.yml. You need to turn .env.production.sample into .env.production with all the variables set before you can:

docker-compose build

And finally

docker-compose up -d

As usual, the first thing you would need to do would be to run migrations:

docker-compose run web rake db:migrate

And since the instance running in the container will be running in production mode, you need to pre-compile assets:

docker-compose run web rake assets:precompile

The container has two volumes, for the assets and for user uploads. The default docker-compose.yml maps them to the repository's public/assets and public/system directories, you may wish to put them somewhere else. Likewise, the PostgreSQL and Redis images have data containers that you may wish to map somewhere where you know how to find them and back them up.


This approach makes updating to the latest version a real breeze.

git pull

To pull down the updates, re-run

docker-compose build

And finally,

docker-compose up -d

Which will re-create the updated containers, leaving databases and data as is. Depending on what files have been updated, you might need to re-run migrations and asset compilation.