Hugo Gameiro is a user on masto.pt. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.
Hugo Gameiro @hugo

After doing more testing, I decided to go ahead and provide shared hosting for Mastodon instances.
This will be a trial but unless something goes horribly wrong, I believe that I can price it at €5/month for an instance of up to 100 users.
This can greatly diminish the cost of running small instances and remove the technical barrier from everyone who wishes to run their own Mastodon Instance.
Let me know what you think masto.host/#pricing-table

· Web · 218 · 149

@hugo I'll bite! If I bring a domain name and $5/month and a willingness to be an early tester... what happens next?

@HerraBRE I install an instance for you and you have fun with it :) really there is not much else I can say. Do you have any specific question?

@hugo Well, I clicked the link on the site and it gave me a placeholder page, so I don't know how to pay you or tell you further details (aside from just chatting like this).

I guess my first step is to decide on a domain name.

Would you prefer we move this to e-mail?

@HerraBRE ahhh, sorry. I didn't get the questions. Yes to all, I need to know the domain you wish to use (can also create a sub domain on masto.host but I believe you already have a domain) but yes please email me info@masto.host :)

@hugo HI, I am quite interested in your service....but cannot yet find out how to fund it monthly by my community. I might contact you later.

@indigo6 Awesome! Please do and if you can't solve the funding issue, just let me know and I can try and see what I can do :)

@bea crazy busy but will let you know what I found later ;) thanks for your help

@hugo This is excellent idea, I don't know when I would have a use for it, but I'd like to. I'm pretty enamoured by Mastodon these days.

@BillPosters I am hoping there are some uses for it but time will tell :)

@hugo I think mastodon would be cool when you have people living off-grid, you can create individual communities that can function in isolation. Like a way for people to communicate in an isolated village. Then again. I might be over thinking this.
In my head the combination of a fediverse and mesh messaging go well together, although I have to think how exactly they could work together.

@BillPosters I think there are interesting use cases to talk with people with similar interest by joining a specific instance. But it could also be from a location (eg: school). There are some really cool use cases that I can think of but think that many more will come that we cannot even imagine.

@hugo is there an option to seamlessly move from shared to dedicated if the count of users skyrockets?

@novadeviator Nop. Right now it is done manually but it can be done really fast (with little downtime) because it is inside the same network :)

@hugo although 5€-10€ per month looks extremely affordable...

@novadeviator trying to make Mastodon cheap, easy and attractive to has many admins as possible. We all benefit from Mastodon growth.

@hugo that looks as very attractive way... almost like getting a blog on wordpress.com just without the ads. i mean 5€ for a group of 50-100 people? shouldn't be that much

@novadeviator tried to make it as cheap as possible

@hugo say, would you be interested in something like this here? octodon.social/@TQ/837425

I currently have no idea how financing could work, I just like the idea. Thoughts?

@TQ what do you have in mind when you say "provide a safe testing space"?
Because a testing instance it can be something like @bea is doing here: glitch.social/users/bea/update
Giving advise, help is a completely different thing.

@hugo I didn't know that instance, it's quite interesting! But I had something different in mind: providing a testing space for users, helping them to learn about the way Mastodon works. I've heard quite often from people who wished for some kind of "sandbox".

@TQ if someone wants to try that, I am willing to help. Just contact me :)

@hugo Interesting.

I've previously suggested a potential market for Mastodon-as-a-Service.

@BitScout my marketing/copy skills are amazing 🤣

@LemoineArthur set up in public cloud and use attached hard disks. I use OVH too.

@hugo What about domains?
That will still require some technical knowledge, right? (Buying, setting A-Records, ...)
So Trump won't be able to just click "buy"? 😉

@BitScout I offer a subdomain masto.host to everyone,
even Trump (eg: trump.masto.host) 😉

@hugo The digitalocean is much cheaper and the configuration is much better than yours for 5$. What are your advantages?

@f2f DO doesn't install, update and give customer support for Mastodon instances. Besides, I am awesome, does that count? 😂

@hugo I understand, then there are no questions. Thanks for the answer. Your service will be of much use to the ordinary user not just from scratch to raise the Mastodon instance. Sorry for my English ) Google Trans.

@f2f @hugo Another thing I've been meaning to work on is some kind of interactive, "one-click" installer that does all the setup for you. I mean, installation and updates are already really simple thanks to the Docker work that's been done, but data persistence, nginx, and SSL setup could still be automated more.

Eventually want to get the point where you can just get a VM (e.g. from DO), point your domain at it, run some install.sh script, and be up and running.

@chris @f2f I don't use Docker but have some bash scripts to help with installation of servers, making multi-redis work in different ports but there is still a lot of manual labour involved.
When I have something solid and tested, I will share it on GitHub ;)

@hugo @f2f You're spawning multiple redis instances on different ports? Why not have all the instances share one and use separate databases or prefixes?

@chris @f2f Several reasons:
- When you need to migrate you can just copy the dump.rdb from that port/instance and place it in a new one
- Control (if needed limit) resources used
- Be extra careful with data privacy cross instances

@hugo @chris I'd love to see your scripts, not for commercial activity. Purely as a devops. Very interesting.

@f2f @chris I will share them for commercial activity or not. I will let anyone use them for whatever they want.
I need to take some time to do a script that works for everyone and not my custom setup. The way they are right now would not work for anyone.
But I will share them.

@f2f @hugo 5MB represent 10K text toots. It can be enough for chating.

@yabami
私もそうではないです。😋

@hugo oh good, some competition! looks like you're going to beat me to the punch. enjoy your first mover advantage :)

@xj9 I will leave a lot of room for you :)

@hugo the question is how far you can get with 5GB of diskspace. Does this also include the DB size?

@eller82 DB size doesn't count towards the disk space limit.
The main usage of space for small instances is remote cache, that is cleared every week. See: github.com/tootsuite/mastodon/
But it really depends on the community, if it uploads a lot of gifs and images, it can go fast. If it uses mostly text, then it can last a long time.
Still, adding extra space is cheap.

@hugo Just a couple questions, if you can answer.

1) Can I edit the css?
2) Do I have CLI access?
3) how do you handle emails?

@Laraby
Hi! You do not have CLI access in shared hosting, if you choose dedicated, yes.
What I can do to allow edit to css or any other code is you indicating your fork on GitHub and I will update from there, you handle your custom code and I push the updates.
Emails are sent via MailGun, I set up 1 account @masto.host for each instance and the cost of notification emails is included. I can also use any other SMTP that someone provides or authenticate with MailGun dif domain

@hugo One last question, how do you/a user create the admin account? I think its a good idea, I have my own VPS, but mau not want the hassle of maintaining

@Laraby :) to make a user admin you should:

RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec rails mastodon:make_admin USERNAME=username_of_admin_user

github.com/tootsuite/documenta

@Laraby let me know if you ever need any help!

@hugo I meant on the shared hosting. You have to create it for me I assume?

@Laraby ahhh... sorry, didn't understand. To make a user admin, you have to ask me. I can in the future create a web interface for that but for now, email or toot me to make user admin :)

@hugo Thanks for the info. Something to consider if I decide I want to make an instance (or any one else I know)

@hugo I don't understand why someone would pay 30€ for the shared box when the same 30€ gets you more on a dedicated box?

@a2 you're the only one that noticed/mentioned that 😉
I need to work on the design of the page because the copy paste of the pricing table needed 4 plans and I made I had to create 4 plans for the shared hosting.
But you are right the €30 plan on the shared hosting makes no sense if I offer a dedicated with more resources and the same price :)

@hugo the storage space is way too low even for a 1 user instance

@angristan My instance masto.pt has 100+ users and it is live for 20 days, the storage space we used is under 1GB if you discount the external media caching that is purged every 7 days.
Still, I understand that 5GB is very low but I am doing this beta test to see how many small instances can run with x CPUs and y RAM to see if the pricing works and adapt the storage if possible.
Also, I plan to offer extra storage option cheap (like 10GB +/- €1/month).
Pricing is a guess right now ;)

@hugo @angristan 5MB represent 10K text toots. It can be enough for chating.

@angristan @carxwol True, for now I am keeping an eye on usage and it is not a hard limit. Will do my best to increase space and maintain the price when I have it running for a couple of weeks.

@hugo @angristan agreed. A good hoster i know (skilful and robust), sells 100Go of PaaS solutions for 8€/month

@hugo Do you intend to limit instance to 100 users or just set >100 as unsupported/you're on your own now?

@tankgrrl I would say that if you are over 100 users you should upgrade or you will start noticing a degradation of performance.
But currently this is a bet and I need volume of usage to know if I can increase that number. Also, each instance is unique and an instance with not many concurrent users can work well over that and just need extra space. Time will tell how plans will adjust

@hugo intrigued to run my own instance.... is it $5 or 5 Euro? Or are you counting it as the same?

@encryptr It's 5 Euro.
It is not much different +/-$5.50 but I need to go with Euros because that is the currency to pay for the servers. Easier to calculate costs/revenue :)

@hugo how long would it take you to setup and how would I pay you?

@encryptr usually about an hour but it depends on the work load at the moment of the order.

@hugo okay... is it charged monthly or yearly? and how do I pay you?

@encryptr billed monthly and payments via PayPal

@hugo this whole "host your own instance" movement reminds me of the crazy of "host your own minecraft server" services... I think this is awesome and I am waiting for the mods to appear.

@hugo looks interesting Hugo - are you supporting own domain yet?

@bseymour yes, you can choose to use your own domain name or a subdomain of masto.host (eg: name.masto.host) is included

@hugo I had been considering firing up a digital ocean droplet to run my own private instance on, but if you're planning to do the ongoing updates and general management that could be a real time saver...

@bseymour That is the goal. The time you need to maintain and update one Mastodon instance is not that much different from the time to maintain and update 10, if you automate it.

@hugo BW cost may be indep of number of users, how do you protect yourself against that? TIA

@Aswath I don't think I understand your question.
How do I protect myself against what?

@hugo excessive consumption of bandwidth since the user has too many followers spread over a large number of instances

@Aswath Haven't found that to be a problem. I don't pay for traffic and have public guaranteed 500mbps on every server. That is a lot of bandwidth and I doubt any instance (<1000 users) will use all of that. Still, I host everything in Cloud and with load balancing you just need to put another machine up and you keep running. Have you experienced problems with bandwidth and Mastodon instances?

@hugo I was not thinking of BW capacity, but clod provider charging for consumed bandwidth. I do not have direct exp w Masodon; I am exploring self-hosted comm (V & V) which could consume considerable bytes.

@hugo So I was wondering, do you do (or, do you think you can do) custom instances rules?

I mean say for example, 1280 characters limit but with CWs? Also, each Toot will get deleted in exactly 7x24 hours by default, but there's a toggle to keep a toot permanent (aka not-deleted), per toot? And combinations of customizations thereof?

These are all hypotheticals though, of course hehe 😅✌

@FerdiZ That could all be done.
Example @bea has created ephemeral.glitch.social
"toots on this instance are ephemeral; they disappear after a while (between 5 minutes and an hour)"
Also, changing the lengths for toots should not be a major problem, in theory at least.
But all of this requires that you fork the original code and know how to code the changes :)