Announcing Soapbox BE v1.0

Soapbox is a social media server empowering communities online. Today we're releasing Soapbox BE v1.0 based on Pleroma! 🎉

Tue, May 11, 2021

Based on Pleroma

Soapbox BE is a production ready Pleroma branch based on Pleroma 2.3 stable. It's being maintained alongside Pleroma, with additional bugfixes and features. Our goal is to move faster, while taking deliberate care to ensure clean code merges between projects.

Soapbox BE contains code that has not yet been merged (or may never be merged) by Pleroma.

A new foundation

A big part of this release was just laying the groundwork to support another Fediverse backend: an updated website, an issue tracker, and proper documentation.

We are now free to do things that weren't possible before.

A full list of differences between Soapbox and Pleroma is documented here.

Soapbox FE by default

Soapbox FE

Soapbox FE is the default frontend of Soapbox BE. We think this is a good choice for growing the Fediverse, and it gives us more control over how the FE and BE interact.

It will still be possible to switch to another frontend as usual. See the FAQ below for details.

Rich media embeds

YouTube embed

Share a link to a popular video site, and users can watch right from their timeline! The following sites are tested to work:

Most OEmbed compatible links will work. First we try known URL patterns, then fall back to scraping the page (discovery). Otherwise, it generates a link preview as usual.

Rich media embeds are sanitized and can only contain an iframe or image. Unsafe embeds fall back to link previews.

Configurable block behavior

On Twitter, blocking someone prevents them from seeing your posts. On the Fediverse, it's a mixed bag. Different servers handle blocks differently.

We think it makes sense for the default behavior to be Twitter-like, as it's what users expect. You can now configure it in Admin FE, under "ActivityPub > Blockers visible"

Note: This setting cannot force a remote server to change their behavior, it only changes the behavior of your server.

Bug fixes

Installing Soapbox

To install a fresh server, see our install guide.

Switching from Pleroma

Switching over is easy. As long as you're on Pleroma 2.3, you can simply checkout the repo:

sudo -Hu pleroma bash
cd /opt/pleroma

git remote add soapbox
git fetch soapbox --tags
git checkout -b soapbox soapbox-v1.0.0

MIX_ENV=prod mix deps.get
MIX_ENV=prod mix compile

# As root
systemctl restart pleroma

Note: Only the source version of Pleroma is supported. If you're using the OTP release, you may need to switch to the source version first.


Fund the Soapbox Project

Soapbox is funded entirely by donations. If you would like to support me, you can send me a donation. Your support is greatly appreciated, and every bit counts.

Thank you!

A huge thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of my efforts, from the donations to the moral support to development help. Thank you to the Pleroma dev team for building a great foundation. I really appreciate you all being a part of this and look forward to advancing the Fediverse together.