Private instance

I have seen references to private instances, but I’m not understanding exactly what that implies. Is it possible to configure an un-federated instance such that all communication and timelines are restricted to accounts on that instance?

I think most people refer to a single-user instance, with only one user. There are also private instances in a sense that they manually confirm registrations.

So by “private” people are probably meaning “single user.” I also understand that an instance can be closed to public registration. But does anyone know if it is possible to prevent an entire instance from federating? Or limiting federation to specific instances (including maybe none at all)?

From the administrative interface particular instances can be blocked

Thanks for pointing that out. Looks like if I wanted to seclude my instance from federation I would have to block domains whenever they are added as a known instance.

I think there must be a simpler way. Like using a firewall or some small tinker in the code.

Joining the conversation a bit late, but I have the exact same question: how to run a unfederated Mastodon instance? I’ve seen a few mentions online of people doing so, but with no technical details…
Looking at the code base, I’m guessing the .env.production file is the place to set that up (link)
Can anyone confirm, or give some guidance?

This settings just changes the external domain name for your instance.

Thanks for answering. My guess was that commenting these lines out, or something similar, could somehow prevent federation (as there would be no external domain given) - but my lack of expertise in the technologies involved is obvious here :slight_smile:
So, is there still no documented method for running an instance isolated from the fediverse?

No, you could try to block access to some URLs that can be used for federation and it wouldn’t probably somet forms to attempt federation.