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Epicyon, meaning "more than a dog". Largest of the Borophaginae which lived in North America 20-5 million years ago.

Epicyon is a modern ActivityPub compliant server implementing both S2S and C2S protocols and sutable for installation on single board computers. It includes features such as moderation tools, post expiry, content warnings, image descriptions and perimeter defense against adversaries. It contains no javascript and uses HTML+CSS with a Python backend.

Project Goals - Commandline interface - Customizations - Object Capabilities - Code of Conduct

Matrix room:

Includes emojis designed by OpenMoji – the open-source emoji and icon project. License: CC BY-SA 4.0. Blob Cat Emoji and Meowmoji were made by Nitro Blob Hub, licensed under Apache 2.0.

Package Dependencies

You will need python version 3.7 or later.

On Arch/Parabola:

sudo pacman -S tor python-pip python-pysocks python-pycryptodome \
               imagemagick python-pillow python-requests \
	       perl-image-exiftool python-numpy python-dateutil \
	       certbot flake8 bandit
sudo pip3 install pyLD pyqrcode pypng

Or on Debian:

sudo apt install -y \
    tor python3-socks imagemagick \
    python3-numpy python3-setuptools \
    python3-crypto python3-pycryptodome \
    python3-dateutil python3-pil.imagetk
    python3-idna python3-requests \
    python3-pyld python3-django-timezone-field \
    libimage-exiftool-perl python3-flake8 \
    python3-pyqrcode python3-png python3-bandit \
    certbot nginx


In the most common case you'll be using systemd to set up a daemon to run the server.

The following instructions install Epicyon to the /etc directory. It's not essential that it be installed there, and it could be in any other preferred directory.

Add a dedicated user so that we don't have to run as root.

adduser --system --home=/opt/epicyon --group epicyon

Edit /etc/systemd/system/epicyon.service and add the following:


ExecStart=/usr/bin/python3 /opt/epicyon/ --port 443 --proxy 7156 --domain YOUR_DOMAIN --registration open


Here the server was installed to /opt/epicyon, but you can change that to wherever you installed it.

Then run the daemon:

systemctl enable epicyon
chown -R epicyon:epicyon /opt/epicyon
systemctl start epicyon

Check the status of the daemon with:

systemctl status epicyon

If it's not running then you can also look at the log:

journalctl -u epicyon

You'll also need to set up a web server configuration. For Nginx edit /etc/nginx/sites-available/YOUR_DOMAIN as follows:

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    server_name YOUR_DOMAIN;
    access_log /dev/null;
    error_log /dev/null;
    client_max_body_size 31m;
    client_body_buffer_size 128k;

    index index.html;
    rewrite ^ https://$server_name$request_uri? permanent;

server {
    listen 443 ssl;
    server_name YOUR_DOMAIN;

    ssl_stapling off;
    ssl_stapling_verify off;
    ssl on;
    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/YOUR_DOMAIN/fullchain.pem;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/YOUR_DOMAIN/privkey.pem;
    #ssl_dhparam /etc/ssl/certs/YOUR_DOMAIN.dhparam;

    ssl_session_cache  builtin:1000  shared:SSL:10m;
    ssl_session_timeout 60m;
    ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
    ssl_protocols TLSv1.2 TLSv1.3;
    add_header X-Frame-Options DENY;
    add_header X-Content-Type-Options nosniff;
    add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block";
    add_header X-Download-Options noopen;
    add_header X-Permitted-Cross-Domain-Policies none;

    add_header X-Robots-Tag "noindex, nofollow, nosnippet, noarchive";
    add_header Strict-Transport-Security max-age=15768000;

    access_log /dev/null;
    error_log /dev/null;

    index index.html;
    location / {
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        client_max_body_size 31M;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
        proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header X-Forward-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header X-Forward-Proto http;
        proxy_set_header X-Nginx-Proxy true;
        proxy_temp_file_write_size 64k;
        proxy_connect_timeout 10080s;
        proxy_send_timeout 10080;
        proxy_read_timeout 10080;
        proxy_buffer_size 64k;
        proxy_buffers 16 32k;
        proxy_busy_buffers_size 64k;
        proxy_redirect off;
        proxy_request_buffering on;
        proxy_buffering on;
        proxy_pass http://localhost:7156;

Changing your domain name as appropriate. Activate the configuration with:

ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/YOUR_DOMAIN /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Generate a LetsEncrypt certificate.

certbot certonly -n --server --standalone -d YOUR_DOMAIN --renew-by-default --agree-tos --email YOUR_EMAIL

And restart the web server:

systemctl restart nginx

If you are using the Caddy web server then see caddy.example.conf

Running Static Analysis

Static analysis can be run with:


Running a security audit

To run a security audit:


Note that not all of the issues identified will necessarily be relevant to this project.

Installing on Onion or i2p domains

If you don't have access to the clearnet, or prefer not to use it, then it's possible to run an Epicyon instance easily from your laptop. There are scripts within the deploy directory which can be used to install an instance on a Debian or Arch/Parabola operating system. With some modification of package names they could be also used with other distros.

Please be aware that such installations will not federate with ordinary fediverse instances on the clearnet, unless those instances have been specially modified to do so. But onion instances will federate with other onion instances and i2p instances with other i2p instances.

Custom Fonts

If you want to use a particular font then copy it into the fonts directory, rename it as custom.ttf/woff/woff2/otf and then restart the epicyon daemon.

systemctl restart epicyon

Custom Favicon

If you want to use your own favicon then copy your favicon.ico file to the base directory where you installed Epicyon.

Adding Themes

If you want to add a new theme then open and add the theme name to the list within getThemesList. Add a function with the name setTheme[YourThemeName]. Have a look at the other themes to get an idea of how to set the colors and fonts.

Add the name of your theme to the translations files.

Within the img directory add a default profile background image called image_[YourThemeName].png and a banner image banner_[YourThemeName].png. Because the banner image will be reloaded occasionally it should be small - preferably kilobytes rather than megabytes.

On a running instance you can experiment with colors or fonts by editing epicyon.css and then reloading the web page. Once you are happy with the results then you can update the changed values within your setTheme function.

Running Unit Tests

To run the unit tests:

python3 --tests

To run the network tests. These simulate instances exchanging messages.

python3 --testsnetwork