Today is an exciting day for the Lemmy project.

Almost one year after first enabling federation, we now federate with other projects for the first time! According to some people’s definition, this finally makes us part of the Fediverse.

It took a lot of work to make this possible, so big thanks to NLnet for funding our full time work on Lemmy, and to @lanodan and @asonix for helping to figure out how Pleroma and Mastodon federation works (it’s difficult because they have almost no documentation).

What is Lemmy?

Lemmy is similar to sites like Reddit, Lobste.rs, or Hacker News: you subscribe to communities you’re interested in, post links and discussions, then vote and comment on them. Lemmy isn’t just a reddit alternative; its a network of interconnected communities ran by different people and organizations, all combining to create a single, personalized front page of your favorite news, articles, and memes.

Major Changes

Federation code rewrite

The rewrite of the federation code started by @nutomic in August is now mostly complete. As a result, the code is much cleaner, and has tests to guarantee no breaking changes between Lemmy versions. As a side effect of this rewrite, it was now relatively easy to enable federation with other projects.

Mastodon and Pleroma users can:

  • View Lemmy communities, user profiles, posts and comments
  • Follow Lemmy communities to receive new posts and comments
  • Replies (mentions) work in both directions, including notifications

In addition, Pleroma users can exchange private messages with Lemmy users.

Note that Pleroma and Mastodon rely on a compatibility mode in Lemmy, which means that they won’t receive events like Deletes or Votes. Other projects whose federation works similar to Pleroma/Mastodon will likely also federate.

Hardcoded slur filter removed

Lemmy finally has essential moderation tools (reporting, user/community blocking), so the hardcoded filter isn’t necessary anymore. If you want to keep using the slur filter, copy these lines to your config file when upgrading, and adjust to your liking.

Upgrade notes

If you installed Lemmy without Ansible, you need to edit the nginx config file to follow this example. Otherwise Mastodon won’t be able to fetch objects or actors from Lemmy. Ansible applies this change automatically.

No other changes are necessary for federation with Mastodon/Pleroma. Just make sure your allowlist/blocklist allows it. Then get started by searching the URL of a Lemmy user or Community in Mastodon.

Note that Mastodon and Pleroma are much, much bigger than Lemmy at this point, with a combined 3 milion users and 4500 instances, compared to 20.000 users and 35 instances for Lemmy (source). The existing mod tools in Lemmy might not be adequate to handle that at the moment.

Be aware that if you have federation enabled in the Lemmy config, Mastodon and Pleroma users can now fetch all posts and comments, to view them and share with their followers. The Lemmy blocklist/allowlist can not prevent this, it only prevents posts/comments from blocked instances to be shown on your own instance. The only solution to this problem is disabling federation, or waiting for signed fetch to be implemented.

If you want to use federation, but review new instances before federating with them, use the allowlist. You can switch from open federation to allowlist federation by pasting the output of the command below into federation.allowed_instances in the Lemmy config.

curl https://your-instance.com/api/v3/site | jq -c .federated_instances.linked

The lemmy.hjson additional_slurs field has changed its name to slur_filter.

Follow the Docker or Ansible upgrade instructions here.

Lemmy-Ansible

We’ve now separated our ansible install method (the preferred way to deploy Lemmy) into its own repo, lemmy-ansible. Let us know if you need help migrating existing installations over to it.

Changes

API

  • There is now a GetUnreadCount in the API to check the count of your unread messages, replies, and mentions.
  • A full list of the API changes can be seen on this diff of lemmy-js-client: 0.13.0 -> 0.14.0-rc.1 .

Lemmy Server

  • More federation compat (#1894)
  • Adding clippy:unwrap to husky. Fixes #1892 (#1893)
  • Remove header guard for activitypub routes
  • Add federation test cases for Smithereen and Mastodon
  • Reduce stack memory usage in apub code
  • Remove ActivityFields trait, deserialize into another struct instead
  • Check if post or comment are deleted first. Fixes #1864 (#1867)
  • Correctly use and document check_is_apub_id_valid() param use_strict_allowlist
  • Convert note.content and chat_message.content to html (fixes #1871)
  • Upgrade background_jobs to 0.9.1 #1820 (#1875)
  • Fix husky fmt hook. (#1868)
  • Renaming to slur_filter. Fixes #1773 (#1801)
  • Three instance inbox bug (#1866)
  • Remove ansible from this repo. (#1829)
  • Rewrite collections to use new fetcher (#1861)
  • Dont blank out post or community info. Fixes #1813 (#1841)
  • Format config/defaults.hjson before committing (#1860)
  • Breaking apub changes (#1859)
  • Pleroma federation2 (#1855)
  • Create a custom pre-commit hook, generates config/defaults.hjson (#1857)
  • Add cargo metadata to all crates (#1853)
  • Add both (De)Serialize to all models (#1851)
  • Adding GetUnreadCount to the API. Fixes #1794 (#1842)
  • Federate reports (#1830)
  • Fix saved posts and hide read posts issue. Fixes #1839 (#1840)
  • Dont allow posts to deleted / removed communities. Fixes #1827 (#1828)
  • Dont swallow API errors (fixes #1834) (#1837)
  • Fix federation of initial post/comment vote (fixes #1824) (#1835)
  • Fix clippy warnings added in nightly (#1833)
  • Admins can view all reports. Fixes #1810 (#1825)
  • Adding a message_id to emails. Fixes #1807 (#1826)
  • Generate config docs from code (#1786)
  • Trying a background_jobs fix. #1820 (#1822)
  • mark parent as read on reply (#1819)
  • Move code to apub library (#1795)
  • Adding honeypot to user and post creation. Fixes #1802 (#1803)
  • Add database host back into config file (#1805)

Lemmy UI

  • Updating translations.
  • Fixing unload (#487)
  • Fix setup password. Fixes #478 (#484)
  • Adding post comment scrolling hack. Fixes #480 #486
  • Navbar links (#476)
Rocky McDonald
link
01M

Amazing work! How do you feel about Nix flakes deployment?

Dessalines
mod
creator
link
11M

I don’t know what that is, but anyone is free to package lemmy however they can.

Rocky McDonald
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01M

Have you heard of Nix?

Dessalines
mod
creator
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11M

Yes, but don’t use it.

@Blinky@lemmy.ml
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32M

I was under the impression the slur filter was popular on lemmy? To scare away rightwingers

Dessalines
mod
creator
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22M

We still have it turned on for this instance, but its no longer hardcoded.

LPS
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12M

@dessalines
Awesome!

Adda
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22M

I am trying to stay calm, but failing miserably. This is simply amazing. Good job!

@RaphJ@lemmy.ml
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12M

Thanks guys. This is trully awesome for the Fediverse : This is somehow filling the feature of “groups” people have been asking for so long now.

I still feel there is some work for integration in the UI to do : Like a “fediverse follow” button asking to log from our instance : Being able to post, comment and vote on an instance with our login from mastodon would be Nice. But that’s “nice to have”.

Thanks again

@spla
admin
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12M

I don’t get it, just upgraded to 0.14.1 and can’t follow this user from Mastodon or Pleroma

@spla
admin
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12M

seems nobody see this

Dessalines
mod
creator
link
02M

Did you update your nginx? https://github.com/LemmyNet/lemmy-ansible/blob/main/templates/nginx.conf

I highly recommend moving to lemmy-ansible as it would prevent these types of problems in the future.

@spla
admin
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22M

yes, thank you! just now I received your reply. Thanks again.

@spla@lemmy.ml
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22M

thank you, once updated nginx lemmy.cat’s communities can be followed from Mastodon and Pleroma. Now I hope it will start getting comments from linked Lemmy instances too.

Booteille
link
12M

@dessalines Hi! I just noticed I can’t find some communities from Mastodon.

I was able to suscribe to Privacy & Open Source from Mastodon but it does not find Firefox, Rust or Linux communities.

Is it a bug?

@nutomic@lemmy.ml
mod
link
12M

Yes it seems to be a bug in Mastodon.

Tmpod
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12M

Huge congratulations for all the hard work! <3
Lemmy is going on a very nice path, thank you!

I hope to continue working on remmy now that this refactor is done hehe

Tommi 🤯
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12M

@dessalines

Finally!
This is a game-changer.

Lutin Discret
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12M

@dessalines testing commenting from Mastodon 🚀

Humane Tech Now
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02M

@lutindiscret @dessalines

This is my test… a sub-comment.

Chiaki 🇵🇱
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12M

@humanetech

@lutindiscret @dessalines

And my sub-sub-comment 😇

How far can we go! Here’s my sub-sub-sub-comment!

Dr. Quadragon ❌
link
02M

@dessalines Thanks for the work!

This is one of the most critical steps for the Fediverse. Now you are actually breaking new grounds.

Tell me though - can a Mastodon/Pleroma/etc. user create a post in a Lemmy community?

Dessalines
mod
creator
link
02M

Short answer, no. Mastodon / microblogging frameworks don’t have the concept of a “post”, which in our activitypub vocabulary is a Page. They only have comments or activitypub Note, where it mentions the previous user with @.

Dr. Quadragon ❌
link
02M

@dessalines What’s wrong with publishing a root post a Note? Shouldn’t be too hard.

Or just any type, be it a Page, a Note, a peertube video, or a pixelfed photo?

Dessalines
mod
creator
link
02M

Posts also have a lot of extra info, things like a link, title, body, community… comments have only a body.

There are a lot of things that aren’t going to match up with community-focused link aggregators and user-focused microblogging ones.

Dr. Quadragon ❌
link
12M

@dessalines you guys have a potential to be much more than just a link aggreagtor.
I maintain that anybody who makes a working, viable groups implementation that covers most of the Fediverse will define the direction of this network for the next five years.
You are the closest so far.

Great work!

Question: can only local users post to a group?

@nutomic@lemmy.ml
mod
link
02M

No its all federated. Just look at the comments from mastodon in this thread.

Replies seem to work normally. I meant more like top level posts. Ex: https://social.coop/@django/107294367175203267

@nutomic@lemmy.ml
mod
link
12M

Those can also be made by other software, but needs to be a Page (which Mastodon cant send afaik).

@dessalines how to view masto posts on lemmy?

The Free Penguin
link
22M

This is my alt that I use on Masto

Dessalines
mod
creator
link
12M

You can only see their replies to lemmy posts / comments.

@dessalines bruh lemmy just went down

Amazing work, kudos on the new release!

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