Configuration Overview

GoToSocial aims to be as configurable as possible, to fit lots of different use cases.

We try to provide sensible defaults wherever possible, but you can't run a GoToSocial instance without managing some configuration.

In this section, we describe the different methods available for configuring GoToSocial,

Configuration Methods

There are three different methods for configuring a GoToSocial instance, which can be combined depending on your setup.

Configuration File

The easiest way to configure GoToSocial is to pass a configuration file to to the gotosocial server start command, for example:

gotosocial --config-path ./config.yaml server start

The command expects a file in YAML format.

An example configuration file, with an explanation of each of the config fields, with default and example values, can be found here.

This example file is included with release downloads, so you can just copy it and edit it to your needs without having to worry too much about what the hell YAML is.

Environment Variables

You can also configure GoToSocial by setting environment variables. These environment variables generally follow the format:


So for example, instead of setting media.maxImageSize to 2097152 in your config.yaml, you could set the environment variable:


If you're in doubt about any of the names of these environment variables, just check gotosocial --help. They're all listed there.

Command Line Flags

Finally, you can set configuration values using command-line flags, which you pass directly when you're running a gotosocial command. For example, instead of setting media.maxImageSize in your config.yaml, or with an environment variable, you can pass the value directly through the command line:

gotosocial --media-max-image-size 2097152 server start

Note the weird order of the above command; gotosocial first, then all global variables (like the ones in the config.yaml), then the command you want to execute.

If you're in doubt about which flags are available, check gotosocial --help.


The above configuration methods override each other in the order in which they were listed.

command line flags > environment variables > config file

That is, if you set media.maxImageSize to 2097152 in your config file, but then ALSO set the environment variable GTS_MEDIA_MAX_IMAGE_SIZE=9999999, then the final value will be 9999999, because environment variables have a higher priority than values set in config.yaml.

Command line flags have the highest priority, so if you set --media-max-image-size 13121312, then the final value will be 13121312 regardless of what you've set elsewhere.

This means in cases where you want to just try changing one thing, but don't want to edit your config file, you can temporarily use an environment variable or a command line flag to set that one thing.

Default Values

Reasonable default values are provided for most of the configuration parameters, except in cases where a custom value is absolutely required.

See the example config file for the default values, or run gotosocial --help.