Self-Hosted Personal Clouds (FreedomBox and Raspberry PI)

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Session Topic: Self-Hosted Personal Clouds (FreedomBox and Raspberry PI)

Thursday 4F

Convener: Markus Sabadello

Notes-taker(s): Markus Sabadello

There are still many different ideas around personal clouds, but what everybody agrees on is that they are about giving individuals more control over their personal data and identity online. Therefore it seems logical that it should be possible to self-host personal clouds using appropriate hardware+software at home.

During this lunch session, we looked at two different projects that could be relevant for this purpose.

1. http://ark-os.org/ is a Linux image for the Raspberry Pi. On its website it uses language very similar to the personal cloud community ("ensure your privacy", "decentralize your web"). During the session we got arkOS up and running on a Pi and were able to access its web interface "Genesis", and we experimented with some of its functionality. We couldn't find a lot of software related to the idea of "personal clouds", but we agreed that integrating ownCloud or Tent or similar packages with Genesis would be very attractive.

2. We set up a combination of FreedomBox + Unhosted + PageKite. The idea of the Unhosted initiative is that on the web, apps should be separate from data. When using an Unhosted app, then that app doesn't have its own backend storage. Instead, you tell it the location of your storage provider ("remoteStorage") which you can choose yourself. Several companies currently offer remoteStorage. Your FreedomBox at home can also be your remoteStorage and therefore provide the storage for Unhosted web apps, if it runs appropriate software. In this case, the PageKite tunneling software gives your box a public IP address through which it can be reached from the Internet. During the session, we successfully set up this stack of FreedomBox, remoteStorage and PageKite, and we used the "SharedStuff" Unhosted web app as an example, which allows you to request and offer physical assets for sharing with friends.