activitypub-testing is a software package distributed through npm containing tools for testing implementations of ActivityPub, a decentralized social networking protocol.

Recent News


At its core, the testing tool consists of a testing engine which runs tests against a given test target in two ways, and three dependencies it draws from:


The Command-Line Interface runs an individual test and its inputs against a given test target, then returns assertions about the results, whether to stdout (the standard interface between processes in a shell) or to ldjson (line-delimited JSON) for composing with other tools.

  • note: configuration parameters can come from environment variables and/or local file system sources, in addition to per-test inputs
  • see below for instructions and examples
  • see the code on


The test-actor is a javascript runner that takes the URI of an actor and runs all actor-targetable tests it finds in its configuration paths against the targeted actor, whether running in a browser or in another environment


This dataset of behaviors specified by the activitypub protocol, in machine-readable form. The testing of these behaviors is what allows one to make assertions about the conformance of software participating in that protocol. They are hosted here on this site in human-readable and navigable form, and the underlying yaml files for each live in a distinct package.


This subset of the testable behaviors includes only those marked as RFC2119 MUSTs in the specification. It is also available as a package and hosted here in navigable, human-readable form.


These match one-to-one the requirements collected above, although some of them require call and depend on others in the set. They are also available sitting alongside the test code each documents in the activitypub-testing package and hosted here in navigable, human-readable form.

Getting Started

In a shell with node.js installed:

Actor-Tester CLI

# use env var ACTIVITYPUB_ACTOR but default to

# test the actor
npx activitypub-testing test actor "$ACTIVITYPUB_ACTOR"

# to install `activitypub-testing` for use without `npx`
npm install -g activitypub-testing

# then this works
activitypub-testing test actor "$ACTIVITYPUB_ACTOR"

The above command will dump a lot of JSON objects to stdout. See the repository README for tips on how to wrangle the output e.g. using jq

Actor-Tester JavaScript

Using the actor-testing logic from within a broader JavaScript project can be done by importing and calling the ActorUrlTestRun function.

An example project that does this from inside of a web-browser is hosted here on this site; open "view source" in your browser for example syntax.

Test-Runner CLI

The same activitypub-testing npm package also includes the activitypub-testing command line tool. The syntax for using it is as follows:

  # browse all the tests
  activitypub-testing get tests [--output=<mediaType>]

  # inspect a single test
  activitypub-testing get test (--uuid=<uuid>|--slug=<slug>) [--output=<mediaType>]

  # run a test
  activitypub-testing run test (--uuid=<uuid>|--slug=<slug>) --input.anyInputName=<input.anyInputName>

  # run tests on a specific ActivityPub Actor
  activitypub-testing test actor <actor-uri> [--output=<mediaType>]

  # print this help
  activitypub-testing [--help|-h] [help]

  ##### options:
  -h --help        Show this help text.
  -o --output      Choose output media type (default `text`, also allows `json`, `yaml`)
  --slug           slug (aka URL-path-friendly human-readable name) of selection
  --uuid           UUID (rfc4122) identifier of selection

  ##### Examples:
  # runs test inbox-must-be-an-orderedcollection[1] against a valid actor fetched via https
  activitypub-testing \
    test \
    --uuid '5e94d155-ed4a-4d71-b797-d7c387736ecf' \
    --input.object="$(curl -s '')"

  # run tests on a specific ActivityPub Actor (pipe to `jq` to pretty print JSON)
  activitypub-testing \
    test actor \

Check out the repository README for more detailed instructions and examples.

Implementation Guide


Change Log

  • 2023: initial development
  • 2024-01-01: v1 released
  • 2024-01-12: v1 announced


Issue Tracker