🐀 Building a federated alternative to reddit in rust - LemmyNet/lemmy

Lemmy v0.8.0 Release (2020-10-16)

:partying face:


We’ve been working at warp speed since our v0.7.0 release in June, adding over 870 commits since then. :sweat:

Here are some of the bigger changes:

LemmyNet projects

Lemmy Server


  • The first federation public beta release, woohoo :fireworks:
  • All Lemmy functionality now works over ActivityPub (except turning remote users into mods/admins)
  • Instance allowlist and blocklist
  • Documentation for admins and devs on how federation works
  • Upgraded to newest versions of @asonix activitypub libraries
  • Full local federation setup for manual testing
  • Automated testing for nearly every federation action
  • Many additional security checks
  • Lots and lots of refactoring
  • Asynchronous sending of outgoing activities

User Interface

  • Separated the UI from the server code, in lemmy-ui.
  • The UI can now read with javascript disabled!
  • It’s now a fully isomorphic application using inferno-isomorphic. This means that page loads are now much faster, as the server does the work.
  • The UI now also supports open-graph and twitter cards! Linking to lemmy posts (from whatever platform you use) looks pretty now:
  • Improved the search page ( more features incoming ).
  • The default view is now Local, instead of All, since all would show all federated posts.
  • User settings are now shared across browsers ( a page refresh will pick up changes ).
  • A much leaner mobile view.


  • Re-organized the rust codebase into separate workspaces for backend and frontend.
  • Removed materialized views, making the database a lot faster.
  • New post sorts Active (previously called hot), and Hot. Active shows posts with recent comments, hot shows highly ranked posts.
  • New sort for Local ( meaning from local communities).
  • Customizeable site, user, and community icons and banners.
  • Added user preferred names / display names, bios, and cakedays.
  • Visual / Audio captchas through the lemmy API.
  • Lots of API field verifications.
  • Upgraded to pictrs-v2 ( thanks to @asonix )
  • Wayyy too many bugfixes to count.


We’d also like to thank both the NLnet foundation for their support in allowing us to work full-time on Lemmy ( as well as their support for other important open-source projects ), those who sponsor us, and those who help translate Lemmy. Every little bit does help. We remain committed to never allowing advertisements, monetizing, or venture-capital in Lemmy; software should be communal, and should benefit humanity, not a small group of company owners.


Testing Federation

Federation is finally ready in Lemmy, pending possible bugs or other issues. So for now we suggest to enable federation only on test servers, or try it on our own test servers ( enterprise, ds9, voyager ).

If everything goes well, after a few weeks we will enable federation on dev.lemmy.ml, at first with a limited number of trusted instances. We will also likely change the domain to https://lemmy.ml . Keep in mind that changing domains after turning on federation will break things.

To enable on your instance, edit your lemmy.hjson federation section to enabled: true, and restart.

Connecting to another server

The server https://ds9.lemmy.ml has open federation, so after either adding it to the allowed_instances list in your config.hjson, or if you have open federation, you don’t need to add it explicitly.

To federate / connect with a server, type in !community_name@server.tld, in your server’s search box like so.

To connect with the main community on ds9, the search is !main@ds9.lemmy.ml.

You can then click the community, and you will see a local version of the community, which you can subscribe to. New posts and comments from !main@ds9.lemmy.ml will now show up on your front page, or /c/All

Good job guys! Lemmy is quickly becoming the best forum out there! Pretty soon it’ll be as big as Mastodon or PeerTube and just part of the Federated FOSS canon.


I must say, I am really looking forward to this day. The more I get into Lemmy, the more I am impressed and feel that Lemmy should be far more popular than it is now.

It truly is the only good alternative to Reddit. Keep evangelizing!


True, I have never seen a better Reddit alternative so far. I won’t say there is none, but I am more than enough content with what Lemmy has to offer. Really glad I got here.

I’ve tried Raddle and Saidit and both suck for completely different and unrelated reasons. Raddle is full of wokies who will literally ban you for saying “stupid,” and Saidit is full of nazis talking about “the jewish question” constantly ad nauseam.


Sounds harsh, might be true though. Can’t say for myself as I have tried neither of these two platforms, but I know similar… Unfortunately, such communities sometimes occur at places like these, where no one is restricting them and, consequently, the whole platform might turn towards such behaviour.

I feel like Lemmy is moderated to a satisfactory degree. Also, with federation coming, people can simply choose pods they feel suit them better.


Long time reddit user, I’m very excited about this project. It’s already great now so you guys are doing an amazing job! thank you


Thank you for your hard work and for improving Lemmy! I’m a recent user but I can say with certainty that the experience here is more satisfying than on Reddit (and the community is much more pleasant too).


Thanks, I’m happy to hear that :)

Kudos on the release, Lemmy just keeps getting better and better. Fantastic work!


Lemmy rocks ! Rock on ! && Congrats and thanks !

Amazing work ! Thanks a lot ! I’m very happy to be able to read lemmy without javascript.

I was also wondering if they are plans to be able to post comments / upvotes / etc from Mastodon accounts ( like Peertube <-> Mastodon federation ? )


We are still a long ways off from that, but have an issue for user following here.

Keep in mind that the entire fediverse is currently based on the twitter model of following federated users, whilst Lemmy as a reddit alternative is focused on following federated communities. Eventually we will support user following, and user’s posts will show up on your front page, but community following needs to be fully functioning first.

As a note, community following could work well with Mastodon as well. If you could follow a community the same way you follow a user, and see the stories posted in that community that would work as a kind of a news feed.

Lemmy Announcements

Feel free to announce new communities here.

Other than that, this is reserved for admin use only.

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