Matrix room: #epicyon:matrix.libreserver.org
New release: 1.3.0
Epicyon is an AGPL licensed ActivityPub protocol compliant federated social network server suitable for hosting a small number of accounts on low power systems requiring minimal maintenance, such as single board computers. It's the ActivityPub equivalent of an email server, storing posts as human readable JSON on file, rather than in a database. It also uses only a small amount of RAM.
Fast and Free
The open web using HTML5 and CSS is fast. Say goodbye to the corporate web, where you have to wait seconds for your browser to painstakingly download magabytes of unwanted advertising trash.
An Internet of People, Not Corporate Manipulation
Ever feel like corporate social media is deliberately pressing your buttons or grinding your gears, leaving you stressed and angry? On the open web there is no pressure to perform the way a timeline algorithm wants you to. Experience the astonishingly novel concept of just hanging out with friends, without any artificial agendas.
Small Tech Design
Emojis, hashtags, photos, video and audio attachments, instance and account level blocking controls, moderation functions and reports are all supported. Build the community you want and avoid the stuff you don't. No ads. No blockchains or other Silicon Valley garbage.
Community not Audience
Corporate social media gives you an audience, with reach, celebrity, spectacle, lack of control, professional influencers, anxiety, alienation and competition. It's designed for fast growth regardless of social consequences. Epicyon is designed for community, in which you have voice, agency, discussions and comradery. The community approach is the better way to build a habitable internet for the long term.
Define the scope of your messages to reach the right people.
Schedule posts to be published at some time in the future. This can be useful for reminding yourself to do things (send your future self a direct message) or for creating a series of posts promoting some event, such as a festival or wedding.
Want to be reminded about what you said about a topic a month ago? The search screen allows you to do full text search on your own posts. Search on other posts can be done via the use of hashtags.
You don't need a separate blog system. Blog posts can be added and edited, and are federated as ActivityPub articles. They also have RSS version 2.0 feeds. People can comment on blog posts, but unlike other systems the moderation settings apply just the same as they do for any other fediverse post arriving at your server. This makes blog spam much easier to keep control over. You can subscribe to other people's blogs and they will appear in the right hand newswire column.
International and Customizable
Epicyon supports many languages. Translations and emoji can easily be added. Alter the logo, backgrounds, terms of service and style to create a unique personality for your instance. Choose from a few different themes, or make a new one.
When creating a new post you can optionally also add a date, time and place. This will show up on the calendars of your followers, and makes organizing meetups or other community events simple. You can use message scopes to set up public events or private ones. To create reminders you can send yourself a DM with an event and it will appear on only your calendar.
Noone Left Behind
Some posts contain images and some don't. The media timeline enables you to view all your pet photos in one place.
If you want your instance to be primarily about posting and interacting with media then you can also enable the media instance option.
Genuine Sharing Economy
Barter and gift physical items or services with other people on your instance. Search for shared items which you might want or post items you no longer have a use for. Promote ride shares or available accomodation without any unnecessary companies in the middle. Pool resources between trusted friends to build solidarity and have fun.
Promote Your Skills and Build Teams
Define a set of skills in your profile and search for other people who have the skills you need. Organize teams who can get things done!
Want to remember a particular link or reply to something later? Bookmark your favorite posts and view them on the Saves timeline.
Stay informed about the topics which people that you follow are highlighting. On the search screen there is a hashtag swarm.
Want to read the news from an RSS feed, or run your own Independent Media Center producing news and federating it through the network? Both of those are possible. The newswire gives you the capability of collectively moderating news as it arrives, and publishing your own articles. The administrator can assign moderator and editor roles to other users on an instance. Organize your community to overcome the limitations of corporate media.
You will need python version 3.7 or later.
On a Debian based system:
sudo apt install -y tor python3-socks imagemagick python3-setuptools python3-cryptography python3-dateutil python3-idna python3-requests python3-flake8 python3-django-timezone-field python3-pyqrcode python3-png python3-bandit libimage-exiftool-perl certbot nginx wget
The following instructions install Epicyon to the /opt directory. It's not essential that it be installed there, and it could be in any other preferred directory.
Clone the repo, or if you downloaded the tarball then extract it into the /opt directory.
git clone https://gitlab.com/bashrc2/epicyon
Create a user for the server to run as:
adduser --system --home=/opt/epicyon --group epicyon
chown -R epicyon:epicyon /opt/epicyon
Link news mirrors:
mkdir -p /opt/epicyon/accounts/newsmirror
ln -s /opt/epicyon/accounts/newsmirror /var/www/YOUR_DOMAIN/newsmirror
Create a daemon:
Paste the following:
Activate the daemon:
Create a web server configuration:
And paste the following:
Enable the site:
Forward port 443 from your internet router to your server. If you have dynamic DNS make sure its configured. Add a TLS certificate:
Restart your web server:
If you need to use fail2ban then failed login attempts can be found in accounts/loginfailures.log.
If you are using the Caddy web server then see caddy.example.conf
Now you can navigate to your domain and register an account. The first account becomes the administrator.
Installing on Onion or i2p domains
If you don't have access to the clearnet, or prefer not to use it, then it's possible to run an Epicyon instance easily from your laptop. There are scripts within the deploy directory which can be used to install an instance on a Debian or Arch/Parabola operating system. With some modification of package names they could be also used with other distros.
Please be aware that such installations will not federate with ordinary fediverse instances on the clearnet, unless those instances have been specially modified to do so. But onion instances will federate with other onion instances and i2p instances with other i2p instances.
To subsequently upgrade: