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With the current exodus from twitter, many of us are looking to migrate to Mastodon and similar ActivityPub servers. For the good of Fediverse, it is important that we migrate to diverse instances rather than join one of the most popular. In particular because other Fediverse instances can block your instance because of lax moderation policies. E.g. this. This is bad both because if you are in a blocked instance, then your toots no longer reach the people of that instance, and secondly, if you are in the particular instance that has blocked another, you may have no choice but to either agree to the moderator, or shift to another server and hope for the best.

However, there is another solution that is not very difficult if you have about 15 minutes free. You can host your own instance, for free. Here is my write up on how to do that with (1) freemyip for free DNS, (2) letusencrypt or cloudshare for your free ssl certificate, and (3) oracle free tier to host the instance. The write up uses Kitstec which is a light weight singleuser ActivityPub server (using sqlite and filesystem backend). If you are using a custom domain, (e.g. as a front end for gmail), then it is even more easy.

If you end up doing this, please drop me a note at https://gopinath.org/

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    Oh neat, Kitstec looks super cute! Thanks for introducing it. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get an Oracle Free ARM server which can have up to 24gb of RAM and might be able to alleviate the initial compilation step, and be a good start to other hosting plans!

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      I looked at the ARM server Ampere. The way its costing is phrased is somewhat different from how they phrase the costing of AMD. Also, if I choose AMD, I see the “always-free” tag in my instance. But not so with Ampere. So, I have decided to be cautious.

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      This is super interesting. Both as a look into activitypub implementations that are less resource intensive as well as the single-user setup. I’d be keen to see versions of this guide for some of the hosters that allow you to directly run a docker image in the cloud :)

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        Is the storage in the free oracle VM enough to host the instance? Beyond that it’s about $40/TB/month. At least they don’t charge you like ten cents a gigabyte for network egress like Azure.

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          I get 45 GB; about 5 GB is the OS. The rest is available for Ktistec.

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          Oh man, Ktistec is even written in Crystal! Love it. I’ll have to check it out.