Getting Your Feet Wet with Mastodon: A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Your Own Instance

Mastodon is an open-source social network that’s rapidly growing in popularity. It’s a decentralised platform that allows you to join communities of like-minded individuals, share your thoughts and ideas, and interact with others. If you’re interested in setting up your own Mastodon instance, then this article is for you!

Step 1: Choose a Server and Install Required Software

The first step in setting up your Mastodon instance is choosing a server. You can either go for a virtual private server (VPS) or a dedicated server, depending on your budget and technical expertise. Once you have a server, you’ll need to install the required software, including Linux, Nginx, PostgreSQL, and Ruby.

Step 2: Clone Mastodon from GitHub

The next step is to clone Mastodon from GitHub. This will give you access to the latest version of the Mastodon codebase. To do this, simply log in to your server and run the following command:

git clone

Step 3: Configure Environment Variables

Once you have cloned Mastodon, you need to configure your environment variables. This will help you to set up your instance with the right settings and options. You can do this by creating a .env.production file in the Mastodon directory.

Step 4: Set Up the Database

Next, you’ll need to set up the database for your Mastodon instance. To do this, you’ll need to run the following command:

RAILS_ENV=production bin/rails db:setup

Step 5: Compile Assets

In this step, you’ll need to compile the assets for your Mastodon instance. This will help you to create the stylesheet and other assets required by Mastodon. To do this, run the following command:

RAILS_ENV=production bin/rails assets:precompile

Step 6: Start Mastodon

Finally, you can start Mastodon by running the following command:

RAILS_ENV=production bin/mastodon start

And there you have it! You’ve now successfully set up your Mastodon instance. You can start using it right away, or you can customize it further to suit your needs.


Setting up your own Mastodon instance can be a bit challenging, especially if you’re new to Linux and web development. However, with a little bit of technical know-how and persistence, you can have your own instance up and running in no time. Whether you want to join a community of like-minded individuals or build your own, Mastodon is a great platform to consider. So, why not give it a go today!