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A generic LitePub message relay.


ActivityRelay is copyrighted, but free software, licensed under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License version 3 (AGPLv3) license. You can find a copy of it in this package as the LICENSE file.


You need at least Python 3.5 (3.5.2 or newer recommended) to make use of this software. It simply will not run on older Python versions.

Install the dependencies as you normally would (pip3 install -r requirements.txt).

Copy relay.yaml.example to relay.yaml and edit it as appropriate:

$ cp relay.yaml.example relay.yaml
$ $EDITOR relay.yaml

Finally, you can launch the relay:

$ python3 -m relay

It is suggested to run this under some sort of supervisor, such as runit, daemontools, s6 or systemd. Configuration of the supervisor is not covered here, as it is different depending on which system you have available.

The bot runs a webserver, internally, on localhost at port 8080. This needs to be forwarded by nginx or similar. The webserver is used to receive ActivityPub messages, and needs to be secured with an SSL certificate inside nginx or similar. Configuration of your webserver is not discussed here, but any guide explaining how to configure a modern non-PHP web application should cover it.

Getting Started

Normally, you would direct your LitePub instance software to follow the LitePub actor found on the relay. In Pleroma this would be something like:

$ MIX_ENV=prod mix relay_follow https://your.relay.hostname/actor

Mastodon uses an entirely different relay protocol but supports LitePub relay protocol as well when the Mastodon relay handshake is used. In these cases, Mastodon relay clients should follow http://your.relay.hostname/inbox as they would with Mastodon's own relay software.


Performance is very good, with all data being stored in memory and serialized to a JSON-LD object graph. Worker coroutines are spawned in the background to distribute the messages in a scatter-gather pattern. Performance is comparable to, if not superior to, the Mastodon relay software, with improved memory efficiency.


You can perform a few management tasks such as peering or depeering other relays by invoking the relay.manage module.

This will show the available management tasks:

$ python3 -m relay.manage

When following remote relays, you should use the /actor endpoint as you would in Pleroma and other LitePub-compliant software.