Freedombone Blog

Freedom in the Cloud

Freedombone version 4.0

The Freedombone project is pleased to announce the launch of version 4.0, based upon Debian 10. At the end of the second decade of the 21st century the shattered remains of the open web are a site of ongoing struggle. The freedom to communicate with others securely and in a manner of your own choosing, and to own your data, is increasingly threatened.

Superficially, decentralized systems appear to be gaining ground, but the harsh reality is that the internet has become highly concentrated around a few companies with unprecedented political influence.

There is no freedom without freedom of association. That is, having the ability to define who you are and what kind of community you want to live in. This release includes Community Networks as an initial step towards networks run by and for the people who use them.

Map of Guifinet installs in a Catalonian town

Changes in this release

  • Integrated Wireguard VPN
  • Integrated RSS
  • Extra apps such as PixelFed, mpd, Zap and Grocy
  • A small number of multi-player games including Minetest
  • Community networks
  • New firewall using nftables
  • Improved integration of apps with members accounts (same login)
  • Improved theming
  • Improved international translations
  • Removed fediverse servers. An ActivityPub server might be added in future.
  • Blocklist includes word based blocking
  • Updated versions of apps

Games

This system isn't primarily intended as a gaming platform, but simple types of networked games requiring minimal resources may be one way to get people initially interested in self-hosting. Once you begin self-hosting one thing then it becomes tempting to try other things, until eventually you no longer need to rely upon any centralized SaaS.

Fediverse apps

For this release GNU Social, PostActiv and Pleroma have been retired. Self-hosting in the fediverse currently requires too much maintenance and the default experience without a giant and difficult to verify blocklist is likely to be an unpleasant one. It is hoped that in future there will be other fediverse servers better suited to low maintenance deployments and more able to defend users against the emerging threats.

Community networks

Community networks are where the physical infrastructure - the routers, cables and antennas - are democratically owned, not by giant telcos or people who don't even live in the region. In some areas of the world - especially those parts vacated by corporations as being insufficiently exploitable - this type of infrastructure is already mainstream and has been for quite a while.

Far from being some idealistic fantasy, systems like Guifinet provide a glimpse of what a better version of the internet might look like, after the demise of the dinosaurs. An internet run by and for the people that use it. Not by the government or a megacorporation.

Freedombone 4.0 includes a community networks feature which allows you to locate other nodes in your area, or start one yourself. The exact equipment you will need will depend upon your locality and more details can be found by selecting the join or docs buttons.

If you want a better internet, run by ordinary people not Silicon Valley billionaires, then nobody is going to hand it to you. You have to get involved and make your own future.

Where to get it

Pre-built images for laptops or single board computers can be downloaded here. Source code is here or here. For installation instructions see the main site.

Donations

If you want to keep this project going then donations can be made on Patreon or Liberapay.

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