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Alternative Twitter front-end
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README.md

Nitter (WIP)

A free and open source alternative Twitter front-end focused on privacy.
Inspired by the invidio.us project.

  • No JavaScript or ads
  • All requests go through the backend, client never talks to Twitter
  • Prevents Twitter from tracking your IP or JavaScript fingerprint
  • Unofficial API (no rate limits or developer account required)
  • AGPLv3 licensed, no proprietary instances permitted
  • Dark theme
  • Lightweight (for @nim_lang, 36KB vs 580KB from twitter.com)
  • Native RSS feeds

Installation

To compile Nitter you need a Nim installation, see here for details: https://nim-lang.org/install.html

You also need to install libsass to compile the scss files. It is possible to install Nim system-wide or in the user directory you create below.

# useradd -m nitter
# su nitter
$ git clone https://github.com/zedeus/nitter
$ cd nitter
$ nimble build -d:release -d:hostname="..."
$ nimble scss
$ mkdir ./tmp

Change -d:hostname="..." to your instance's domain, eg. -d:hostname:"nitter.net". Set your port and page title in nitter.conf, then run Nitter by executing ./nitter. You should run Nitter behind a reverse proxy such as nginx or Apache for better security.

To run Nitter via systemd you can use this service file:

[Unit]
Description=Nitter (An alternative Twitter front-end)
After=syslog.target
After=network.target

[Service]
Type=simple

# set user and group
User=nitter
Group=nitter

# configure location
WorkingDirectory=/home/nitter/nitter
ExecStart=/home/nitter/nitter/nitter

Restart=always
RestartSec=15

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Then enable and run the service: systemctl enable --now nitter.service

Todo (roughly in this order)

  • More caching (waiting for moigagoo/norm#19)
  • Simple account system with customizable feed
  • Json API endpoints
  • Themes
  • Nitter logo
  • Emoji support (WIP, uses native font for now)

Why?

It's basically impossible to use Twitter without JavaScript enabled. If you try, you're redirected to the legacy mobile version which is awful both functionally and aesthetically. For privacy-minded folks, preventing JavaScript analytics and potential IP-based tracking is important, but apart from using the legacy mobile version and a VPN, it's impossible.

Using an instance of Nitter (hosted on a VPS for example), you can browse Twitter without JavaScript while retaining your privacy. In addition to respecting your privacy, Nitter is on average around 15 times lighter than Twitter, and in some cases serves pages faster.

In the future a simple account system will be added that lets you follow Twitter users, allowing you to have a clean chronological timeline without needing a Twitter account.

Contact

Feel free to join our Freenode IRC channel at #nitter, or our Matrix server.

Screenshot

nitter

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