[Freedombox-discuss] Hardware platforms?

Sandy Harris sandyinchina at gmail.com
Sun May 8 01:19:41 UTC 2011

What is our target platform? We might target anything
that can run Linux, or some subset with required
capabilities, or even one or more specific devices.

Our main target is plug computers and the ideal
target something like Dreamplug:

That has more-or-less everything we need. Two ethers
so it can be used as a firewall, WiFi so it can be a
home router or used in a Wifi coffee shop, external
sata so it can have a large fast erasable disk.

Clearly we want to support lesser plugs as well.
What else?

Old PCs? Not everyone, especially in developing
countries, has access to or can afford a plug
computer.  Importing one might lead to
complications with currency exchange rules
and then with Customs officials. In a really
oppressive regime, such import might even
be dangerous.

Anything a typical plug can do, an older PC
with the right peripherals can do too. I'd say
this must be part of our target.

General-purpose machines? People have
computers and may not have budget for an
additional computer, or time, skills and
inclination to set one up. Can I just install
the Freedom Box software on my laptop
and use it there? Must it have a separate

My guess is that a separate machine is a
reasonable requirement; we probably cannot
get the required security level on a general
purpose machine. However, the questions
seem worth asking.

Routers? Some of these have many of the
capabilities of plugs, and many of them run
Linux. Cost may be lower since many people
already have one. They would also be less
obvious in the sort of environment where the
Secret Police might do nasty things to people
with a Freedom Box.

Virtual Machines? I'm in China. People here
use a variety of tactics to bypass the Great
Firewall. Free proxies, TOR, or commercial
VPN services are the commonest. Some
rent a little server on a cloud somewhere
and make that their personal proxy. The hope
is that this is  less likely to be blocked than
other methods.

If I did that, could that cloud server also be
my Freedom Box?

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