Linux Format

Customisat­ion options

Make your instance truly unique.


Hark back to the early days of social media, and you’ll recall just how wild it was. While we’re now used to the standard uniformity of Twitter/X and Facebook, it’s easy to forget how pioneers such as MySpace sold themselves on how crazy you could make your page.

When you’re designing your own little corner of the internet, you want it to look nice, and you want your users to feel that they can make it their home. If they can’t, they may look elsewhere.

Misskey is the standout winner, as it enables you to customise virtually every aspect of your instance’s appearance to suit the theme of your server. Although it comes with Japanese catgirls as standard, there’s nothing stopping you from changing the theme, icons, layout, avatars and every other detail.

If it isn’t customisab­le enough for you, you can download plugins that extend your options. Users can change their UI, too – adding clocks, widgets and more to the timeline.

Akkoma customisat­ions aren’t nearly as extensive, and it uses a forked Pleroma interface as standard - making it easy to set your wallpaper, banners, icons and custom avatars. Even better, it supports a variety of front-ends, so if you prefer the look of Soapbox or Mastodon, you can use those instead.

By necessity, and as an image-themed server, Pixelfed needs to conform to an image-orientated layout, while Lemmy, as a Reddit clone, allows more-or-less the same level of customisat­ion you’d have if you started a subreddit.

Mastodon instances tend to be very uniform, and wherever you are in the fediverse, if you’re on a Mastodon instance, you’ll recognise it instantly.

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