created_at2023-12-27 05:14:18.47482
updated_at2024-05-30 01:02:08.411836
description Alternative private front-end to Reddit
Matthew Esposito (sigaloid)




An alternative private front-end to Reddit, with its origins in Libreddit.


10-second pitch: Redlib is a private front-end like Invidious but for Reddit. Browse the coldest takes of r/unpopularopinion without being tracked.

  • 🚀 Fast: written in Rust for blazing-fast speeds and memory safety
  • ☁️ Light: no JavaScript, no ads, no tracking, no bloat
  • 🕵 Private: all requests are proxied through the server, including media
  • 🔒 Secure: strong Content Security Policy prevents browser requests to Reddit

Table of Contents

  1. Redlib
  2. Instances
  3. About
  4. Comparison
  5. Deployment
  6. Configuration


[!TIP] 🔗 Want to automatically redirect Reddit links to Redlib? Use LibRedirect or Privacy Redirect!

An up-to-date table of instances is available in Markdown and machine-readable JSON.

Both files are part of the redlib-instances repository. To contribute your self-hosted instance to the list, see the redlib-instances README.

For information on instance uptime, see the Uptime Robot status page.


[!NOTE] Find Redlib on 💬 Matrix, 🐋, :octocat: GitHub, and 🦊 GitLab.

Redlib hopes to provide an easier way to browse Reddit, without the ads, trackers, and bloat. Redlib was inspired by other alternative front-ends to popular services such as Invidious for YouTube, Nitter for Twitter, and Bibliogram for Instagram.

Redlib currently implements most of Reddit's (signed-out) functionalities but still lacks a few features.

Built with

  • Rust - Programming language
  • Hyper - HTTP server and client
  • Askama - Templating engine
  • Rustls - TLS library

How is it different from other Reddit front ends?


Teddit is another awesome open source project designed to provide an alternative frontend to Reddit. There is no connection between the two, and you're welcome to use whichever one you favor. Competition fosters innovation and Teddit's release has motivated me to build Redlib into an even more polished product.

If you are looking to compare, the biggest differences I have noticed are:

  • Redlib is themed around Reddit's redesign whereas Teddit appears to stick much closer to Reddit's old design. This may suit some users better as design is always subjective.
  • Redlib is written in Rust for speed and memory safety. It uses Hyper, a speedy and lightweight HTTP server/client implementation.


While originating as a fork of Libreddit, the name "Redlib" was adopted to avoid legal issues, as Reddit only allows the use of their name if structured as "XYZ For Reddit".

Several technical improvements have also been made, including:

  • OAuth token spoofing: To circumvent rate limits imposed by Reddit, OAuth token spoofing is used to mimick the most common iOS and Android clients. While spoofing both iOS and Android clients was explored, only the Android client was chosen due to content restrictions when using an anonymous iOS client.
  • Token refreshing: The authentication token is refreshed every 24 hours, emulating the behavior of the official Android app.
  • HTTP header mimicking: Efforts are made to send along as many of the official app's headers as possible to reduce the likelihood of Reddit's crackdown on Redlib's requests.


This section outlines how Redlib compares to Reddit in terms of speed and privacy.


Last tested on January 12, 2024.

Results from Google PageSpeed Insights (Redlib Report, Reddit Report).

Performance metric Redlib Reddit
Speed Index 0.6s 1.9s
Performance Score 100% 64%
Time to Interactive 2.8s 12.4s



Logging: According to Reddit's privacy policy, they "may [automatically] log information" including:

  • IP address
  • User-agent string
  • Browser type
  • Operating system
  • Referral URLs
  • Device information (e.g., device IDs)
  • Device settings
  • Pages visited
  • Links clicked
  • The requested URL
  • Search terms

Location: The same privacy policy goes on to describe that location data may be collected through the use of:

  • GPS (consensual)
  • Bluetooth (consensual)
  • Content associated with a location (consensual)
  • Your IP Address

Cookies: Reddit's cookie notice documents the array of cookies used by Reddit including/regarding:

  • Authentication
  • Functionality
  • Analytics and Performance
  • Advertising
  • Third-Party Cookies
  • Third-Party Site


For transparency, I hope to describe all the ways Redlib handles user privacy.


  • Logging: In production (when running the binary, hosting with docker, or using the official instances), Redlib logs nothing. When debugging (running from source without --release), Redlib logs post IDs fetched to aid with troubleshooting.

  • Cookies: Redlib uses optional cookies to store any configured settings in the settings menu. These are not cross-site cookies and the cookies hold no personal data.

Official instance (

The official instance is hosted at

  • Server: The official instance runs a production binary, and thus logs nothing.

  • DNS: The domain for the official instance uses Cloudflare as the DNS resolver. However, this site is not proxied through Cloudflare, and thus Cloudflare doesn't have access to user traffic.

  • Hosting: The official instance is hosted on Replit, which monitors usage to prevent abuse. I can understand if this invalidates certain users' threat models, and therefore, self-hosting, using unofficial instances, and browsing through Tor are welcomed.


This section covers multiple ways of deploying Redlib. Using Docker is recommended for production.

For configuration options, see the Configuration section.


Docker lets you run containerized applications. Containers are loosely isolated environments that are lightweight and contain everything needed to run the application, so there's no need to rely on what's installed on the host.

Docker images for Redlib are available at, with support for amd64, arm64, and armv7 platforms.

Docker Compose

[!IMPORTANT] These instructions assume the Compose plugin has already been installed. If not, follow these instructions on the Docker Docs for how to do so.

Copy compose.yaml and modify any relevant values (for example, the ports Redlib should listen on).

Start Redlib in detached mode (running in the background):

docker compose up -d

Stream logs from the Redlib container:

docker logs -f redlib

Docker CLI

[!IMPORTANT] If deploying on:

  • an arm64 platform, use the image instead.
  • an armv7 platform, use the image instead.

Deploy Redlib:

docker pull
docker run -d --name redlib -p 8080:8080

Deploy using a different port on the host (in this case, port 80):

docker pull
docker run -d --name redlib -p 80:8080

If you're using a reverse proxy in front of Redlib, prefix the port numbers with so that Redlib only listens on the host port locally. For example, if the host port for Redlib is 8080, specify

Stream logs from the Redlib container:

docker logs -f redlib


If you're on Linux, you can grab a binary from the newest release from GitHub.

Download the binary using Wget:


Make the binary executable and change its ownership to root:

sudo chmod +x redlib && sudo chown root:root redlib

Copy the binary to /usr/bin:

sudo cp ./redlib /usr/bin/redlib

Deploy Redlib to


[!IMPORTANT] If you're proxying Redlib through NGINX (see issue #122), add

proxy_http_version 1.1;

to your NGINX configuration file above your proxy_pass line.

Running as a systemd service

You can use the systemd service available in contrib/redlib.service (install it on /etc/systemd/system/redlib.service).

That service can be optionally configured in terms of environment variables by creating a file in /etc/redlib.conf. Use the contrib/redlib.conf as a template. You can also add the REDLIB_DEFAULT__{X} settings explained above.

When "Proxying using NGINX" where the proxy is on the same machine, you should guarantee nginx waits for this service to start. Edit /etc/systemd/system/redlib.service.d/reverse-proxy.conf:


Building from source

To deploy Redlib with changes not yet included in the latest release, you can build the application from source.

git clone && cd redlib
cargo run


[!WARNING] These are free hosting options, but they are not private and will monitor server usage to prevent abuse. If you need a free and easy setup, this method may work best for you.

Run on Deploy

launchd (macOS)

If you are on macOS, you can use the launchd service available in contrib/redlib.plist.

Install it with cp contrib/redlib.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents/.

Load and start it with launchctl load ~/Library/LaunchAgents/redlib.plist.


You can configure Redlib further using environment variables. For example:


You can also configure Redlib with a configuration file named redlib.toml. For example:


[!NOTE] If you're deploying Redlib using the Docker CLI or Docker Compose, environment variables can be defined in a .env file, allowing you to centralize and manage configuration in one place.

To configure Redlib using a .env file, copy the .env.example file to .env and edit it accordingly.

If using the Docker CLI, add --env-file .env to the command that runs Redlib. For example:

docker run -d --name redlib -p 8080:8080 --env-file .env

If using Docker Compose, no changes are needed as the .env file is already referenced in compose.yaml via the env_file: .env line.

Instance settings

Assign a default value for each instance-specific setting by passing environment variables to Redlib in the format REDLIB_{X}. Replace {X} with the setting name (see list below) in capital letters.

Name Possible values Default value Description
SFW_ONLY ["on", "off"] off Enables SFW-only mode for the instance, i.e. all NSFW content is filtered.
BANNER String (empty) Allows the server to set a banner to be displayed. Currently this is displayed on the instance info page.
ROBOTS_DISABLE_INDEXING ["on", "off"] off Disables indexing of the instance by search engines.
PUSHSHIFT_FRONTEND String Allows the server to set the Pushshift frontend to be used with "removed" links.
PORT Integer 0-65535 8080 The internal port Redlib listens on.

Default user settings

Assign a default value for each user-modifiable setting by passing environment variables to Redlib in the format REDLIB_DEFAULT_{Y}. Replace {Y} with the setting name (see list below) in capital letters.

Name Possible values Default value
THEME ["system", "light", "dark", "black", "dracula", "nord", "laserwave", "violet", "gold", "rosebox", "gruvboxdark", "gruvboxlight", "tokyoNight", "icebergDark"] system
FRONT_PAGE ["default", "popular", "all"] default
LAYOUT ["card", "clean", "compact"] card
WIDE ["on", "off"] off
POST_SORT ["hot", "new", "top", "rising", "controversial"] hot
COMMENT_SORT ["confidence", "top", "new", "controversial", "old"] confidence
SHOW_NSFW ["on", "off"] off
BLUR_NSFW ["on", "off"] off
USE_HLS ["on", "off"] off
HIDE_HLS_NOTIFICATION ["on", "off"] off
AUTOPLAY_VIDEOS ["on", "off"] off
SUBSCRIPTIONS +-delimited list of subreddits (sub1+sub2+sub3+...) (none)
HIDE_AWARDS ["on", "off"] off
HIDE_SCORE ["on", "off"] off
FIXED_NAVBAR ["on", "off"] on
Commit count: 1163

cargo fmt