Today I learned about Sublinks (here), an open-source project that aims to be a drop-in replacement for the backend of Lemmy, a federated link aggregator and microblogging platform. Sublinks is designed to be initially API-compatible with Lemmy, allowing existing Lemmy clients, such as Lemmy-UI, to integrate seamlessly.

The project is written in Java, which may introduce some overhead but is chosen for its maintainability and familiarity among a wider pool of developers. The Sublinks team prioritizes a more inclusive and less toxic development environment, and the project has already attracted more developers than Lemmy.

While Sublinks is starting with 1:1 compatibility, future plans include implementing additional features that the Lemmy developers have not pursued. This could lead to a divergence in functionality between the two platforms as Sublinks evolves beyond its initial compatibility phase.


GitHub stars GitHub tag (latest SemVer) gradle workflow GitHub issues License


A decentralized, censorship-resistant, and privacy-preserving social network.


Sublinks, crafted using Java Spring Boot, stands as a state-of-the-art link aggregation and microblogging platform, reminiscent yet advanced compared to Lemmy & Kbin. It features a Lemmy compatible API, allowing for seamless integration and migration for existing Lemmy users. Unique to Sublinks are its enhanced moderation tools, tailored to provide a safe and manageable online community space. Embracing the fediverse, it supports the ActivityPub protocol, enabling interoperability with a wide range of social platforms. Sublinks is not just a platform; it’s a community-centric ecosystem, prioritizing user experience, content authenticity, and networked social interaction.


  • Open source, MIT License.
  • Self hostable, easy to deploy.
  • Clean, mobile-friendly interface.
    • Only a minimum of a username and password is required to sign up!
    • User avatar support.
    • Live-updating Comment threads.
    • Full vote scores (+/-) like old Reddit.
    • Themes, including light, dark, and solarized.
    • Emojis with autocomplete support. Start typing :
    • User tagging using @, Community tagging using !.
    • Integrated image uploading in both posts and comments.
    • A post can consist of a title and any combination of self text, a URL, or nothing else.
    • Notifications, on comment replies and when you’re tagged.
      • Notifications can be sent via email.
      • Private messaging support.
    • i18n / internationalization support.
    • RSS / Atom feeds for All, Subscribed, Inbox, User, and Community.
  • Cross-posting support.
    • A similar post search when creating new posts. Great for question / answer communities.
  • Moderation abilities.
    • Public Moderation Logs.
    • Can sticky posts to the top of communities.
    • Both site admins, and community moderators, who can appoint other moderators.
    • Can lock, remove, and restore posts and comments.
    • Can ban and unban users from communities and the site.
    • Can transfer site and communities to others.
  • Can fully erase your data, replacing all posts and comments.
  • NSFW post / community support.
  • High performance.



Support / Donate

Sublinks is free, open-source software, meaning no advertising, monetizing, or venture capital, ever. Your donations directly support full-time development of the project.

  • @[email protected]
    4 months ago

    I mean, isn’t the whole point that they didn’t want to have to learn Rust just to contribute to Lemmy?

    Given how few day to day Rust devs there are compared to Java / C# / Typescript, it was only a matter of time before someone wrote a more popular version of the server in a different language.

    • @[email protected]
      54 months ago

      I was a Java developer before starting to contribute to Lemmy. Didnt know anything about Rust, just wrote code and resolved compiler errors until things worked. Rust is definitely not as hard to learn as some people think.

    • @BURN
      44 months ago

      Yep, I’m useless when it comes to rust. I can write Java/Spring in my sleep. A big barrier to entry to Lemmy contributions is not being familiar with rust

    • Mwalimu
      24 months ago

      Still fair point. The grind is in placing the new reimplementation of federated link aggregator in opposition to Lemmy as if they are competing, and sadly to trash Lemmy and its developers.

      • @[email protected]
        24 months ago

        That’s a fair point about communication and positioning, I just don’t think resources are necessarily wasted if they’re duplicating effort into a more accessible format.

    • @[email protected]
      14 months ago

      That is rapidly changing. More and more huge tech companies are spinning up sizable Rust teams. Rust is basically at the place Go was a few years ago. It’s on the verge of becoming mainstream and has a huge community behind it.

      I personally view sublinks as pretty pointless and short-sighted. It is frankly not that hard to pick up a new language and contribute to a project for an experienced developer, so I see little reason to try to rewrite it if nothing new is really being offered. If you look at the GitHub of each, sublinks does not have more contributors or anything like that, so the value proposition seems dubious at best.