[Freedombox-discuss] π-Box April/May snapshot released

Josef Spillner 2005 at kuarepoti-dju.net
Mon Apr 15 08:08:50 UTC 2013

Hello Freedomboxers,

For two and a half years now our EU-funded research group FlexCloud been 
looking at how users may be empowered to become more flexible regarding the 
use of public and personal devices, services and assets. We have envisioned a 
user-controlled system called the "π-Box" which, if connected with other such 
boxes, creates a trustworthy "π-Cloud". It is in many ways not intended to be 
used for practical work, but instead may serve as inspiration for future 
client system development, including perhaps FreedomBox.

With the π-Box, users can discover, use, offer and exchange services of 
various categories, including computing infrastructure, applications, data, 
devices such as robots and house automation, human work and product delivery. 
From a trust perspective, it differentiates between one's own services, those 
of friends which can be added through social networks, and public ones. 
Furthermore, it stresses service variations, such as splits and bundles, for 
higher flexibility.

Technically, the prototypical system realisation "π-Box Live" tracks Debian 
Wheezy. All functionality is reachable through a Fluxbox context menu - in 
case you wonder what to do next after the login. The cloud control cockpit is 
also somewhat non-intuitive: Login fields aren't shown until [Ctrl]+[-] are 
pressed twice in the browser to reduce the font size. Many such issues clearly 
show that it's a side effect of research work without much care about such 
software development glitches :)

Download the current snapshot, which is an improved version of the previous 
release M3:

Then run it through KVM with -m 1024, and use "demo" whenever it asks you for 
a username or password. Most of the software has been written by us except 
for the last section in the context menu, which contains stock tools such as 
file manager, terminal and browser. Only one tool is properly (more or less) 
packaged for Debian, all others have merely been thrown all over the directory 
structure. They can be turned into proper packages if there is an interest.

More information can be found on the π-Box website:


I'd be happy to get feedback and ideas for additional functionality.


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