Isso

Isso is a simple, self-hosted commenting server which can easily be included inside blogging platforms such as Ghost or Wordpress.

Users can format comments by using Markdown. Isso has spam protection and an admin panel to administrate comments.

The Isso Server is written in Python and the client side is realized by a small javascript. Comments are stored inside a sqlite database.


Note

For this guide you should be familiar with the basic concepts of

License

All relevant legal information can be found here

Prerequisites

We’re using Python in the version 3.6.8:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ python3 -V
Python 3.6.8
[isabell@stardust ~]$

The host domain and a subdomain for isso need to be setup:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ uberspace web domain list
isabell.uber.space
comments.isabell.uber.space
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Installation

Install Isso and create a folder for the database and config file:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ pip3.6 install isso --user
Collecting isso
[...]
Successfully installed Jinja2-2.11.1 MarkupSafe-1.1.1 bleach-3.1.4 cffi-1.14.0 html5lib-1.0.1 isso-0.12.2 itsdangerous-1.1.0 misaka-2.1.1 pycparser-2.20 six-1.14.0 webencodings-0.5.1 werkzeug-1.0.1

[isabell@stardust ~]$ mkdir ~/isso
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Configuration

Configure Isso

Create and open the file ~/isso/user.cfg and configure it according to your needs. Check out the Isso server-manual for explanations of all possibilities. Replace <username> with your Uberspace username and <domain> with your domain:

[general]
dbpath = /home/isabell/<username>/comments.db
host = https://<domain>/

[server]
listen = http://0.0.0.0:1234/

The minimum settings are a link to the sqlite database as well as the host domain and the ip of the local host. The host domain is from where you want to access the isso server - be aware that the comment domain has to be a sub domain of the main domain (read about CORS for more information). The port can be any free port of your uberspace (you have chosen that port during the web backend configuration, mentioned above).

Note

Currently Isso has an issue with the latest version of the module werkzeug. If the code from above fails with the error message "ImportError: cannot import name 'SharedDataMiddleware'" you can use the following workaround until the issue gets fixed.

  • uninstall current version of werkzeug:

    [isabell@stardust ~]$ pip3 uninstall werkzeug
    Uninstalling Werkzeug-1.0.1:
    [...]
    Successfully uninstalled Werkzeug-1.0.1
    [isabell@stardust ~]$
    
  • install a compatible version of werkzeug:

    [isabell@stardust ~]$ pip3 install Werkzeug==0.16.1 --user
    Collecting Werkzeug==0.16.1
    [...]
    Successfully installed Werkzeug-0.16.1
    [isabell@stardust ~]$
    

Run isso -c ~/isso/user.cfg run to let Isso check and load the configurations. If everything is set up correctly you should see the following output:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ isso -c ~/isso/user.cfg run
2020-04-04 13:27:56,086 INFO: connected to https://isabell.uber.space/
[isabell@stardust ~]$

If you get any error message your configation settings are not correct.

Setup daemon

Create ~/etc/services.d/isso.ini with the following content:

[program:isso]
command = %(ENV_HOME)s/.local/bin/isso -c %(ENV_HOME)s/isso/user.cfg run
autostart = true
autorestart = true

After creating the configuration, tell supervisord to refresh its configuration and start the service:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ supervisorctl reread
SERVICE: available
[isabell@stardust ~]$ supervisorctl update
SERVICE: added process group
[isabell@stardust ~]$ supervisorctl status
SERVICE                            RUNNING   pid 26020, uptime 0:03:14
[isabell@stardust ~]$

If it’s not in state RUNNING, check your configuration.

Configure web server

Note

Isso is running on port 1234, as defined in ~/isso/user.cfg. Be aware that the comment domain has to be a subdomain of the main domain (read about CORS for more information). Replace comments.isabell.uber.space with your own subdomain for isso that you configured in the first step.

[isabell@stardust ~]$ uberspace web backend set comments.isabell.uber.space --http --port <port>
Set backend for comments.isabell.uber.space to port <port>; please make sure something is listening!
You can always check the status of your backend using "uberspace web backend list".
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Finishing installation

Now you can include Isso to your website by following the client-manual. If you enabled the admin functionality inside the configuration you can access the admin panel by adding the path /admin.

Security

Use a strong password and salt value inside the server configuration (refer to Isso server-manual).

Updates

Note

Check for updates regularly to stay informed about the newest version.

When an update is available you can update it by running:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ pip3 install --user --upgrade isso

Tested with Isso 0.11.1, Uberspace 7.5.1.1

Written by: René Nowak <rene-n@gmx.net>