Hosting P2P applications on FreedomBox

#1

Though FreedomBox is mostly viewed as a server operating system, we have managed to include a few peer-to-peer (P2P) applications over the years, which don’t really need a server, but are hosted on FreedomBox since they’re usually privacy-preserving alternatives to centralized data-mining services.

If we expand the scope of FreedomBox to not just be a device hosting server applications, but also a general-purpose digital privacy appliance at home, we can bring in more such P2P applications.

Some P2P applications we already provide are:

  • BitTorrent (Deluge and Transmission)
  • IRC (Quassel)
  • Syncthing
  • Tahoe-LAFS
  • MLDonkey

One thing common to all the P2P applications we run on FreedomBox is that they expose a web interface of some sort. We should apply the same thinking to things like Onionshare, which users might not otherwise install on their desktops, but can have the opportunity to use through FreedomBox. aria2c - a download manager with a web client is another such application that comes to mind.

There are new protocols like DAT and ScuttleButt which currently provide electron apps or dedicated web browsers for their use. If there’s a way of separating out the backend and the web interface, these can be considered too.

When we find useful P2P applications, we should think of FreedomBox use cases for it.
In my opinion, recommending people to use P2P applications on their devices is low impact as compared to making the applications available in the FreedomBox app store.

3 Likes
#2

Some projects that would fit the bill (and weren’t mentioned yet):

Those are all interesting communities that could profit from an easy way for their users to run nodes 24/7. The first step in collaboration would be to ask them about Debian packaging and help where possible.

1 Like
#3

[njoseph] njoseph https://discuss.freedombox.org/u/njoseph
April 23

Though FreedomBox is mostly viewed as a server operating system, we have
managed to include a few peer-to-peer (P2P) applications over the years,
which don’t really need a server, but are hosted on FreedomBox since
they’re usually privacy-preserving alternatives to centralized
data-mining services.

If we expand the scope of FreedomBox to not just be a device hosting
server applications, but also a general-purpose digital privacy
appliance at home, we can bring in more such P2P applications.

I would argue the we already have this in the scope. We have always seen
FreedomBox with a social goal of providing use cases for privacy,
anonymity and digital rights. We didn’t worry much the how these use
cases were satisfied by technology (P2P vs. hosted servers).

[…]

When we find useful P2P applications, we should think of FreedomBox use
cases for it.
In my opinion, recommending people to use P2P applications on their
devices is low impact as compared to making the applications available
in the FreedomBox app store.

I strongly agree with this proposal and we should start to identify/
implement these applications.

I would go one step further and say that even when there is no software
component that we can put in FreedomBox for some of these applications,
we should highlight these applications in FreedomBox as a way of
promoting them (and also as a way of pointing to the user that a
particular use case is met).