Ocelot Social

Free and open-source social network for active citizenship.
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ocelot.social is free and open source software program code to run social networks. Its development is supported by a community of programmers and interested network operators.


Our goal is to enable people to participate fairly and equally in online social networks. The equality of opportunity applies both to the fundamental equality of all people and to the possibility of letting their diverse voices be heard.

We therefore consider it desirable that operators offer such networks so that people can choose where they want to be on the move.

At the same time, it should be possible in the future to link these networks with each other (ActivityPub, Fediverse), so that users can also connect with people from other networks - for example by making friends or following posts or other contributions.

In other words, we are interested in a network of networks and in keeping the data as close as possible to the user and the operator they trusts.


Post feed

Check out more screenshots here.


Ocelot.social networks feature:

  • user accounts
  • user roles
  • posts and comments
  • groups
  • maps
  • search
  • filters
  • and more …

Check out the full feature list.

User Guide and Frequently Asked Questions

In the wiki you can find more information.


Try out our live demo network, see here.

Help us

If you're wondering how you could help, there are plenty of ways, e.g.:


Your donation is very welcome and helps to enhance and improve the network. This software is mostly developped and maintained by the association busFaktor() e.V.. Please support us with a donation to busFaktor() e.V.. Thanks a lot! ❤️


Are you interested in operating your own ocelot.social network or becoming a user? Please contact us here:

For Developers and Contributors


Have a look into our short video: ocelot.social - GitHub - Developer Welcome - Tutorial (english)

Directory Layout

There are three important directories:

  • Backend runs on the server and is a middleware between database and frontend
  • Frontend is a server-side-rendered and client-side-rendered web frontend
  • Cypress contains end-to-end tests and executable feature specifications

In order to setup the application and start to develop features you have to setup frontend and backend.

There are two approaches:

  1. Local installation, which means you have to take care of dependencies yourself.
  2. Or Install everything through Docker which takes care of dependencies for you.


Clone the Repository

Clone the repository, this will create a new folder called Ocelot-Social:

Using HTTPS:

$ git clone https://github.com/Ocelot-Social-Community/Ocelot-Social.git

Using SSH:

$ git clone [email protected]:Ocelot-Social-Community/Ocelot-Social.git

Change into the new folder.

$ cd Ocelot-Social

Live Demo And Developer Logins

Try out our deployed development environment.

Visit our staging networks:


Logins for the live demos and developers (local developers after the following installations) in the browser:

email password role
[email protected] 1234 user
[email protected] 1234 moderator
[email protected] 1234 admin

Docker Installation

Docker is a software development container tool that combines software and its dependencies into one standardized unit that contains everything needed to run it. This helps us to avoid problems with dependencies and makes installation easier.

General Installation of Docker

There are several ways to install Docker CE on your computer or server.

Check the correct Docker installation by checking the version before proceeding. E.g. we have the following versions:

$ docker --version
Docker version 18.09.2
$ docker-compose --version
docker-compose version 1.23.2
Start Ocelot-Social via Docker-Compose

Prepare ENVs once beforehand:

# in folder webapp/
$ cp .env.template .env

# in folder backend/
$ cp .env.template .env

For Development:

# in main folder
$ docker-compose up

For Production:

# in main folder
$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.yml up

This will start all required Docker containers.
Make sure your database is running on http://localhost:7474/browser/.

Prepare database once before you start by running the following command in a second terminal:

# in main folder while docker-compose is up
$ docker compose exec backend yarn run db:migrate init
$ docker compose exec backend yarn run db:migrate up

Then clear and seed database by running the following command as well in the second terminal:

# in main folder while docker-compose is up
$ docker-compose exec backend yarn run db:reset
$ docker-compose exec backend yarn run db:seed

For a closer description see backend README.md.
For a full documentation see SUMMARY.

Local Installation

For a full documentation see SUMMARY.


Choose an issue (consider our label good-first-issue) and leave a comment there. We will then invite you to join our volunteers team. To have the necessary permission to push directly to this repository, please accept our invitation to join our volunteers team, you will receive via the email, Github will send you, once invited. If we did not invite you yet, please request an invitation via Discord.

We are happy if you fork our repository, but we don't recommend it for development. You do not need a fork.

Clone this repository locally as described above, create your branch named <issue-number>-<description>, add your code and push your branch to this repository. Then create a PR by comparing it to our master.

Please run the following commands before you push:

# in folder backend/
$ yarn lint --fix
$ yarn test
# in folder webapp/
$ yarn lint --fix
$ yarn locales --fix
$ yarn test

Check out our contribution guideline, too!

Developer Chat

Join our friendly open-source community on Discord 😻 Just introduce yourself at #introduce-yourself and mention a mentor or @@Mentors to get you onboard

We give write permissions to every developer who asks for it. Just text us on Discord.


Deployment methods can be found in the Ocelot-Social-Deploy-Rebranding repository.

The only deployment method in this repository for development purposes as described above is docker-compose.

Technology Stack

For Testing


Locale Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY.

Browser compatibility testing with BrowserStack.

BrowserStack Logo


See the LICENSE file for license rights and limitations (MIT).

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