How to set the domain name?

In the FBX General Configuration there is an option to set a domain name. This topic and the responses are way too messy and don’t give a straightforward explanation as to what kind of a domain name this is for. Is this for a domain I have purchased through a registrar that I can point to my FBX?

And then there’s this:

It must consist of labels separated by dots. Each label must start and end with an alphabet or a digit and have as interior characters only alphabets, digits and hyphens. Length of each label must be 63 characters or less. Total length of domain name must be 253 characters or less.

Say what?

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That “say what?” part you quoted is kind of a summary of the Internet Standards protocol for the structure of fully qualified domain names. The “total” length is 255 characters, minus the non-printed zero octet for root and the dot (period) that comes before it. That’s how they land at the somewhat odd maximum length of 253.

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I felt it would be more useful to replace this with “Enter here the name of your machine followed by a dot and the domain name”. Just above, there is written “domain name”, it is unclear that it should include the name of the machine (I tried domain name only first, it did not work).

Wow, that does seem like the prompt could use a little more clarification. How did you even figure that out?

What is the name of the machine?

I may not express myself well in English.

The manual for this is at

What I see (in French) is:

If you have purchased a domain name, say, you need to choose a name for your freedombox, like mymachine, set the first field to “mymachine” and the second field to “”.

Then, you also need to configure the DNS server that provides IP addresses for names ending with so that it will provide a public IP address to reach your freedombox when asked for the address of

What I find confusing is that to me, the “domain name” is but apparently, it does not work when setting it this way while seems to work.

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Note that the Domain Name is not necessarily related to or containing the Hostname in any way. In my case, they are completely different. This can depend on your particular DNS setup, of course.

This is a poorly written tutorial if FBX is supposedly aiming to empower “the masses” to do all this without technical knowledge.

Imagine for a minute I don’t know anything about A records, CNAME records and so on.

Will this tutorial help me get things set in place? No. Because it was written by geeks for geeks. And that’s the reason today people are paying crazy money for overpriced Apple products that suck in million ways but how can you blame them? It takes geeks to work the CLI and this same syndrome carries over even into the supposedly user-friendly FBX interface, environment and user experience.

I don’t think so, sorry.

I’m a fan and will be using FBX but I can’t see how I can ever tell someone who isn’t a geek to get one and “just set it up”.

There should be a clear explanation that:

  1. You need a domain which gets purchased through a registrar such as….

  2. you need to setup a subdomain at the domain level using their DNS zone manager - which subdomain needs to be the same as the name of your FBX machine. You should end up with a subdomain such as - (not sure if this the case or not, I’m still trying to understand).

  3. you need to type that same subdomain in the FBX panel

  4. You need to point that subdomain at the registrars to point to the external IP you get from your ISP that points to the FBX login.

Someone please be kind enough to provide some feedback if the above is correct or not.

Thanks folks & have a good one!

I think you are right about the documentation; it sounds like it could use some clarification or additional information. The notes you drafted seem like a good start, and even just mentioning that stuff here in the forum can help people who get stumped.

I feel like you are coming down a little harshly on FBX. Most people who are setting these up want to learn more about self-hosting solutions, not have the technology hidden away from them like an Apple device.

I think they are doing a good job of making self-hosted solutions a little more accessible. Maybe not everything works perfectly out of the box or some of the documentation needs revision, but then again it’s not made to be a device you plug in like a light bulb and all of a sudden you can delete your Dropbox account or whatever.

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Well, okay I figured my passion could be misinterpreted. That’s okay. No, I’m not complaining like some petulant child,

I am 1) a customer who now owns 2 freedom boxes in different configurations
2) passionate to see FBX grow and gain popularity BECAUSE I support the vision and philosophy behind this amazing effort
3) I am blunt by nature and honesty don’t have the time to dance around issues - that’s all.
4) I have customers, friends and family I intend to “sell” on this vision and must know what their experience will be in or many one of them jumped on board - will they get the support they need or will they be after me asking me to fix their tech.

I’m also willing to contribute and the fact I’m spending TIME even on here, is the very evidence I want to contribute.

Hope this helps.

PS: I’m not sure at all if what I wrote before is the correct instruction as to how to set a domain to point to my FBX. I’m going through all this process and as soon as I come out on the other side I’m willing to post something more coherent to hopefully give the correct information in a way everyone can understand so we can have this “box” checked off.

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I was trying to answer a question to hopefully help someone, not to write a tutorial and I don’t know what you mean by geek (perhaps because English is not my main language).

My job has little to do with computers (besides using windows and outlook to exchange emails and make word documents) and anyone I know has no interest in them beyond using email, websites for shopping or other everyday life things and storing photos.

About 1. and 2., yes but I don’t expect anyone who doesn’t know about A and CNAME (actually, I did not even remember that) to succeed with such instructions.

I purchased domain names from OVH and Gandi, I find their websites terribly complicated (OVH is far more complicated but provides a crazy number of mailboxes for a ridiculously low price paid once and keep it forever), I think a tutorial would be even needed for that, and even so, I am afraid it would not convince that many people.

Perhaps an “easy to use interface” specific for non-technical people would be needed, and even so I am not sure people would accept to pay the minor fee.

On your goals, I share the same, but at present stage, I have zero hope to convince anyone in my family or friends, rather people I am in contact with on forums that deal with free software and are afraid to try hosting their own services.

I use the FQDN there and everthing works.
I use the domain,, and everything does not work.

The field should indicate Fully Qualified Domain Name instead of Domain Name in my opinion.

I am glad to get that off of my chest. Great discussion.