A redirecting service for FOSS alternative frontends.
Farside provides links that automatically redirect to working instances of privacy-oriented alternative frontends, such as Nitter, Libreddit, etc. This allows for users to have more reliable access to the available public instances for a particular service, while also helping to distribute traffic more evenly across all instances and avoid performance bottlenecks and rate-limiting.
Farside also integrates smoothly with basic redirector extensions in most browsers. For an simple example setup, refer to the wiki.
Farside's links work with the following structure:
|Rimgo||View photo album||https://farside.link/rimgo/a/H8M4rcp|
|Scribe||View Medium post||https://farside.link/scribe/@ftrain/big-data-small-effort-b62607a43a8c|
Note: This table doesn't include all available services. For a complete list of supported frontends, see: https://farside.link
Farside also accepts URLs to "parent" services, and will redirect to an appropriate front end service, for example:
The app runs with an internally scheduled cron task that queries all instances for services defined in services.json every 5 minutes. For each instance, as long as the instance takes <5 seconds to respond and returns a successful response code, the instance is added to a list of available instances for that particular service. If not, it is discarded until the next update period.
Farside's routing is very minimal, with only the following routes:
/libreddit/r/popularwould navigate to
<libreddit instance URL>/r/popular
/libredditfor example will still redirect the user to a working libreddit instance
/:service/*globendpoint, but preserves a short landing page in the browser's history to allow quickly jumping between instances by navigating back.
/_/nitter-> nitter instance A -> (navigate back one page) -> nitter instance B -> ...
When a service is requested with the
/:service/... endpoint, Farside requests
the list of working instances from the db and returns a random one from the list
and adds that instance as a new entry in the db to remove from subsequent
requests for that service. For example:
A user navigates to
/nitter and is redirected to
nitter.net. The next user
/nitter will be guaranteed to not be directed to
will instead be redirected to a separate (random) working instance. That
instance will now take the place of
nitter.net as the "reserved" instance, and
nitter.net will be returned to the list of available Nitter instances.
This "reserving" of previously chosen instances is performed in an attempt to ensure better distribution of traffic to available instances for each service.
Farside also has built-in IP ratelimiting for all requests, enforcing only one request per second per IP.
Instances for each supported service that are deployed behind Cloudflare are
not included when using farside.link. If you would like
to also access instances that use Cloudflare (in addition to instances that do
not), you can either use cf.farside.link instead, or
deploy your own instance of Farside and set
FARSIDE_SERVICES_JSON=services-full.json when running.
If you do decide to use cf.farside.link or use the
full instance list provided by
services-full.json, please be aware that
Cloudflare takes steps to block site visitors using Tor (and some VPNs), and
that their mission to centralize the entire web behind their service ultimately
goes against what Farside is trying to solve. Use at your own discretion.
To run Farside without compiling, you can perform the following steps:
FARSIDE_CRON=0 mix run -e Farside.Instances.sync
mix run --no-halt
You can create a standalone Farside app using the steps below. In the example, the
Farside executable is copied to
/usr/local/bin, but can be moved to any preferred
destination. Note that the executable still depends on the C runtime of the machine
it is built on, so if you want a more portable binary, you should build Farside on a
system with older library versions.
MIX_ENV=cli && mix deps.get && mix release cp _build/cli/rel/bakeware/farside /usr/local/bin sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/farside farside
|FARSIDE_TEST||If enabled, bypasses the instance availability check and adds all instances to the pool.|
|FARSIDE_PORT||The port to run Farside on (default: `4001`)|
|FARSIDE_DATA_DIR||The path to the directory to use for storing instance data (default: `/tmp`)|
|FARSIDE_SERVICES_JSON||The JSON file to use for selecting instances (default: `services.json`)|
|FARSIDE_CRON||Set to 0 to deactivate the scheduled instance availability check (default on).|