About the Tools category

Discuss the tools of the trade, share experiences, setups and configurations.

Librehosters Tools

This category serves to share knowledge about the various tools and approaches our members deploy.
Whenever you try new software, there’s a chance you bump into unexpected issues, that bit other people: documentation may be outdated or confusing, or your special case might not match expectations. The Librehosters network has a lot of experience with various setups, so it’s a place to share configuration tips, optimizations, caveats, integration tips, etc.

As the purpose of this category is to build and share practical knowledge, it’s a good candidate for extensive posts and howto guides. Such contents can be attractive to gather solid information on how to do this or that, and such documentation can be a great entry point to the Librehosters network.

Creating a Tools’ Topic

We propose to structure topics in a way that will facilitate collaboration on specific tools.
A good way to do that is to start with a short post describing the purpose of the topic: for example, to expose how your organization implements backups using BorgBackup. The second post should be a wiki, so that other people can contribute and consolidate knowledge over time. Then the discussion can help gather feedback, discuss specific points and keep the ball running.

Three Simple Steps

  1. Create a new topic, and give it a descriptive name
    • e.g., How the hardware crashed on me, but I didn’t lose your data
    • you can use tags to help identify the content, e.g., #howto, #backup, #restore, #borg
    • the content of the topic’s first post should be a placeholder:
      This is a placeholder and I will update it in a minute… Please hold on…
  2. Reply immediately to the topic, with a placeholder:
    This is a wiki. Unless you have a good reason to edit (obvious typo, formatting enhancement), thank you for asking first by quoting the part you find problematic and explaining your change.
    Then turn the response into a wiki through the wrench icon below the post and selecting “Make wiki”.
  3. Go back to edit the first post with your actual introduction, then edit the wiki to share your knowledge!


Discourse makes it easy to split and merge responses to new or existing topics, so the following is a set of recommendations to save some cybrarian work. The usual respect and friendly, benevolent behavior apply.

  • think long term: we’re building knowledge altogether!
  • if you share configuration files, it’s better to link to an external source, e.g., a public file at https://lab.libreho.st/
  • it’s better to like the first post than the wiki post, since wikis do change more often and can do so drastically over time.
  • "Reply as a linked topic" to ask for support (you can use the #tools category as well and tag it with #support). Note that moderators can move your responses to a new topic, so if you don’t know how to do that, don’t sweat it and reply normally.
  • please do not try to hijack a topic: be respectful and constructive, or create your own instead. If someone is generous enough to share their experience, be supportive: if you have a similar experience with a different tool, you can share it in the same way.
  • if you detect serious issues in the approach, please take a benevolent stance and try to explain why you think it’s a bad idea: not everyone share the same level of skill and experience, and your perception might overlook specific context.
    • if you detect a security risk, you can “Reply as a new message” instead of publicly, so the author can appreciate the risk. In this case, please mind the fact that private conversation may become public at some point, for everyone else’s benefit.
    • it’s good to document caveats and pitfalls, but please mind other people sensitivity and be kind.

“Simondon Gilbert 1958 Le processus de concretisation”. Via Monoskop.