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Telescope is an open-source, real-time social news site built with Meteor

Note: Telescope is beta software. Most of it should work but it's still a little unpolished and you'll probably find some bugs. Use at your own risk :)

Learn More



  • Real-time (of course!)
  • Password-based and/or Twitter auth
  • Notifications
  • Mobile-ready & responsive
  • Invite-only access for reading and/or posting
  • Markdown support
  • Day by day view


  • Install Meteor
  • Install Meteorite
  • Download or clone Telescope into /some/path
  • cd /some/path
  • Run mrt

Running Telescope on Heroku

  • Use the Heroku buildpack for Meteorite to push to Heroku: heroku create --stack cedar --buildpack
  • Add MongoHQ addon

Running Telescope on EC2

First Run

  • Set the root URL variable used for Twitter auth (on Heroku: heroku config:add ROOT_URL=http://your_url)
  • Set the mail URL variable used for email notifications (for example, with Mailgun on Heroku: heroku config:add MAIL_URL=smtp://
  • Fill in your Twitter keys (by clicking on "Sign Up/Sign in" in your Telescope top bar)
  • The first user account created will automatically be made admin
  • Check out the settings page and fill out basic things like the site's name

Local Variables

Meteor uses local environment variables for a few things, such as configuring email. While this is straightforward to do on Heroku (see above), on a local dev environment the best way is to set up an alias for the mrt command.

For example, to configure Meteor to use Mailgun for email, in your .bash_profile file just add: alias m='MAIL_URL=smtp:// mrt'

This can also be useful for starting Meteor on a specific port: alias m4='MAIL_URL=smtp:// mrt --port 4000'

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