Listing of Known Pinafore Instances you can connect to

There are various Pinafore instances

Other Pinafore Instances we could use :

Thanks a lot for this great list Rob.
As I don’t want to scatter my energy, are there some instances that are better suited for some interests?
For example if you’re a dev then would be the place to be.

And can you explain the differences between Mastodon instances and Pinafore instances as - from what i understood - Pinafore is an app that acts as a layer on top of Mastodon to ease the experience and helps unclutter your feed and thus be able to be more focus?

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Hello Coralie, bon jour,

Checking in, yours is the first message of the day. :smiley_cat:

You are very welcome, and let me clarify what those are (thanks for asking, as this is not a complete article yet – I was just searching and collating the information last night).

These are a bit different in idea, compared to the Mastodon, or Glitch-Social, or Pleroma instances.

Pinafore is a Fediverse client for all 3 of those packages mentioned. It is hosted somewhere (the place we use to connect and load the client), and not in our personal devices. This has the advantage of being easy to keep up-to-date – any new release version can be pushed to the Host system and clients only need a page Refresh to reload and get the most current Pinafore loaded.

So, we need a source in the web, somewhere, to connect to and load Pinafore.

For most people, that will be the project default server, Nolan’s own

Once you open the server page, the Pinafore code is downloaded to your device (desktop, laptop, mobile device) – and from that point on, it’s completely executed on the Client side.

The client will connect and communicate directly with the user’s instance, so there is no risk of a rogue Pinafore source in the web acting maliciously. Nolan took great care to make sure this happens, and for us users, this is a peace of mind as well.

When Pinafore is loaded, the first stage of using it is Authenticating - logging into the user’s chosen instance. The first time we use it, there will be a dialogue window asking what instance to connect to; then it will take the user’s input and go fetch an Authorization session with the user’s home instance.

If that is successful - the correct username and credentials are accepted - the user’s instance will now be talking directly to his client, via API (Application Programming Interface) calls. Page requests, new Toot composition, Feed selection, etc. Normal usage, as in other clients.

While the Pinafore Source Instance sits there, without touching any of that traffic, which is great for :smiley_cat:

  • speed, as no third party is involved.
  • safety, as all data is stored locally, client side.
  • economy, as the cost of hosting a Pinafore source instance is quite low.

Nolan mentioned that his hosting costs for the major and most known instance is only $15 USD per month, which is amazing! :smile_cat:

A small Mastodon instance will easily cost more than that per month, and as it grows, the hosting costs escalate quickly (Qoto’s mastodon is over $100 USD per month currently).

Why List Pinafore Instances then ?

A good question – and for many users, all they need is to know the easy to remember URL for the main one. But there are cases where having one other, or more, can make sense. Examples :

  • an active user who enjoys following the development of Pinafore could use the Dev instance, to see, use and evaluate the most current Beta version.
  • this is also helpful to Nolan and anyone else helping with the code development, as the users can test and report on their impressions, any bugs, suggestions.
  • for the user himself, this can be a way of avoiding a Known Bug in the current mainstream version.

I clearly qualify under all of those, lol, although I am not current enough in programming (it’s been many, many years since) to help in development, I can certainly test and report back, plus give suggestions.

Yesterday I finally solved a problem I had – an Error 404 when trying to compose a new Toot here at This was observed while running the default version, default host source.

  • Replying to any Toot was not a problem and worked as expected.
  • However, creating a brand new post generated a 404 (Page or File not Found) error. I reported to Nolan, and we talked briefly.
  • Following his suggestions, I traced the traffic in Firefox Developer mode (F12 key option) and – fount that a file was really missing, an error in the instance. ‘status’ is the file, and it was not being provided when called for.

To my great joy, loading the Beta version at solved the problem immediately – all worked as expected.

The error seems real, and my finding it can be helpful to other users, even of different client software, as asking for that file is a valid API call. @Freemo will need to look into this (I attrib’ed him in a post while talking about it).

OK, great – But what about regular less Geeky users?

“Normal” users probably have much less need for the extra possible sources of Pinafore to load in their devices. They should be fine with the default source.

Why then list these, other than Geeky Obsessive Behaviour ? LOL, good question, glad you asked! Here’s some possible ideas why one could use other sources.

  • you might want to have TWO user accounts at the same mastodon Instance. Say me, @design_RG and @rgx are both valid, and both mine. The main account is my default and most known Fedi ID, while the other is a backup – and prevents someone from registering it, with a name I use elsewhere.
  • To use two accounts, I would configure the normal Pinafore source with the main account. And use a secondary source (say, Todon’s Pinafore) as a second one.
  • each one will run in a browser tab, and I could be logged into BOTH accounts at the same time.
  • which works perfectly as they are self-contained, all data is within each session.

Example of how I could use it also ? I am a Staff member at Qoto, and besides my personal account could use a secondary pinafore server to access the Qoto Announcements account.

This is the official Qoto source for “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez, all users !” type of material. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

And Freemo knows I should have access to it since I am the most polished Writer in the local crew.

Ok, but I am not Site Staff either - Why bother ?

For Coralie, let’s say. You are a bright and curious user, discovering many things, hanging out with the cool crowd and found an elite instance here, eh.

But you might someday think about using more than one Pina source :

  • to sort out a growing list of mastodon, pleroma, etc accounts into shorter lists; say one Pina for all the main accounts you use most often.
  • and a secondary one with less frequently visited ones.

And more, I think this is pretty long already and clearly developed as a Blog post source, so thank you for the inspiration once again! :slight_smile:

Any questions, just ask, and I will clarify. I will be using this for a new Blog page, and your comments and questions might help it be a better one. Merci! :fr:

Yes you are

There are so many things in that post.
You definitely made your point on why having more than one Pina Instances can be very useful to me!


Now this makes me think:

Hence my questions:

  • How come it is so expensive?
  • Is the money going to Eugen?
  • And how Qoto is able to pay as Qoto is free?
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First of all, thank you so much for the gentle comments and encouragement – they mean a lot, as we don’t get much of that, in general.

Now, regarding the costs of running the instance in general, here are the answers.

  1. The cost of running an instance can vary, a lot. It depends on how much system resources you need (RAM memory for the server, storage space on the drives, and the amount of traffic – which costs money to keep flowing, in and out.

The lowest cost possible is self-hosting, so the person would need to get a server (a used one, or even a PC repurposed for the task will do, depending on the instance size).

This comes at a cost of labour – you need to put time in to keep everything running, secure and fix any problems yourself. Also needs backups, so you have to do those too.

  1. No, Eugen does not receive any fees from the people using the software.

He does run a Patreon account, and encourages people to donate to it. That is taking in about 5,000 USD per month, which he uses to cover the costs of his huge instance (and they must be pretty high), plus pays himself an estipend so he can keep working at it.

He’s netting way less in cash than he would if he worked at a private company – someone in that level in Software Development should make over 100 K USD per year at least. So, he doesn’t want to be rich, and thankfully the donations have kept him fed and housed, and the lights on the development program.

Most of the other people in the team are unpaid volunteers. Doing it for the fun of being in a large project, learning, etc.

  1. Qoto’s running costs are a mystery to me, I know the instance alone is over 100 USD per month, as it’s commercially hosted (not the cheapest option, it’s at which is popular with people who want an easy to run mastodon instance.

Overall there’s other services too, and the full bill is in the hundreds per month. Dr Freeman pays that, and has not asked anyone for help - probably billed as part of business expenses, but still a real and repeating cost.

If we could move to Pleroma, which requires a LOT less system resources, we could get better performance at lower costs.

Hopefully it happens – this Discourse Forum for example is an additional cost, and he’s bumping it up, next to a ceiling – another step will push costs to another level.

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You are very welcome Rob :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Now reading your post, I feel concerned for Dr Freeman.
This is not sustainable eternally for ever in terms of money and energy costs for him.

And just the thought of that is quite unsettling to me. Both in terms of huge responsibilities (with possible energy loss and exhaustion) that it entails and for my own personal goal in trying to find resilience and congruence in the tools and systems (definitely baby steps for me) I use I wonder how this project could evolve…

You’ve mentioned Pleroma. Are there reasons for not using it (complexities of use - lack of some functionalities - characters being limited…)?

Anyway, again, I’m glad about this conversation going Rob.
Thanks for your candor.

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It’s true, there’s a large investiment of time, talent and money into building what we have today. We couldn’t get people to pay the true cost of the talented people who operate these instances and develop all the software we use – it would be big.

Thankfully people have been doing it, but there’s no guarantees that things will last forever - so keep copies of important info, saved, back up your data, and look for more than one place to be present at.

So it’s easier if there’s some event and there is a need for a new place. It could happen, so many things have to concur to keep everything running smoothly. Don’t count on it, and you might be better prepared to recover if something happens.

Pleroma is much newer and conceived to be less resource intensive than mastodon. It is a more modern project, code wise – as it was built from the ground up with these ideas in mind, as well as being fully federated with everyone.

The main problem with Pleroma is users having some resistance to change – they are used to Mastodon, and it feels like re-learning all over again.

The default Pleroma Front End (or FE, what the user sees and interacts with) is a bit strange for us mastodonians.

But – pleroma instances usually have a Mastodon FE option, which is in fact a GlitchSocial web client. Not only it looks and feels like Mastodon, but it is in fact a BETTER masrtodon, as GS is much richer in controls, options, Markdown, HTML supported in toots.

So, it’s a question of gettign used to it.

Some Pleroma instances are a bit shady – there’s places I would not recommend. But I did a search recently, and found a nice one, signed up there.

Even had a conversation with Freemo on how I chose that particular one.

I am searching for that conversation but didn’t find it yet. I did include some replies in other threads with info on, which was the instance I selected and created an account on.

Copy the URLs and save for later reading if you don’t have the time.

They are open to signups, and Pinafore works fine with it too. So… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Hello Rob,

I do understand why you have so many instances now.
I guess it is wiser not to put all your eggs in the same basket.
It’s more resilient and yes you never know what may happens.

Pleroma seems from what you just said really nice.
And yes that might be hard at first to change habit. But if it is a better one I don’t see the reasons why not to go for it.
Unless there are a few issues with it beside the ones you gave (which I don’t see as a problem).
I had a look at and the look of it was a bit :upside_down_face:
It reminded me of some mangas I saw a while ago and well it threw me off guard.
But I will try to pass my “à priori” and see past it :smile:

I am also going to look at how I can back up my data at safe places (without the gafam).
Didn’t got around to do it…

Thanks again for opening my mind to new worlds. :smiley:

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Hello Coralie, bon jour!

Checking in. :smiley_cat:

I am glad you understand the reasons for multiple instances, and it’s enjoyable too as a way of knowing other cultures. I wrote a nice blog page with my opinions on why it’s important, which instance people are in - here. It’s the most read page on my Tech Blog right now, just touching 800 views. :slight_smile:

Pleroma is nice, theoretically I am enthused by the idea of a better instance software. It’s just a bit odd for us, not used to it – and I think my dual pane, wide screen setup gives the best work environment for a reader or writing person; generally there’s so much wasted space.

There are various clients we can use, Pleroma itself support the Glitch-Social FE right off the box (comes with it, on installing). So that could be a way to handle it. But it has a VERY RICH feature set – it really begs for an in-depth study, and a later report, analyzing and describing it, something I would like to do if I can.

Many Plero instances are a bit on the weird or shady side. Some I would definitely stay away from. But it doesn’t mean the software is bad. Kawen seemed one of the best of the larger ones - I have an account at, which is a small one, and was one of the first users there.

Here’s a list of the larger Pleroma instances in Fedi – and the page for

I really wanted to find that conversation I had with Freemo, where he questioned which and why, and I exposed a good reasoning, very clearly. Will try again.

We do have a file storage service here at Qoto if you like, to use it it’s just getting an account and asking Freemo to enable a larger quota on it. But a personal backup at home is handy and important, keep a USB key around or a small HD for that.

And have fun. Thanks for the reply.

Added new instance at

Hi there,

Is it a nice one?

Pinafore instances are simply a loading area for connecting and getting the Pinafore client, load it into your browser, and run from there.

Not like mastodon, or pleroma, or other Fediverse instances; it’s nice to have another one (there are few publicly available ones, that I know of), but mostly as a backup or for special needs. They don’t store or present any content, just the software to be loaded.

I thought that tilde was another mastodon instance…

Tilde is the ~ which in Unix is the home directory of a user.

Tildeverse has a number of places, including a Tilde mastodon :

mirror of mastodon fork with customizations –

But also :


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