How to get invited to Secure Scuttlebot

By Ev Bogue - July 13th 2016

I'm on a distributed social network called Scuttlebot.

If you want to follow me, my userid is @8Qee0I/DwI5DHSCi3p5fsl6FyLGArrnDz3ox9qZr5Qc=.ed25519

My name on the network is 'ev'.

I'm building a client called Micropub. Pull requests welcome.

I've had a couple of people ask about how to get on the Scuttlebot network, so I decided to write instructions for how to get on the network. If something here doesn't work, let me know.

There are three ways to get on Scuttlebot:

1. Sync over wifi

All you need to do is get into a room with someone who has access to the database.

% sudo npm install -g scuttlebot
% sbot server

Sbot will take care of finding other people with Scuttlebot running on the network and start syncing the database automatically.

Then all you need to do is install a Scuttlebot client to view the data you've received

This makes onboarding people at conferences and meetups incredibly easy, as long as they've installed Node.js and Scuttlebot before hanging out on the same wifi network.

For example, we synced up with a kid at the New York Sbot meetup in April who didn't manage to get an invite to the network, and saw all of his posts from weeks before instant right away.

1. Get an invite from a pub

Scuttlebot uses Pubs (as in where you go to drink) to easily punch through NAT. I'm running a Scuttlebot pub on evbogue.com. Pubs need to run on virtual computers with a public IP address, so people with computers behind wifi firewalls and have an easier time receiving data.

To generate an invite from your Pub type the following into your command line on your VPS

% sbot invite.create 1

This will generate an invite that looks similar to this


Above is an actual invite that can be used exactly once. So if you use it and it works, then yay! You're on the network.

To use the invite, paste it into one of the Scuttlebot clients where it tells you, or use the invite from your terminal on your local machine. Make sure to delete the quotes.

% sbot invite.accept

When you do this, your local Scuttlebot install will contact the pub and ask it to follow you.

Use Scuttlebot in the browser

The Scuttlebot Patchbay client is experimentally available in your web browser from an html file. Which is kind of mindblowing.

Right now it only seems to work in Chrome.

To get Scuttlebot running from an html file, you'll need to either download the latest version from somewhere (right now there's no publically posted link to this, so you'll need to email me.

The browser version of Patchbay requires a websocket connection to a pub to get access to the database. For this you'll need a websocket invite.

Here's an example of a websocket invite to my server.


To use this, you'll need to

% git clone git@github.com/dominictarr/patchbay.git
% cd patchbay && npm install
% npm run build

And navigate to test.html in the latest version of Chrome.

Or ask me for a download link and I'll build the latest browser version of Patchbay and send you a link to it.

Once you have the html file loaded in your browser, you should see a search box in the top-left corner. Paste the invite code in there and hit "accept." If all goes well you'll be running a social network from an html file.

I know, crazy! Who ever thought distributed social networking would be so easy?

How to publish a Scuttlebot message →

← Offline social networking with Scuttlebot and wifi