Posted by Dave on



aka, wikipedia says, “Mastodon is a federated social network, with similar features to Twitter, but administrated as a decentralized federation of servers running open source software.” Can we build a “club” using this? Here are my notes which focused on my failed attempts in building an instance. …

My original interest was to see if by building a server, one could curate communities … it seems not. It’s not how mastodon works.

Some Links

  1. How it works at
  2. On the relationship between ostatus pump-io and activitypub. none really, but an article at stackoverflow
  3. Mastodon is dead in the water, well maybe, maybe not, an essay suggesting that federation is a dead end, it also look at the code history.
  4. Awesome Mastodon, a wiki hosted on github.
  5. Running Mastodon, a production guide at, optimised for Ubuntu 16.04, not sure why this isn’t lower in the page.

About clients

I use mastopane and twidere on android, and found tootle for elementary os i.e. ubuntu.

I installed tootle on elementary OS (0.4.1) using the AppCenter package manager. When you launch tootle for the first time, using a text box widget it asks you for the instance you use, and then uses a web browser tab to login to your mastodon account and authorise the application. The web form will expose one of the thee keys which you need to cut and paste into the code text box in the tootle login window. (If you’ve forgotten  your password, this stage becomes very difficult. 😣)

About Hosting

  3. Installing on an AWS instance, from Github

Install on VBOX

  2., this looks good, no email required

I have tried to install in Vbox using the instructions above and it fails making cld3, I don’t have the gem and make skills to fix it and I can’t find a crib sheet.

"pkg-config --exists protobuf"
package configuration for protobuf is not found

Or is this it? It seems not!

A correspondent writes …

I had to install libprotobuf-dev in addition to protobuf-compiler

Let’s try this

  1. with mailgun and docker

In 2021, I had another look and found these,


Comments ( 8 )

  1. Mastodon – breadcrumbs of my mind
    […] shared my difficulties on creating a Mastodon instance, one being a problem with the script I chose (and my Linux superstructure knowledge) and the second […]
  2. Mastodon –
    […] shared my difficulties on creating a Mastodon instance, one being a problem with the script I chose (and my Linux superstructure knowledge) and the second […]
  3. My little mail server |
    […] Mastodon […]
  4. ReplyAuthorDave
    I added some links today on getting started; I note that I failed for reasons beyond my control last time.
  5. My little mail server |
    […] had been pointed at mailgun by one of the mastadon installs. It’s not so well reviewed well in the article […]
  6. Raspbian on Virtual Box – davelevy . info / wiki
    […] Mastodon and Diaspora, perhaps docker, but that seems to have gone very […]
  7. More about Mastodon – davelevy . info / wiki
    […] also have this page, which has some stuff to read, and notes on virtual […]
  8. ReplyAuthorDave
    I made some small changes to the intro paragraph. Am I going to have another go at building an instance? Maybe?

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