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Deployment considerations

Before deploying GoToSocial, it's important to think through a few things as some choices will have long-term consequences for how you run and manage GoToSocial.


It's not supported across the Fediverse to switch between implementations on the same domain. This means that if you run GoToSocial on, you'll run into federation issues if you try to switch to a different implementation like Pleroma/Akkoma, Misskey/Calckey etc.

In that same vein, if you already have another ActivityPub implementation running on you should not attempt to switch to GoToSocial on that domain.


GoToSocial supports both SQLite and Postgres and you can start using either. We do not currently have tooling to support migrating from SQLite to Postgres or vice-versa, but it is possible in theory.

For databases to perform properly, they should be run on fast storage that operates with low and stable latency. It is possible to run databases on network attached storage, but this adds variable latency and network congestion to the mix, as well as potential I/O contention on the origin storage.

Cloud Storage Volumes

Not all cloud VPS storage offerings are equal, and just because something claims to be backed by an SSD doesn't mean that it will necessarily be suitable to run a GoToSocial instance on. Please see the Server/VPS section section below.

SQLite is great for a single-user instance. If you're planning on hosting multiple people it's advisable to use Postgres instead. You can always use Postgres regardless of the instance size.


Please backup your database. The database contains encryption keys for the instance and any user accounts. You won't be able to federate again from the same domain if you lose these keys.

Domain name

In order to federate with others, you'll need a domain like You can register your domain name through any domain registrar, like Namecheap. Make sure you pick a registrar that also lets you manage DNS entries, so you can point your domain to the IP of the server that's running your GoToSocial instance.

You'll commonly see usernames existing at the apex of the domain, for example but this is not required. It's perfectly fine to have users exist on instead. Many people prefer to have usernames on the apex as its shorter to type, but you can use any (subdomain) you control.

It is possible to have usernames like but have GoToSocial running on instead. This is done by distinguishing between the API domain, called the "host", and the domain used for usernames, called the "account domain".

If you intend to deploy your GoToSocial instance in this way, please read the Split-domain deployments document for details on how to do this.


It's not possible to safely change whether the host and account domain are different after the fact. It requires regenerating the database and will cause confusion for any server you have already federated with. Once your instance host and account domain are set, they're set.


For federation to work, you have to use TLS. Most implementations, including GoToSocial, will generally refuse to federate over unencrypted transports.

GoToSocial comes with built-in support for provisioning certificates through Lets Encrypt. It can also load certificates from disk. If you have a reverse-proxy in front of GoToSocial you can handle TLS at that level instead.


Make sure you configure the use of modern versions of TLS, TLSv1.2 and higher, in order to keep communications between servers and clients safe. When GoToSocial handles TLS termination this is done automatically for you. If you have a reverse-proxy in use, use the Mozilla SSL Configuration Generator.

Server / VPS System Requirements

Clustering / multi-node deployments

GoToSocial does not support clustering or any form of multi-node deployment. Though multiple GtS instances can use the same Postgres database and either shared local storage or the same object bucket, GtS relies on a lot of internal caching to keep things fast. There is no mechanism for synchronising these caches between instances. Without it, you'll get all kinds of odd and inconsistent behaviour.

GoToSocial aims to fit in small spaces so we try and ensure that the system requirements are fairly minimal.


For a single-user instance with about 100-300 followers/followees, GoToSocial will likely hover consistently between 100MB to 250MB of RAM usage once the internal caches are hydrated.

RAM usage may temporarily spike higher during periods of load (for example, when a status gets boosted by someone with many followers), so you should account for some overhead.

512MB to 1GB of total RAM should be enough.

In memory constrained environments, you can try setting cache.memory-target to a value lower than the default 100MB (see the database configuration options here).


CPU usage is only intensive when handling media (encoding blurhashes, mostly) and/or handling a lot of federation requests at the same time. 1 decent CPU core should be fine.

Single-board Computers

GoToSocial's light system requirements means that it runs pretty well on decently-specced single-board computers. If running on a single-board computer, you should ensure that GoToSocial is using a USB drive (preferably an SSD) to store its database files and media, not SD card storage, since the latter tends to be too slow to run a database on.


If you decide to use a VPS instead, you can spin yourself up something cheap with Linux running on it. Most of the VPS offerings in the €2-€5 per month range will perform admirably for a personal GoToSocial instance.

Hostwinds is a good option here: it's cheap and they throw in a static IP address for free.

Greenhost is also great: it has zero CO2 emissions, but is a bit more costly. Their 1GB, 1-cpu VPS works great for a single-user or small instance.

Oracle Free Tier

Oracle Cloud Free Tier servers are not suitable for a GoToSocial deployment if you intend to federate with more than a handful of other instances and users.

GoToSocial admins running on Oracle Cloud Free Tier have reported that their instances become extremely slow or unresponsive during periods of moderate load. This is most likely due to memory or storage latency, which causes even simple database queries to take a long time to run.

Hetzner Cloud Volume

The performance of Hetzner Cloud Volumes is not guaranteed and seems to have very volatile latency. You're going to have a bad time running your database on those, with extremely poor query performance for even the most basic operations. Before filing performance issues against GoToSocial, make sure the problems reproduce with local storage.

Distribution system requirements

Please make sure to check on your distribution system requirments, especially memory. Many distributions have baseline requirements and running them on a system that doesn't meet them will cause problems without further tuning and tweaking on your part.


The BSD family of distributions don't document memory requirements as much, but anywhere up from 128MB is expected to be sufficient.


GoToSocial needs ports 80 and 443 open.

  • 80 is used for Lets Encrypt. As such, you don't need it if you don't use the built-in Lets Encrypt provisioning.
  • 443 is used to serve the API on with TLS and is what any instance you're federating with will try to connect to.

If you can't leave 443 and 80 open on the machine, don't worry! You can configure these ports in GoToSocial, but you'll have to also configure port forwarding to properly forward traffic on 443 and 80 to whatever ports you choose.


You should configure a firewall on your machine, as well as some protection against brute-force SSH login attempts and the like. Take a look at our firewall documentation for pointers on what to configure and tools that can help you out.


Aside from the many instance tuning options present in the example config file you can do additional tuning on the machine your GoToSocial instance is running on.


It is possible to run a system without swap. In order to safely do so and ensure consistent performance and service availability, you need to tune the kernel, system and your workloads accordingly. This requires a good understanding of your kernel's memory management system as well as the memory usage patterns of the workloads you're running.


Swap is used to ensure the kernel can efficiently reclaim memory. This is useful even when a system is not experiencing memory contention, like freeing up memory that was only used during process startup. This allows more things that are actively used to be cached in memory. Swap is not what makes your application slow. Experiencing memory contention is what makes things slow.

Unless you're experienced in doing this kind of tuning and troubleshooting the issues that may arise from not having swap, you should follow your distribution or hosting provider's recommendations and configure an appropriate amount of swap. If your distribution or hosting provider doesn't provide guidance, you can use the following rule of thumb for a server:

  • less than 2GB of RAM: swap = RAM × 2
  • more than 2GB of RAM: swap = RAM, up to 8G

Configuring Swappiness

Linux swaps pretty early. This tends to not be necessary on servers and in the case of databases can cause unnecessary latency. Though it's good to let your system swap if it needs to, it can help to tell it to be a little more conservative about how early it swaps. Configuring this on Linux is done by changing the vm.swappiness sysctl value.

By default it's 60. You can lower that to 10 for starters and keep an eye out. It's possible to run with even lower values, but it's likely unnecessary. To make the value persistent, you'll need to drop a configuration file in /etc/sysctl.d/.

Memory and CPU limits

It is possible to limit the amount of memory or CPU your GoToSocial instance can consume. Doing so can be done on Linux using CGroups v2 resource controllers.

You can configure limits for a process using systemd resource control settings, OpenRC cgroup support or the libcgroup CLI. If you want to protect GoToSocial in cases where your system is experiencing memory pressure, look at memory.low.