Sail the high seas of scuttlebutt with Patchfoo! ⛵️
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Patchfoo & SSB

Patchfoo is a simple web client for Secure Scuttlebutt (SSB), written by cel. It uses HTML forms instead of client-side Javascript, making for a fast and low-power SSB experience. People who might enjoy this include folks on older computers, computers with small batteries, or people who just want a simple client that isn't very hard to hack on.


Install sbot

Scuttlebot (the sbot command) is the secure scuttlebut server program. This is what finds, syncs, and manages the feeds of other SSB users, and lets you write messages to the network.

Patchfoo depends on the sbot command being available. You can install this on your machine via npm

$ npm install --global scuttlebot

or by following the scuttlebot installation instructions.

Run sbot server to start your SSB peer.

Join the network

To join the SSB network, you will need a "pub server" invite code. Pub servers don't store your data, nor do they have any authority or lock-in capabilities.

You can remove pubs, add new pubs, or just sync with other peer directly, at any time.

Pub servers are like a "dumb pipe" that lets you find other peers in the network, making them ideal for new users who don't know any peers yet.

You can find an invite code from a pub here, or ask in #scuttlebutt on Freenode IRC.

Install ssb-npm

Many of patchfoo's javascript dependencies live on scuttlebutt itself, on a special ssb-based registry called ssb-npm.

You can follow the guide ssb-npm 101 to get the registry set up and running locally, as well installing the ssb-npm command.

Install patchfoo

As per the patchfoo README:


git clone
cd patchfoo
ssb-npm install
npm start

As an sbot plugin

You'll need sbot server running in the background.

cd ~/.ssb/node_modules
git clone
cd patchfoo
ssb-npm install
sbot plugins.enable patchfoo
# restart sbot

Install extras

To most effectively render things, patchfoo needs the ssb-backlinks scuttlebot plugin:

sbot plugins.install ssb-backlinks
sbot plugins.enable ssb-backlinks
# restart sbot

Setting an identity

Patchfoo doesn't (yet) have a user interface for writing a profile for yourself, such as setting your nickname, profile description, avatar, etc.

Fortunately, you can use the sbot command to do this, by publishing JSON messages by hand with type about. To see examples of any message type on SSB, you can run sbot messagesByType about | less.

You can find your own public key (your true identity) using

$ sbot whoami

Set your nick name:

$ sbot publish --type about --about PUBLIC_KEY --name NAME

Set a profile description:

$ sbot publish --type about --about PUBLIC_KEY --description 'hi im NAME, I like..'

Open patchfoo

Direct your favourite web browser to http://localhost:8027.

Click on the 'public' tab. You should start to see messages as the sync process with the pub server works.