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commit f1dabd4ba43899cf276603eca84c996c1fcf9766
parent 43bc135acdc267a466b5428dbd399be8adccd093
Author: Jake Bauer <>
Date:   Thu, 23 Jul 2020 00:29:30 -0400

Finish draft of blog post

Mpages/blog/ | 75++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-
1 file changed, 74 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/pages/blog/ b/pages/blog/ @@ -1,6 +1,6 @@ ## Mastodon to Pleroma — 2 — Customizing My Instance -[//]: # "META_TEXT" +[//]: # "Now that I have a Pleroma instance up and running with an account, it's time to make that instance my own through backend and frontend customizations." [//]: # "main.min.css" @@ -15,6 +15,79 @@ Now that I have a Pleroma instance up and running with an account, it's time to make that instance my own through backend and frontend customizations. +Pleroma provides so many customization options, it took me a while to go through +all of them and customize my instance to my liking. That is by no means a bad +thing; it was a really enjoyable process and it feels like it's social media but +for hackers (not the Hollywood kind). + +There weren't many backend customizations I wanted to do. For one, the default +character limit of 5000 is more than enough for me, and far less +restrictive-feeling than Mastodon's unchangeable 500. I turned off the chat room +(which I think is a really cool feature) and closed registrations because I +didn't need those features on a single-person instance. I was pretty satisfied +with pretty much everything and found it really cool to see an option for +[exposing my instance over +Tor]( as a +hidden service as well as an option to expose my instance over the Gopher +protocol. + +As far as customizing the frontend, well, this is where it got fun and +interesting. I could change pretty much anything I wanted about the instance's +frontend down to the UI itself (though I stuck with the default Pleroma frontend +because I actually quite like it). I changed the favicon of the site (something +I couldn't do with Mastodon), the background for the entire instance, the logo +for the site as it appears at the top-center of the page, and even the default +theme for the UI. + +I created a new logo for my Pleroma instance just like I did with my Mastodon +instance: + +<figure> + <a href="/img/logo-pleroma-128.png"><img src="/img/logo-pleroma-512.png" + alt="My Pleroma instance's logo: A black circle around a dark red circle all + encircling a yellow circle which has a black coloured Pleroma logo in the + centre."/></a> +</figure> + +I also set the background of both my profile and my Pleroma instance to a 1 +pixel by 1 pixel solid colour image. I liked the background colour that I used +for my profile banner on Mastodon, and wanted to keep it for this new instance. +The colour is: <span +style="colour:#fff;background-color:#282c37">#282c37</span>, in case you're +curious. + +Finally, for the theme, I landed on the Vulpes One theme created by which I found via +[](, and added it to my instance +by once again following the [Pleroma documentation on adding +themes]( + +As far as emoji packs, just like with Mastodon one can also add custom emoji to +Pleroma instances. I'm not a big user of emoji though, so I didn't really bother +for my instance. + +Except for profile-specific settings, all of the above customizations were +accomplished by putting files into the "static directory", a place the Pleroma +server looks to serve custom resources. I set mine at `/var/lib/pleroma/static` +because that's what the installation instructions used and I didn't have a +reason to change it. + +Some other minor changes I made were: setting the default page to show +non-logged-in users (i.e. anyone who isn't me but is visiting in their browser) my profile page, turned off showing the +instance-specific panel, and updating the About page for the instance. + +The more I use Pleroma, the more I like it. It allows me to customize so much +that I can truly make an instance feel like my own rather than yet another +Mastodon instance. The plethora of tunables and customizables from things like +the number of options once can add to a poll to even being able to turn off +federation all-together, really make it feel like the hacker's version of +Mastodon. + +_Disclaimer: I am in no way trying to disparage the effort's of the Mastodon +folk, I just really like Pleroma and I am realizing it's the better choice for +me._ + _This is my seventy-seventh post for the [#100DaysToOffload]( challenge. You can learn more about this challenge over at