My Own Mastodon Server


This post was written by me, Brandon Nolet. I set up my own Mastodon server and it was a ride!


A few people questioned why I wanted to host my own Mastodon server. There are a few reasons, one of them being that I wanted to try my hand at setting one up. Now, I didn’t go the bare hosting route, I added this to my docker setup. You can see how that went over here.

Another reason for setting up my own instance was to test out the administration and moderation interfaces. I often talk to Mastodon admins and they say report tool this, and block domain that, and I was curious. I wanted to see what it was like being an admin and know what tools are available to other admins I’ve spoken to. What most interested me was domain blocking and how reports actually look like.

The last reason is related to a controversy that I recently wrote about. The controversy has since been, mostly, resolved but I’m not completely satisfied with how the dust has settled. I have yet to see the supposed “new CoC” but I also don’t think a new CoC resolves the situation. The existing CoC seemed clear enough, as well. So in an effort to resolve my cognitive dissonance, this is what I’ve decided.

It’s sort of a happy medium to most things, I would say.

Was it Fun?

Mostly, yes! It was certainly a fulfilling experience. Knowing that I’ve got my own little corner of the fediverse makes me quite happy.

One of the interesting things I found was that I was federating with wildly different instances than those I had seen on Fosstodon. There were some instances that I had never even heard of, and some that I was quite familiar with. This might be related to the fact that I connected myself up to a relay which helped speed up federation.

I definitely got a lot of knowledge relating to the admin tools. There some stuff there that I’m not sure will be relevant to my use though, unless I open up registrations to the public. I don’t plan on doing it, but if enough people over time requested such a thing, I might consider it. I’m mostly worried about being accountable for other people’s data, and a myriad of other things.

No More Projects!

Yes, yes, I know. I’m not supposed to be taking on any more projects, but this was simple in the grand scheme of things. Projects take weeks, months, even years sometimes! This took a few hours, in all honesty. Docker and docker-compose makes it so easy to set up “another” web app/service. As well, because the docker-compose.yml file was mostly written for me, I had little changes to do.


All in all, it was an interesting experience and I’d recommend any of you readers try your hand at it. You can follow the guide I linked above if you have any issues with the official documentation.

The next thing to move is my Gitea server.