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Telegram Group


Project description

isamuni is a lazy social network for small communities. Forget about chats and posting your mad ideas. There are already thousands of other solutions for that. isamuni, instead, aggregates data from multiple selected social networks (e.g. FB, Twitter, NodeBB forums) for a better understanding of what is happening with a commmunity (e.g. tech community of a particular region, football clubs of a certain league, book readers across the country). Moreover, isamuni allows individuals and groups of people to create neat and beautiful static pages to tell others how great they are.

Isamuni relies on its sister project Favara to crawl events from various sources and get them into its database.

Why did you create isamuni?

The basic idea of isamuni was conceived in 2013 in Sicily, Italy. But it was not until May 2016 that this idea became clear and we started to make isamuni.

Over the last few years, we have noticed that many tech communities and startups/companies are constantly being created or already exist, but not many people really know about them. This meant: many experts, professionals, students and tech lovers. Put it simply: a lot of value and opportunities. There is, however, a significant fragmentation across the different components of the general tech Sicilian community.

Therefore, we created isamuni to facilitate the communication and integration between individuals and groups of people within a larger community.

Find an example of isamuni at In this case, the Sicilian tech community (Sicily, Italy) is represented by tech professionals, students and hobbyist as well as nonprofit communities and companies/startups of the tech sector.

Main features

So, what does isamuni really do? isamuni aggregates:

  • users
  • communities and companies
  • social activity from different social networks
  • events

Data aggregated under isamuni is searchable, easy to explore and open to other sources/applications, via a RESTful API. See the project unni as an example.

Meaning of isamuni

Now, you may wonder: why the word isamuni? The word isamuni comes from the Sicilian dialect and means: let's stand up. We think that isamuni can help communities to grow stronger together, that isamuni can help communities to stand up.


Checkout our Showcase

More info (plus a roadmap) in the wiki

Getting started with development

Environment Configuration

Some of the features of isamuni are disabled unless some environment variables as set. You can easily set them putting a .env file in the webapp directory with these contents.

Better yet, ask one of the developers and we'll share our ready-to-use env file.

#facebook api configuration (see )
export ISAMUNI_APP_ID=appid
export ISAMUNI_APP_SECRET=secret

#email configuration
export SMTP_PORT="2525"
export SMTP_HOST=""

Development environment

You'll need recent versions of:

  • git
  • ruby (2.3+), bundler and postgres (follow the guide here)
  • nodejs (8+) (see here)
  • yarn (see here)

Then from the webapp folder

$ cd isamuni/webapp
$ bundler #re-run every time ruby dependencies change
$ yarn #re-run every time front-end dependencies change

In alternative you can install docker, docker-compose, and then run the commands you'll run in the rest of the readme with docker-compose run isamuni <command>. You'll need to run docker-compose build when dependencies change, instead of bundler.

You can also opt to have the ruby environment installed, but run postgres from docker. You can start postgres from docker as docker-compose up -d devdb.

Database Setup

With Docker

You can use docker to run the database, while starting rails normally. To run the database with docker, run docker-compose up --build devdb, and stop it with docker-compose down devdb. This option doesn't require you to install postgres. You'll only need to do rails db:setup on the first usage. That's it.

Without Docker

First, make sure that you have postgres installed on your machine. Then create a user and a database for isamuni:

# enter the postgres shell with
$ sudo -u postgresql psql postgres

then enter the following commands, making sure to terminate them with a semicolon

CREATE USER isamuni with encrypted password 'isamuni';
CREATE DATABASE isamuni_dev WITH OWNER isamuni;
CREATE DATABASE isamuni_test WITH OWNER isamuni;
\c isamuni_test
\c isamuni_dev
$ cd isamuni/webapp/
$ rails db:schema:load
$ rails db:seed

Test data

Ask a developer for a dump of the database from, you can then restore it as

$ cat your_dump.sql | rails db

Making yourself an admin

You'll need to assign yourself an email, a password, and mark yourself as an administrator. You can do these things easily from the rails console, running rails c

> a = User.create(name: "vigliag", email:"", password:"ciao", public_profile: false)
# or a = User.find_by(name: "...") if your user is already in the db
> a.admin!

Once you have a password assigned to your account, you can also login by it from /password_login. This is handy, as it works even if an APP_ID is not set and facebook login is disabled.

Running the App

# when dependencies change
$ bundle install
$ yarn

# start the server!
$ rails server webrick

Crawling posts

Run rake crawl:fb, or rake "crawl:fb[200]", to crawl the last 200 elements from all enabled sources in the database.

You can add, remove, enable and disable sources from the rails_admin admin panel

More Configuration

Editing webpack-managed assets

A part of the javascript assets is handled by webpacker Webpack is configured like this:

  • The dependences are listed in package.json, and are installed through yarn
  • The source files are in the /app/javascript/packs folder.
  • The Webpack configuration is in /config/webpack
  • The entrypoint is in /app/javascript/packs/application.js
  • You don't need to do anything special to start the server

Configuring your editor

You may want to install the following packages:

Atom (Best):

atom-beautify (please set a tab-width of 2 for ruby)


"HTML-CSS-JS Prettify",
"Package Control",
"Vue Syntax Highlight"


  • Does isamuni work only with FB?
    • No. We are currently in the process of moving out the crawler component of isamuni into its own project. The crawler will support multiple sources (facebook, twitter, nodebb, etc)
  • Is isamuni only about Sicily and technology?
    • No. The instance at is for the specific use case of the tech community in Sicily. However, we are working on generalising the isamuni framework to support other regions and other sectors too (e.g. gamers, book lovers, football fans, etc)
  • I already use FB and Twitter. How is isamuni better?
    • Isamuni is not attempting to overtake the giants of the web. Isamuni, instead, attempts to solve the fragmentation issue that comes with using multiple social networks as well as the despertion of information within a given social network
  • I already use Linkedin. I do not want to join isamuni
    • Linkedin is a world database for professionals. Isamuni's goal is to aggregate local professionals, students, and hobbyists. Also, you do not have to join isamuni if you do not wish to create your own profile page or company/community page
  • I like this project and would love to run an instance myself
    • Please do so. That would be really great. We ask you, however, to respect the license of the project. Also, let us know about your isamuni instance and we will list it here on this README file
  • I like isamuni and I would love to contribute