Free as in freedom - setting up our infrastructure

That’s generous!

Wow, @TCT, that would be so cool. In return, I commit to writing a careful step-by-step guide (in English only) to installing Mailpile, creating and sharing keys etc. in the Edgeryders context.

If and when you have time to help, I would ask you to join the Community Crypto project and assign to yourself this task:

It contains a link to the github issue I opened (and the Mailpile guys closed without solving the problem). I recall @almereyda also tried to help – I believe he knows the Mailpile code base not as well as Bjarni, but way better than us.

Back on keyboard

and had to drag the notification out of spam (about 1/3 rd go there) - that’s why I am so late commenting. It is not lack of interest. Will get around to this in a day or two.

On first skim: general agreement.

Puzzle piece I recently found

Is OBS - it is originally intended to stream into the net while playing video games. Now this is not something that we’ll start doing tomorrow. But once we get serious with social network analysis and navigation, I imagine the interface will be so information dense that we won’t be looking at a couple of static lines but be seriously immersed into the network, similar to a rather weird coop-multiplayer game.

Within 1-2 hours of “playing” you’ll cover what now needs 1-2 weeks in terms of getting background info/and advanced sociograms of projects. It’s going to be very mixed media, and it’ll likely have a certain learning curve to it as well - this is why the sort of piggybacking that streaming allows is relatively fundamental. Not to mention that already today this could really boost local/global hybrid meetings, and document a lot of the effort, especially in combination with a hackpad.

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For collaborative synchronous writing its got to be etherpad (what framasoft use) although unlike google word docs there is no notation/comment function.

co-ment is probably a nicer option when documents are being worked on over time, or for more complex/contentious documents.  Works more like a wiki with versions, rather than live text appearing as you type.  It does allow notation/comments which work like discussion threads with email notifications, if someone wants to discuss your note.

I dont know much about it, or if it would be suitable, but your discussions about document sharing, made me think of syncthing, know actively being developed and heard people bigging it up.

Looking at the syncthing website the way they do their documentation using git looks cool - although I dont understand how git works (I’m not a coder).

Someone was also worrying about the direction of bit torrent sync

If there was still the idea of moving onto the ecobytes servers at some stage I guess it would be good to ask some devs/admins from there if they have any ideas or are working on anything? Think I remember @gandhiano @almereyda being involved??

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After checking the proposals in the blog post

Go for it:

ownCloud Server from

Might be okay:

Tahoe-LAFS - security audit needed

MaidSafe - security audit needed

Avoid at all costs: - SaaSS (Service as a Software Substitute); has privacy issues, too - SaSS, proprietary components, has privacy issues - privacy issues, proprietary clients, no public API

BitTorrent Sync - proprietary software


SaaSS -

Proprietary Software -

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Thank you :slight_smile:

For taking the time to do this, much appreciated. So what would you need to be able to set up an owncloud installation for Edgeryders?

Also, you mentioned Mailpile?

I’d like to run a community project called the great escape in which we do exactly what Alberto suggested above, use the tools, and advocate for them over a longer period of time. B.J’s Behavioral Change model could be a good framework within which to design activities/communication, test their effectiveness and then learn over time from them. Paper here: 


@almereyda has been setting up a few owncloud instances on our servers and I’m sure he could help you there. Also Indiehosters Pierre is serving OwnClouds on own infrastructures for a low cost.

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Collaborative writing tools

I’ve noticed that own cloud has a collaborative writing tool, which interestingly didnt appear to be a etherpad fork, but from what I remember its fairly basic.

This conversation, which I think includes some of Ecobytes, just came onto my radar and details a more advances option

Hi all, I think this project could be on topic for this thread do not know if it is production ready, but in the last months they have made a huge progress. Something to keep an eye on. Technically, it requires a linux machine (I tried on Ubuntu some time ago) with a recent kernel (at least 3.x). I could help if you want, but I am not strong as sysadmin. In other words I should be able to setup a working instance, but I cannot promise anything on security side.

It comes with Mailpile!!!

@mstn, what a great great catch! It really looks like an idiot-proof system (I tried installing a couple of apps and they Just Worked).  Plus, it comes with Mailpile! I do not have time now to do an extensive testing with keys and all, but I tried to send unencrypted mail from the sandstorm demo account and it works a charm. Looks like you do not even have to set up the routes for sending and receiving mail in Mailpile. In fact, it seems you cannot do it… which is not great.

Marco, how would it work if we ran it from our own server? Would we be able to configure email addresses a little less silly than ?

Also: @danohu, @msanti, take note!

I do not know if the project is ready for production. It should be soon, but I have not found any roadmap (actually I didn’t do much research).

About email it should require some configuration for the hosting machine (it doesn’t seem too difficult), as far I can see here Outgoing emails use an external smtp server, which could be not ideal in your philosophy, but if the external server is just a dispatcher and all the encryption is done within sandstorm it should be ok.

Yes, it should be possible to use sensible names for emails. I do not know how, but I can find it out.

You should have a look at their access permission system: It is… unconventional. I am not sure to have understood it.

By the way one of their developers should attend Chaos Communication Camp this year. Just spotted on Twitter.

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Ok so how to move forward?

Hi @TCT and all.

Now it seems we have some kind of rough consensus around what is needed, and some options for what to use to meet those needs I suggest we close the “exploration” part of this thread after Alberto’s comment about sandstorm.

Can we agree on a roadmap for what to do/build? Maybe even set some milestones/define tasks with dates?

Building up federated infrastructure and services

@alberto thanks for the mention of Ecobytes and @elf-pavlik for pinging me on this thread.

Ecobytes has been making efforts in the last 1-2 years for building up a federated infrastructure, after 8 years of hosting collectives on own infrastructure (or partially, since the baremetal is still rented).

This is no easy task, as unfortunately many are still locked in the “our” as a competitive thing, or sometimes it is just that the technical implementations that one or another collective has followed, makes it hard for cooperation to start. Nevertheless, as the needs of everyone are basically the same and the advantage of federating for scaling up is obvious, there have been major progresses on this and several talks and cooperation with different projects and collectives are undergoing - IndieHosters, unMonastery, TransforMap,, Framasoft, networks on degrowth, transition and community supported agriculture (from where we also get big inspiration for our funding and development model), to name a few.

Mail is for example one of the priorities we have at the moment and 2 people in the collective are working on looking up the different possibilities and preparing for a deployment on the next Hackathon, planned for Witzenhausen on August 24th to 28th - maybe some of you would want to join? Mail is one of those emblematic cases where, due to the hassle involved in setting up and the need for reliability, esp. regarding all the spam-related stuff, it makes all sense to build something together.

A second Hackathon is also being planned for Budapest on October 14th to 18th, probably more focused on getting web services and tools for the communities - the hackathon is taking place motivated by the efforts to build up the technological infrastructure and services for the next international degrowth conference. A collaboration on platforms like Drupal (and their hosting) would make sense here.

For those who are found of IRC, you can usually find at least some of us hanging on #ecobytes.

The only way to survive the feet of the giant is to get all us small ants working together:


Here is the link for the next hackathon:

Skype recordings

Here is another little program that may help with documenting our skype calls:

That was just a 5 minute search, and I haven’t tested it yet. Perhaps someone can check this out?

@jediknight ?

As for how to move forward

What I’m seeing is this:

  1. We will take the first opportunity to deepen our collaboration with Ecobytes. I guess this might mean that the next iteration of Edgeryders will deploy on Ecobytes. This depends on @Matthias contracting a person, which he probably will do soon, while still in Nepal. Production deployment might be some time in October.
  2. Meanwhile, @TCT has generously taken on the issue with Mailpile that stands between us and completion of the Community Crypto project.
  3. On the same note, we could even skip the Mailpile problem altogether if we manage to get Sandstorm working and can configure it nicely. @mstn, is there a way that you could verify it is ready for production? We would need it as self-hosted, I guess. 
  4. Last but not least, @Luca_Mearelli is working on an improved Drupal plugin for Edgesense. 

If we can get 1, 4, and either 2 or 3 going, we will have:

  • A free-and-open Edgeryders running from Ecobytes server.
  • Free-and-open Edgesense administered from the Drupal admin interface.
  • An instructable for running Mailpile on email addresses. With 3, Mailpile would run on the server via Sandstorm.
  • Some community support for edgeryders that want to take up encrypted email.

Not world shaking, but not bad either! All we need to do is keep working on the items above.

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The answer is “no”.

“Sandstorm is in the very early stages of development. We want developers to start playing with it, but please don’t rely on it for mission-critical data or security yet.” From

As far I can get a vps with a recent kernel, I am going to play with it for my personal interest. I’ll keep you updated.

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Oh well then

Thanks @mstn. Hopefully @TCT will be able to solve the Mailpile thing…

At the risk of throwing in a “me too”, are you aware of Their mission is to host a free alternative to Google tools and edgeryders won’t move there - but they do much work in selecting and exploring the best options available and probably would be happy to share their experience.
How they switched to Matrix and then back to XMPP was a bit confusing, but I think they’re very inspiring and much can be learnt from them.

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… 4 years later, yeah :smile:

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