Version 0.2.4

npm install pump.io
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Version 0.2.4

This is pump.io. It's a stream server that does most of what people really want from a social network.

Build Status


Copyright 2011-2013, E14N https://e14n.com/

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

What's it for?

I post something and my followers see it. That's the rough idea behind the pump.

There's an API defined in the API.md file. It uses activitystrea.ms JSON as the main data and command format.

You can post almost anything that can be represented with activity streams -- short or long text, bookmarks, images, video, audio, events, geo checkins. You can follow friends, create lists of people, and so on.

The software is useful for at least these scenarios:

  • Mobile-first social networking
  • Activity stream functionality for an existing app
  • Experimenting with social software

Version 0.2.0 will have a Web UI, which will probably make the whole thing much more enjoyable.


You'll need three things to get started:

  • node.js 0.8.0 or higher
  • npm 1.1.0 or higher
  • A database server (see below)

The easiest way is to install the software globally using npm, like so:

npm install -g pump.io

That should set up all the files and dependencies for you.

Local install

If you want to set up the software in its own directory, you can clone the git repository, so:

git clone https://github.com/e14n/pump.io.git

You can then install the dependencies using npm:

cd pump.io
npm install

To test the install, run:

npm test

Database setup

pump.io uses databank package to abstract out the data storage for the system. Any databank driver should work. Couchbase, MongoDB and Redis are probably the best bets for production servers, but the disk or even memory drivers can work for testing.

If you're confused, just use the MongoDB one, databank-mongodb.

You can find other drivers like so:

npm search databank

One tricky bit is that the driver you use has to be available to the databank package. There are two ways to make that work.

First, you can install globally. For example:

npm install -g databank-mongodb

Use this if you installed the pump.io package globally.

Second, you can install in the databank directory.

cd pump.io/node_modules/databank
npm install databank-mongodb

Note that you also need to install and configure your database server.


pump.io uses a JSON file for configuration. It should be at /etc/pump.io.json.

The pump.io.json.sample file should give you an idea of how to use it.

Here are the main configuration keys.

  • driver The databank driver you're using. Defaults to "disk", which is probably going to be terrible.
  • params Databank driver params; see the databank driver README for details on what to put here.
  • hostname The hostname of the server. Defaults to "localhost" which doesn't do much for you.
  • address The address to listen on. Defaults to hostname, which is OK for most systems. Use this if you've got some kind of load-balancer or NAS or whatever and your local IP doesn't map to the IP of the hostname.
  • port Port to listen on. Defaults to 31337, which is no good. You should listen on 80 or 443 if you're going to have anyone use this.
  • secret A session-generating secret, server-wide password.
  • noweb Hide the Web interface. Since it's disabled for this release, this shouldn't cause you any problems.
  • site Name of the server, like "My great social service".
  • owner Name of owning entity, if you want to link to it.
  • ownerURL URL of owning entity, if you want to link to it.
  • nologger If you're debugging or whatever, turn off logging. Defaults to false (leave logging on).
  • serverUser If you're listening on a port lower than 1024, you need to be root. Set this to the name of a user to change to after the server is listening. daemon or nobody are good choices, or you can create a user like pump and use that.
  • key If you're using SSL, the path to the server key, like "/etc/ssl/private/myserver.key".
  • cert If you're using SSL, the path to the server cert, like "/etc/ssl/private/myserver.crt".
  • uploaddir If you want to enable file uploads, set this to the full path of a local directory. It should be writeable and readable by the 'serverUser'.
  • debugClient For developers, if you're debugging the Web interface and you want to use the non-minified version of the JavaScript libraries, set this to true. Defaults to false, which is what people should use in production.
  • firehose Firehose host running the ofirehose software. Defaults to "ofirehose.com". Public notices will be ping this firehose server and from there go out to search engines and the world. If you want to disconnect from the public web, set this to something falsy.
  • spamhost Host running activityspam software to use to test updates for spam.
  • spamclientid oauth pair for spam server.
  • spamclientsecret oauth pair for spam server.
  • disableRegistration default false. Disables registering new users on the site through the Web or the API.
  • noCDN Use local copies of the JavaScript libraries instead of the ones on the CDN. Good for debugging. Defaults to false, meaning "use the CDN".


If you find bugs, you can report them here:


You can also email me at evan@e14n.com.


This software includes the following great packages of client-side software.

  • Twitter Bootstrap
  • Backbone
  • JQuery
  • Fine Uploader
  • WysiHTML5
  • Spin.js
  • SockJS
  • Select2
  • JQuery Easydate
  • OAuth.js

It also uses these icon sets:

This sample photo is used for the main page:

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