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The polyglot approach to the federated social web.

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Sockethub is a polyglot (speaking many different protocols and APIs) messaging service for social and other interactive messaging applications. Not only does it assist unhosted and noBackend web application developers by providing server-independent, server-side functionality, but it also can be used as a back-end tool (invisible to the user) for many different applications, large and small.

Example uses of sockethub are: writing and receiving messages (SMTP, Facebook, Twitter, Diaspora), instant messaging (XMPP, AIM, MSN, IRC), discovery (WebFinger, RDF(a)). The architecture of sockethub is extensible and supports easy implementation of additional 'platforms' to carry out tasks, sockethub can be run on your own server, or provided as a service by a service provider, or app store.


Sockethub is currently under active development, several platforms are being worked on (details below) and are at varying levels of completeness.

For more information on platform development, see the platform overview.


We use Activity Streams to map the various social networks terms to a set of 'verbs' which identify the underlying action. For example,for a facebook friend request/accept cycle, we would use the activity stream verbs 'request-friend', 'remove-friend', 'make-friend'.

Below is a list of platforms we're currently working on and their activity stream verbs (when appropriate) or verbs that are specific to sockethub, both the completed and not yet implemented ones. They all map to the platforms actions.

[platform] - [verbs]
  • Email (SMTP, IMAP) - completed send completed fetch (imap)
  • XMPP - completed send completed request-friend completed remove-friend completed make-friend
  • Facebook - completed post send completedfetch request-friend remove-friend make-friend like
  • Twitter - completed post follow unfollow send completed fetch
  • Feeds (RSS, Atom) - completed fetch
  • IRC - completed send join leave
  • - post follow unfollow send fetch
  • WebFinger - search
  • RDF - search fetch
  • Bitcoin - (to be evaluated) send receive ...
  • FireFoxSync - (to be evaluated)
  • WebRTC - (to be evaluated)

apps built on sockethub

Sockethubg is still a young project, however ongoing work is being done to build applications ontop of it. Here are some existing projects.

  • Dogfeed an unhosted feed reader (RSS/Atom currently supported) [stable]
  • Guppy IRC a tiny embeddable IRC client (IRC platform used) [stable]
  • Dogtalk an unhosted chat client (XMPP & IRC currently supported) [alpha]
  • Unhosted mail an unhosted email client [experimental / alpha]

architecture overview

Check out the architecture overview for a little more information ("under the hood") on the implementation details of Sockethub.

installation & setup


  • redis server

You will need to have a redis server (version 2.x or greater) up and running.

NOTE: redis version 2.x or greater required as Sockethub makes extensive use of the BLPOP and RPUSH commands.

  • node.js package dependencies

Some of the node.js packages require operating system libraries in order to function correctly. - simple-xmpp : libexpat1 libicu-dev - node-stringprep (dependency of several packages) : libicu-dev

NOTE: node version v0.10.x or greater required due to module dependencies.

Instructions on installing node v0.10.x on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS see this

	$ sudo apt-get update
	$ sudo apt-get install python-software-properties python g++ make
	$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chris-lea/node.js
	$ sudo apt-get update
	$ sudo apt-get install nodejs



$ git clone


[sockethub]$ npm install
[sockethub]$ cp config.js.template config.js
[sockethub]$ cp config.secrets.js.template config.secrets.js

You will want to edit your config.secrets.js file and add your own secret string to use during the register command to ensure only apps can connect that have the right secret.

[sockethub]$ git submodule init && git submodule update

You'll need the submodules for the examples to run (uses sockethub-client)

[sockethub]$ npm test

Verify all tests pass, then you should be good to go.

[sockethub]$ bin/sockethub

Once sockethub is running, you can visit http://localhost:10550/examples/ to see some example apps (under development).

remoteStorage.js note: trying to use a file:// URL for this will not work because remoteStorage.js depends on having a localStorage origin available.


The Getting Started Guide is a good starting place to find links to more specific documentation about Sockethub or SockethubClient.


Sockethub is licensed under the AGPLv3


Project maintained by Nick Jennings

Logo design by Jan-Christoph Borchardt

Sponsored by NLNET



a polyglot socialweb socket server







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