From Join the Fediverse
Other languages:
  • English
Hubzilla logo
Official homepage
Initial release 03 March 2015 (first development release)
04 December 2015 (first stable release)
Written in PHP
License MIT License
Official support channel Hubzilla Support Forum

Hubzilla is a CMS platform and Fediverse's replacement for Facebook, Dropbox, Google Calendar and much more.

Hubzilla (formerly known as Redmatrix) is a modular webserver based operating system which includes technologies for publishing, social media, file sharing, photo sharing, chat and more, including the ability to develop custom modules. These services connect across server and administrative boundaries through the communication protocol Zot, providing decentralized and nomadic identity within the Zot network, while message federation is supported over Zot, ActivityPub, OStatus and the diaspora* protocol, making Hubzilla interoperable with most distributed social networks and the Fediverse.

In 2020 the project was recognized by the NLnet foundation with a NGI-Zero Discovery grant to support its future development, highlighting the contribution of Hubzilla in providing a decentralized identity and authentication layer to the Web.


Hubzilla (formerly Friendica Red, Redmatrix, Hubmaker) came into existence on May 12th, 2012, as an effort by the founder and former lead of the Friendica project, Mike Macgirvin, to experiment with decentralized approaches to managing user identities and access control on the Web.

On July 12th, 2011, the protocol Zot was named for the first time.On May 12th, 2012, the initial commit of the project was made. Blogging features, WebDAV, CalDAV and CardDAV, and also a range of content management tools were added.On May 3rd, 2015, the platform software was renamed Hubzilla. On December 4th, 2015, Hubzilla 1.0 was officially launched.


Hubzilla is a decentralized communication and publishing platform. A server running Hubzilla, called a hub, interoperates with other hubs primarily through the Zot protocol, yet may also be configured to function in isolation. Some notable features of Hubzilla are:

Nomadic identities - a member of a hub may create any number of web identities, called channels. The Zot protocol allows channels to be unbound from the hub where they are created. They may be ported to a different hub, but also cloned, in which case the channel's identity and data will exist simultaneously in more than one location. This provides resilience to channels should a hub shut down or become unavailable.

Access control - any item published by a channel, be it a post, photo or web page, has its own access control list determining which local or remote identities can access it.

Open Web Auth - OWA is a subset of the Zot protocol describing a method for a user agent, typically a web browser, to identify itself on behalf of a channel through what is called remote authentication. It allows hubs to provide or deny access to items and actions for identities residing in a different hub.

DAV - the WebDAV, CalDAV and CardDAV protocols are supported

Directory - a decentralized searchable directory of channels

OpenID - Hubzilla functions as an OpenID provider, allowing users to log into OpenID-enabled sites with their Hubzilla channels.

Organizational use

There is at least one documented large-scale use of Hubzilla beyond the typical personal, family or community communications platform. Peer reviewed publications in IEEE's International Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems, and BMC Health Services Research, describe the use of Redmatrix (today Hubzilla) as a tool for integrating and providing continuous care across the network of healthcare providers serving a neighborhood of 600'000 people in the city of São Paulo, Brazil.


An academic report published in 2015 says Hubzilla/Redmatrix "is currently most suited to be provided as an alternative to the current centralized social networks and [...] can be provided as a service by hosting providers. It has an efficient message distribution model, enhanced privacy features, and provides an unique feature named nomadic identities. [...] It is currently more mature than some of the other implementations and puts the user back in control of their data."

Hubzilla was the only open-source social network solution whose implementation of privacy is considered "Extensive" in a 2015 peer-reviewed survey paper.

Hubzilla is mentioned on the PRISM Break catalogue of software for preventing global data surveillance.

Hubzilla appears as a case and recommendation in the chapter "Tendências democráticas e autoritárias, arquiteturas distribuídas e centralizadas" (Democratic and authoritarian tendencies, distributed and centralized architectures) in the book "Democracia Digital, Comunicação e Política em Redes", organized by the Digital Culture Laboratory of the Federal University of Paraná, Brazil.

A peer-reviewed academic article (in Portuguese) from the conference of the Latin American Network for Studies of Surveillance, Technology and Society highlights the importance of features unique to Redmatrix/Hubzilla in the effort to recover privacy and decentralization of the Internet. In connection with the failure of billions of Facebook accounts on October 2021, German public broadcaster ZDF recommended alternative decentralized services, including Hubzilla: "Instead of Facebook, Friendica, Hubzilla or Diaspora can be used."

Landesanstalt für medien Nordrhein-Westfalen (broadcasting authority of the federal state in Germany) named Hubzilla as one of the services known for "ensuring high data protection and using open standards that make offerings interoperable"

The Digitalcourage association, in an article introducing the Fediverse, recommends Hubzilla as a "social-media-cockpit" given its versatility.

External links


This Text was first published on: It is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0;