Social Instance

A social instance image allows you to easily set up a fediverse server, which federates using the OStatus or ActivityPub protocol. You will need:

  • An old laptop, capable of booting from USB
  • A USB drive, preferably Sandisk and 16GB or larger
  • An ethernet patch cable
  • A domain name of your own
  • A dynamic DNS account
  • Ability to alter settings on your internet router

The installation process is the same as usual, with the only difference being that on initial setup it will go straight to the domain setup details for your instance. In summary:

Copy the image to the USB drive

Substitute sdX with the device name for your USB drive.

sudo apt-get install xz-utils nodejs
npm install -g dat
dat clone dat://231b24dbeef3c3f7b115b9c7cd02e416b382df0a1050ef66f94b988fc8dae92e/
cd 231b24dbeef3c3f7b115b9c7cd02e416b382df0a1050ef66f94b988fc8dae92e
gpg --verify freedombone-pleroma-amd64.img.xz.sig
unxz freedombone-pleroma-amd64.img.xz
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX bs=32M count=8
sudo dd bs=32M if=freedombone-pleroma-amd64.img of=/dev/sdX conv=fdatasync,sync,noerror

Also note that if the laptop has a removable SSD drive it's possible to copy the image directly to that if you have enough equipment.

Connect the laptop to your internet router

Plug the USB drive into the laptop and connect it to your internet router with the ethernet cable.


Boot the laptop from the USB drive

You may need to alter the BIOS settings to get this to work reliably.


Forward ports 80 (HTTP) and 443 (HTTPS) from your internet router to the laptop

Log into your internet router using a non-Tor browser (usually it's on an address like or Often port forwarding settings are together with firewall settings.


From another machine ssh into the laptop

ssh fbone@freedombone.local -p 2222

Or alternatively you can log in directly on the laptop. The initial username is fbone and the password is freedombone. You should make sure you write down or copy the new password when it is shown.

Follow the setup procedure

Enter your user details, domain name and dynamic DNS settings.

When installation is complete

Navigate to your domain and register a new user.


More details about setting up and using Pleroma can be found here.


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