I have written a to help people who want to run their own fedi instance but don't know where to start. It covers the basics of networking, use of command line, Linux system administration, just enough to get you started.

So if you would like to run your own or instance but you find you don't know enough to follow the tutorials, then this guide is for you.

Comments welcome!

@wim_v12e @generica Great start. I would suggest a section on security since this will,be a public facing instance. Things like how to lock down ssh, setting up a firewall and general hardening of the system.

@mookie @generica It's my intention but right now I feel I have already spent more time on this than I can really afford, so it will have to wait a bit.

@wim_v12e I wish anyone had written anything about storage!

@wim_v12e let's say I want to host on my orangepi. Where do I keep database? Do I need a hard drive? NAS? Do I need cloud storage? What about images? stuff like that.

@charlag It depends on how large you want to make your instance. For a single-user instance, you can just use the SD card. You'd have to monitor and purge old messages every now and then. t
But for a larger instance (100 users) that won't do. I would personally just connect a USB hard drive. You could use NAS, but that will be a bit harder to set up (it's no longer local storage then).

@wim_v12e thanks! I'm planning for tiny for now but I still don't want to burn SD-cards.

@charlag Well, I have been running a tiny one for about a year and my SD card is still alive. But I admit I wasn't really concerned about this as this is only a dev instance.

@charlag I would personally not consider cloud storage, but that is just because I think it's kind of against the idea of self-hosting, not for technical reasons. I guess it would be quite suitable for backups.

Now, if your instance would be even larger, I think a single Pi will no longer be adequate. You might need another one to run the database server on.

In the end, it's a low-spec device, so for really large instances you'd be better off with dedicated hardware.

@wim_v12e How well does Mastodon run on rpi 3? I'd assume it's quite heavy for the pi?

@tapaniraja It runs but is always close to running out of memory, so it's not really practical.

@wim_v12e Yeah I figured. Not optimal for such a heavy load.

I spun up a new droplet today for this tutorial! Can't wait to setup my own instance

@wim_v12e hi, looks nice. Which pi did u use? The 3? I would like to know if #pleroma would run smoothly on a Pi2 as well

@transflux I use a Pi 3. The Pi 2 will run Pleroma just fine, it has the same amount of RAM and the CPU is very similar.

@wim_v12e i'm so behind i only skimmed it, but it looked very complete to me.
Esp. like that you pointed out the pun in the footnotes. Most ppl don't know that.

@gemlog Thank you! I always liked that pun. I assume there's nothing new for you in this guide though, it's very basic.

@fitheach chili and stir fries of some description to be determined in the future.
Just now I have boiled up 4 different kinds of beans for the chili as I always start with dried beans. My kids love chili.
On the stove now are 2 large frying pans full of onions, chopped garlic, mushrooms, yellow red and green sweet peppers, serrano peppers and red thai peppers (not too many!).
I'll combine it all and then devote some in the chili direction and some in freezer packets as stirfry starter kits.

Sounds like a plan. I too like to have a few "ready meals" or "starter kits" in the freezer for those occasions when I need a meal, but I'm short of time. For many meals making 15 portions is no more work than doing the same for 5 portions.

Bon appétit!

@fitheach Doch, sometimes it works out to even more.
Sometimes I wonder if the fridge is greater than the microwave oven?

Fridge & freezer are greater devices than microwaves, for me. My last microwave broke down 15 years ago and I didn't bother replacing it. It would be very hard to do without a fridge or freezer.

@fitheach Interesting. Given that binary question I would definitely go with having a microwave.
There is a natural fridge/freezer outside for nearly half the year anyhow for free.
It is the microwave oven that is the modern miracle.

Yeah, but that natural fridge/freezer has Yogi & Boo-boo wandering about. 😃

@fitheach ...and now I've just tittered out loud for the first time in my life ;-)

@fitheach While I think of it, I need to make some more mustard following your advice.
And... I got too greedy buying hot peppers, so I will make some salsa verde, which at this point is like just 1/3 garlic and 2/3 peppers and some salt with a dash of olive oil.
And still have some of those very hot thai peppers to give to kids and friends.

@wim_v12e thank you. Because I follow you all the time, I always feel like we are up to date.
I think I'm good health-wise. Like you I'm in the depths of winter as we share the same latitude pretty much, but it's still warm enough to do the half-hour walk to work comfortably - hovering around zero C all the time with little wind. However, next month... all the fun will go out of it. We'll get another huge dump of snow and the temp will drop to -12 to -15 or so, plus the windchill.

@gemlog I follow you too but I often can't catch up on my timeline so I guess I've missed a lot. Good to hear you're well. We have around zero C too, but today was glorious. I hope February will be kind to you.

@wim_v12e Any chance you'd be willing to adapt your guide for lollipop cloud as well?

@cloud There is nothing specific to the Raspberry Pi in the guide, except the title and the picture. I use it as a shorthand for "small headless server running debian-flavoured linux". So I wouldn't really know what to adapt. I suggest you fork it and change what you want, then you can merge any changes I would make later.

@wim_v12e Great guide! Hope this will open the #fediverse up for newer people trying to find their niche.

@wim_v12e my biggest problem with running my own fedi instance, so far, is being unable to think of a good name for it

@wim_v12e This is very cool. I've been trying to do more server-y things and just set up a NextCloud instance, so I think I'm ready for mastodon, so this went right into my bookmarks :)

One thing I'd love is a "What am I getting into?" section, that gives you an idea of the costs-per-user, rate of increase of costs and storage requirements over time, and required time investment for maintenance and moderation.

Hmm.. maybe I should try to do a survey of admins and post the result.

@intherain Thanks for the comments! What you say about the cost and storage requirements etc is very interesting, and I think if you'd poll a few admins of instances of varying size you'd quickly get a good picture.
My interest is mainly in single-user (or handful-of-users) instances on devices like a Raspberry Pi, and the cost there is very easy to estimate: cost of the Pi, mem card and domain name, that's about it.

@intherain With a small home-hosted instance you don't need to worry about bandwidth, but as soon as you go to hundreds of users then that will become a serious concern, so then a cloud solution is better.
If you would survey admins, I'd ask the number of users and posts per month; their needs for storage, bandwidth, memory and CPU utilization; and monthly cost.
It would be cool to include that in the guide.

@intherain What you said about the costs made me think about it some more and a made a model to work out the data usage (storage and network) so you can calculate your costs.

I wrote an article about it, it comes with a spreadsheet you can use to work out the usage for your own case.

@wim_v12e cool stuff. I'm also thinking about hosting my instance at home on a NUC which is already running 24/7 for #homeassistant because when I look at the space all the images etc. use, then my Digital Ocean $5 plan will not be able to host all of that for a long time. But mostly because I really like the idea of a decentralized network where you host even on your own hardware.

@wim_v12e Holy cow this is amazing. We need more people like you on the internet. Thank you.

@garrett Aw, that's a very nice thing to say, thank you! 😊

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