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Mastodon App


Mastodon is an open source decentralized social network - by the people for the people. Join the federation and take back control of your social media!


Mastodon 4 introduced customizable roles.

To make a user an administrator, use the Web Terminal and run the following command:

    /app/code/bin/tootctl accounts modify <username> --role Owner

Note that there is also a default Admin role. See this PR for more information.

Once made an owner/admin, you will Administration under Preferences (at /admin/dashboard).

Adding users

When used with Cloudron authentication, simply add new users to the Cloudron dashboard. As of this writing, mixing Cloudron users and external users does not work well (See this issue).

Without Cloudron authentication, new users can be added using the CLI:

    /app/code/bin/tootctl accounts create testusername

Username restriction

Usernames can contain only letters, numbers and underscores. On Cloudron, usernames can be created with hyphen and dot. Such usernames cannot login to Mastodon and will get a "HTTP ERROR 422" when attempting to login. Please see the upstream bugreport for more information.


Registration is closed by default. To enable, login to Mastodon as an admin and change the "Registration mode" under Administration -> Site Settings.

Does not work well with Cloudron user management

Various features like password reset, re-invitation etc do not work well because of upstream bug.


Cloudron will setup Mastodon accounts to be of the form when you install Mastodon at This domain is called the LOCAL_DOMAIN in Mastodon terminology.

Changing the LOCAL_DOMAIN will let you have handles as even when installed at Changing the LOCAL_DOMAIN is not recommended since it is complicated and in most cases unnecessary. This is because Mastodon account names are not intended to be remembered like usernames (it's not like email where you can start following another account). Instead, users usually visit a website and click the 'Follow' button.

If you decide to not change the LOCAL_DOMAIN, no further configuration is required and your Mastodon instance is already set up for federation.


You can change the account domain name by using the File Manager and changing LOCAL_DOMAIN in /app/data/env.production. After that, you have to configure LOCAL_DOMAIN's web server to serve up .well-known/host-meta query.

If LOCAL_DOMAIN is an app on Cloudron, you can use Cloudron's Well Known URI support. Go to the Domains view and set the Mastodon domain in the Advanced settings:

If the LOCAL_DOMAIN is NOT hosted on Cloudron, you must figure out a suitable way to serve up the well-known documents. Here are some hints:

  • For WordPress, you can setup a redirect using Redirection plugin
  • For Ghost,you can add a redirects.json
  • For Surfer, simply upload the XML above into .well-known/host-meta.
  • For anything else, setup nginx config as follows:
location = /.well-known/host-meta {
       return 301$request_uri;

Following users

To follow external users, visit their mastodon account and click on 'Follow'. This will popup a window asking your mastodon identity (which will be username@LOCAL_DOMAIN).

If you have an existing account on another server, you can bring those connections with you to your own server. For this, go to Settings -> Data Export and download your following list as a CSV file, and finally on your own server, you go to Settings -> Import and upload that file.


Various parameters in Puma, Streaming and Sidekiq can be fine-tuned for concurrency. To change the parameters, edit /app/data/ using the File manager and restart the app. See scaling docs for more information.

Sample configuration for /app/data/ (from here):

# Puma
export WEB_CONCURRENCY=4 # number of worker processes
export MAX_THREADS=5 # the number of threads per process

# Streaming API
export STREAMING_CLUSTER_NUM=2 # number of worker processes

# Sidekiq
export DB_POOL=25 # must be at least the same as the number of threads

S3 for media storage

Media storage can consume quite a bit of space. To move it to S3 or S3 compatible provider, edit /app/data/env.production using the File manager and add something like this:


See this thread for more information.

Cache retention days

The app will clean various federation caches regularily. Depending on the usage of an instance, the days cached resources should be keept can be configured via CACHE_RETENTION_DAYS in the file.

By default all cached assets are kept for 2 days.