[Freedombox-discuss] off the shelf reference hardware software.

Nick Daly nick.m.daly at gmail.com
Thu Sep 8 02:04:14 UTC 2011

> On Wed, 2011-09-07 at 08:59 -0400, Jim Tarvid wrote:
>> Some commercial off the shelf products approach the design
>> requirements for FreedomBox... A base Linux install + tasksel would
>> get a core set of servers going.

Ted Smith writes:

> This is something that's been said a few times, but it's more fun to
> speculate about "the next DNS" or abstract notions of "identity" than
> it is to take what already exists and plug it into other things that
> already exist...  There's a disturbing trend on most lists like this
> to focus on technological unicorns rather than technological llamas...
> What the Freedombox Foundation could do to address this is come up with:
>       * A list of programs that need to be packaged for debian
>       * A list of Debian packages that need to be configured for
>         non-enterprisey home server usage
> ...Any person with an internet connection and a computer can learn to
> package software for Debian, or learn configure software.  These
> things don't need special hardware, but they do need an authoritative
> voice saying "these are the things we need worked on."

People seem to have a lot of great ideas, but at this point, most of
them are hand-wavey.  What we need is both a place to store those ideas
and a correct sense of urgency for implementing those ideas.

The way I prioritize this sort of thing is to divide ideas up into 3
categories: now, later, and future.  The "now" ideas are those required
to get something out the door, those that are committed to immediate
implementation.  The "later" ideas should be implemented, but need
more/longer term development, or are of a lower priority.  The "future"
ideas are the idea horizon, without solid committment of
implementation.  They either need massive planning, design, or imply
massive infrastructure changes.

What I see for the FBX right now is:


- Package, package, package!

- Require Domain Names from centralized registrars to host domain-name
  based services, like email, IM, and for communication to the outside
  (common) internet.

- Blog Server

- Tor Server (allows using hidden services for FBX -> FBX communication,
  for the folks who want to do complex things).


- Develop!

- A DNS-free routing system allowing contact-based communication between
  FBXs (can also leverage Tor's hidden services).  This would allow
  domain-name based services like email and IM, without the need for a
  domain name from a centralized authority.

  Maybe a distributed routing system that associates PGP keys with IP
  addresses (more on this potentially self-authenticating identity
  system later).


- Design!

- Export the routing system to the rest of the internet, completely
  replacing DNS, allowing FBXs to natively communicate to any server
  with domain-name-based protocols without relying on centralized

Is this worth putting on a wiki page?  Could there be enough consensus
on this to make it worth documenting?

I'm working to turn my plug server instructions into a Debian
(meta?)package to make the Now, well, nowier.  That would allow end
users to configure a FBX by installing one package and answering 3 (or
fewer) installation questions.  I've given myself a month to finish

GPG: 0x4C682009 | 084E D805 31D8 5391 1D27  0DE1 9780 FD4D 4C68 2009
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