I host my own instance for the same reason I self-host the dozens of other services. To have control over my digital services the best I can. I have a few server machines running various services. I run like 40 docker containers running at the moment. Lemmy is a set of those containers.

It cost me the electricity cost to run the server, plus the cost of my internet. I suppose you should include the initial hardware cost- my servers are basically my old gaming rigs. Not to mention the time investment to maintain another service. For me, it’s worth it to self-host if I can.

Specifically for lemmy, I seen how overloaded the various major lemmy instances out there were, so self hosting could mean one less user on those instances. I also didn’t see any significant drawbacks to self-hosting the instance since I can still join and communicate with all the other communities.

I tried out my own, one person instance, and I had a hard time getting comments to pull in. I would have to browse to the original instance to view all of the comments. Have you found a good way to overcome that?

I switched back to a more public instance just because I found the process of going out to view the content, back to my own instance if I wanted to comment, then back to the original again to keep reading the discussion very tedious.

Being on a more populated server seems to give most if not all of the comments directly.


When you first subscribe to a community it only pulls in the last 20 or so posts and I think a limited amount of comments, and then everything going forward. This seems to be a common point of confusion for a lot of instance admins.

Presumably this is to prevent a possible DDoS/performance failure vector as it would be trivial to setup a large swarm of instances on tiny VM’s and then simultaneously start hitting massive communities from a single instance and requesting a large body of historical content.

Edit: Also when you first setup and start subscribing to a large number of instances, this initiates a LOT of communication and database writes. Lemmy still has some performance bottlenecks. Once everything is initially synced and settled it runs fine. I have a friend running their instance on a $5 Linode instance that only has 1vCPU and 1GB of RAM without any issues, and they’re hosting users.


I ran mine for a couple weeks, and communities I’d been subscribed to from day 1 were still missing most comments on the posts unless I clicked through to their page. Maybe there was something funky with my install, but I used Lemmy’s ansible scripts to deploy so I don’t know what else I could do.


I can see that, but I expect the main cost of servers are the hosting of subs, not maintaining users.

I expect that those servers are going to need support eventually.


I expect the main cost of servers are the hosting of subs, not maintaining users.

Which is easy to avoid, if you want. You can disallow the creation of communities on your instance.

So users can still join and make it their home, but they will have to subscribe to communities on other instances.

I’m not sure about the ethical implications. It means you’re sort of leeching off moderation and maintenance from other admins.

I guess it’s a negligible point and totally fine, but not sure. Would be interesting if community-admins could share their thoughts on this.


But if everyone avoids hosting communities, then Lemmy is going to die because no one is going to be in a community.

It may not be an ethical issue, but it is a financial one that needs to be addressed.

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