Most cryptocurrencies have at least one testnet. For testing, debugging and development.

Is there a fediverse testnet?

@berkes Not in the same way as crypto currencies, as the Fediverse doesn't need that. There is also no testnet for e-mails or DNS. But there might be some test servers out there :)

@sheogorath well, there certainly is and other reserved domains. And testing is specifically included in many RFCs.

I understand there's large differences between a blockchain (and all its stakes) and a fediverse. But so is there a difference with email and fediverse.

@berkes Well, the key difference is that on the fediverse, as well as email and DNS, your servers are authoritive by themselves. On crypto currencies that's obviously unwanted, the network is the authority. Therefore you need a testnet for those.

As I said, for the fediverse, email and DNS you usually find test servers but they are usually not necessarily separated from the rest of the servers that make up the "production network".

@sheogorath Ah, like that.

Yes, certainly: the net itself does not have to be separated from the main-net.

Though It would be advisable for admins to disable federating to/from "marked as testnet" instances. As they will and might act weird.

E.g. there could be an instance on that net which is deliberately flooding or spamming instances as they appear on that net. So you can test how your implementation deals with that.

@sheogorath Also, I'd argue that it does "need that".

At least, I do need it, now and again. When I want to find out how my AP implementation works when connected to a mastodon, I now need to boot one and send it messages or receive msg from it.

AP RFC explicitely leaves a lot open to implementers (MAY, or even explicitly left open) so there's a need to see the federation in action.

A testnet where at least one mastodon is already running, would solve that.

@berkes I see what you are going for. But I would advice against that. You should not throw your implementation against other implementations, but make sure it's compliant with the standard. ActivityPub provides a testsuite at If an implementer of activitypub does not received your standard compliant message properly, this is either a bug in their implementation or a loophole in the standard that should be fixed. This way everyone profits.

@berkes just yesterday @alex released, which is probably the closest thing to a testnet that exists right now.
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