Mastodon for Apple II (][+, //c, IIe, and IIgs)

If you’re interested in retro computing, you may be happy to read that I’ve made a binary release of my Mastodon client for the Apple 2. It has been mostly tested on an Apple //c and IIgs, and works on ][+, IIe, //c+, IIe enhanced, IIe Platinum according to emulator testing.

The login screen


This Mastodon client features:

  • 2 factor authentication login
  • Home, local and global timelines view
  • Infinite scroll
  • Profile view
  • Thread view for toots with replies
  • Notifications view
  • Image viewer (toots and profiles), with description
  • Video viewer (without sound)
  • Favouriting and Retooting
  • Toot writing (with images)
  • Toot edition
  • Replying
  • Content Warning (both reading and sending)
  • (Un)following people
  • (Un)blocking and (un)masking people
  • Bookmarks
  • Polls

Most obviously missing things:

  • Profile edition (bio, images etc)
  • Account creation

To get a good idea of what you can do with this client, check the Mastodon for Apple II User guide.

What people say about it:

  • “I will never use this and yet I love that it exists.”
  • “Absolutely pointless, beautiful work here”
  • “All the good features are included, such as unfollow and block, and none of the bad features such as account creation and polls.”
  • “I set this up as a lark, but I’m kind of falling in love with it. It’s a different and surprisingly lovely way to use Mastodon.”
  • “Hilariously full-featured”
  • In the news: AppleInsider, CallA.P.P.L.E,, Retropolis, BoingBoing


(You will find installation instructions just below these)

Installing the surl-server proxy:

See the dedicated surl-server page or this video.

Transferring the floppy:

Download the latest floppy image from the Github Releases page. Use the image corresponding to your Apple II:

Apple II modelFloppy image
][+, IIe without a 80-column cardmastodon-oldii.po
//c, //c+, IIe enhanced or platinummastodon.po

Transfer it to your Apple II using ADTPro (you may prefer the video format), or with your STP floppy if you have it setup.

Your Mastodon floppy is now ready. You can unplug the serial cable from your PC, plug it into the Raspberry, and boot the Raspberry.

You can now reset the Apple II (either by turning it off and on, or via Ctrl-Open-Apple-Reset), and login into your Mastodon instance!

Final step: enjoy!

After this, everything should work. If not, log onto the Raspberry using ssh and the pi/raspberry login. You can investigate the logs in /var/log/syslog.

Once in the Mastodon application on the Apple II, make sure to configure it (using the O key) if you have a french keyboard, for charset conversion to/from UTF-8 (and I’d be glad to add other layouts if you know their charsets!), and configure the image conversion algorithm for monochrome or color monitors.


If you want to upgrade following a new release, you will have to re-transfer a floppy image using ADTPro. For the proxy part, you can either start fresh with a new Raspberry image, or ssh into your existing Pi to upgrade the package – see the dedicated surl-server page.


If you have serial communication issues, you can try lowering the serial speed in the proxy’s /etc/a2tools/tty.conf file – although the default 115200bps should be completely safe. After changing this configuration file, restart the proxy service using

sudo systemctl restart surl-server.service

You can also try to change the serial port you use on your Apple II. The Mastodon client will suggest reconfiguring the default serial settings at startup, if it can not connect to the proxy.

Note: The default serial speed has been upgraded from 9600bps to 19200bps at release 1.5.0, and to 115200bps at release 1.14.0. Make sure to update the surl-server settings in /etc/a2tools/tty.conf.

If you have questions or suggestions, I’d be happy to hear from you, either by email or on Mastodon.