Notes on Mastodon


Publicly accessible Site

Given that Mastodon is all about interacting with other Mastodon sites on the public internet, you very likely want to deploy Mastodon on a publicly accessible web server (i.e. not behind a firewall) with an official domain name.

HTTPS Sites only

Mastodon’s developers have written Mastodon in a way that it refuses to (correctly) work on non-secured HTTP Sites. This is the only App we are aware of that requires HTTPS, but in the interest of security, we can’t really fault them.

This means that when you create a Site that is intended to run Mastodon, you need invoke ubos-admin createsite --tls, either with an official certificate you purchased or with --letsencrypt.

It is recommended you only run Mastodon on a Site with an official hostname, and only with an official SSL/TLS certificate from a certificate authority such as LetsEncrypt, otherwise Mastodon may not be able to successfully communicate with other decentralized microblogging servers.

Default setup

UBOS gives you a choice whether to set up Mastodon as a single-user Site, or as a multi-user Site that allows registration of accounts beyond the initial administrator account. ubos-admin createsite will ask you which you’d like.

If you set up a multi-user Site, you can limit which new users are allowed to sign up by creating a whitelist and/or a blacklist for e-mail address domains of the new users. For example, if you enter| as the value of the black list, users whose e-mail address is at or are prohibited from signing up for Mastodon at your Site`. To do so, you need to add the --askForAllCustomizationPoints argument to ubos-admin createsite when you create the Site.

Do not use admin as the Site administrator user id

Mastodon apparently reserves the use of user id admin. As UBOS creates a Mastodon user with the Site administrator’s user id, this would create a conflict, so UBOS will provision a Mastodon admin user called mastodonadmin instead. If you don’t like this, specify a different admin username when creating the Site.