[recommendation] Instance Assistant - Browser extension to help make Lemmy & Kbin easier to use


  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Edge - v1.2.3 is still being approved, you can grab the release from Github if you are eager
  • Opera: Still under review, please download from Chrome webstore or Github release.

For questions / support: https://lemmy.ca/c/instance_assistant (alternate: lemmy.ca/c/instance_assistant)

What’s new?

(read on the wiki)

  • You can now customize the instance list to match which instances you actually use. This should be helpful for those that have accounts on different instances.
  • Added a settings page so that you can turn off features that you don’t want active
  • Added buttons for helpful tools that let you explore Lemmy/Kbin communities (with lemmyverse.net), and search across Lemmy sites (with search-lemmy.com).
  • Added a sidebar for those that prefer it (works on Firefox, Chrome & Opera; Edge doesn’t have sidebars yet but the code is there)
  • Fix for issues with the search trigger on the community not found page (thank-you to whqwert!)
  • Various bugfixes, small theme changes, and improved wording

What’s coming up?

(read on the wiki)

  • Working with the amazing /u/howdy@thesimplecorner.org to bring over features from the LemmyTools Userscript^1^
  • Integrating lemmyverse.net and search-lemmy.com so you can do everything right on your community page^2^
  • Adding icons and simplifying the design, as the UI is getting wordy
  • Adding support for alternative home instances (ex. Alexandrite - Issue 14)
  • Ability to have multiple ‘home instances’, so you can open it in any without having to change your home instance each time.
  • Finishing the setup so that people can contribute translations / other languages to the extension.
  • Getting the extension on Opera (no immediate plans, but this would be good to have)

More details:

  1. /u/howdy@thesimplecorner.org has created a really useful userscript that you can find here: https://kbin.social/search?q=lemmytools@thesimplecorner.org (alternate: thesimplecorner.org/c/lemmytools). We’re going to be working together to bring those features into Instance Assistant, so that you can have all the features in one place.
  2. Right now there are buttons to explore Lemmy/Kbin communities (with lemmyverse.net), and search across Lemmy sites (with search-lemmy.com). Both of these take you to the respective webpages. Instead, it might be nicer to have a lightweight version right on the Lemmy/Kbin community page (or in the extension popup/sidebar). This should be possible using their APIs/data access, and I have a little working proof of concept already (see GitHub)

I’m new, what is this?

Instance Assistant is a browser extension that started out as a way to quickly jump from one community to the version on your home instance, so that you could subscribe/participate immediately. Since then, a few other features have been implemented:


  • Redirect to your home instance:
    • Buttons will be added to the sidebar of any Lemmy or Kbin community you visit, which will let you open the same community on your home instance.
  • Open links in home instance:
    • Right click context menu will allow you to open any links in your home instance
  • Improved Error Pages:
    • ‘Community not found’ pages now have better information, a button to trigger a fetch, a button to open a community in the source instance, and more.
  • Customizable popup & sidebar menus:
    • Customizable list of instances to let you quickly switch home instances. This is great for if you have multiple accounts on different instances.
    • There are also buttons for helpful tools that let you search for communities (with lemmyverse.net), and search across Lemmy sites (with search-lemmy.com).
  • Settings:
    • You can change the default behaviour of the extension, customize the popup & sidebar menus, and turn off features you don’t want to use.
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