by Ade Malsala Akbar (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
Librehost or Libreho.st is a group of libre hosters. They are Google-like free online service providers but unlike Google they are committed to Free Software and User’s Privacy. They provide many internet services alternative to Gafam for free and without ads. Some of them offer paid server hostings too but with commitment to use GNU/Linux inside. You can sign up at Librehost to get free services --for example-- alternative to Gmail, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Zoom. Characteristics of Librehost are they love decentralization; enable everybody to join open standard communication and gather within Fediverse. For us who seek Gafam alternatives after 2013 Global Surveillance , we now find Librehost. This article tries to introduce Librehost to public by showing several services freely available from them everybody could instantly try. Enjoy!
(Main page of Librehost website showing list of free & ethical service providers)
librehosters is a network of cooperation and solidarity that uses free software to encourage decentralisation through federation and distributed platforms. Our values connect transparency, fairness and privacy with a culture of data portability and public contributions to the commons.
Librehost’s concept is around software freedom and service decentralization. For the software, they do their best to use software that is controlled completely by the user and the society rather than solely the developer, which is defined as Free Software. For the network model, they make great effort to support decentralization and federation when possible. This means taking back control –from Gafam– over our own computing both inside and outside, within our own computer and on the internet. Thanks to this concept, we see multiple free services of technology we Free Software Community dearly familiar with like XMPP instant messaging, Mastodon microblogging, Gitea public souce code management, Jitsi video conference, among many many others from them. This is of course a good thing and a happy news for everybody as worldwide live nowadays it’s harder and harder to find internet service that respects values mentioned above.
Librehost members are individual online service providers called hosters . Up to 17 April 2020, there are several hosters shown below. However, some of them maybe different like the one which does not provide online service at all except hackerspaces information.
- Dark Peak
- Foss Daily
- Petites Singularites
- Pixie Town
- Stin Priza
# Online Services
As examples, I picked up three hosters to represent other hosters within Libreho.st community:
Google-like search engine:
Gmail-like free email service:
Google Drive-like free online storage:
Google Docs/Microsoft 365-like free collaborative text editing:
Google Calendar-like online calendar:
Skype/Zoom-like video conference:
Zoom-like video conference with school facilities:
Discord-like voice conference:
YM!/WhatsApp-like instant messaging:
Twitter-like social network:
Pastebin-like paste service:
GitHub-like source code hosting:
( Nomagic : United Kingdom based internet service, a member of Librehost Community)
(“Your life, Your data” is their slogan)
( LibreOps : Greece based internet service with several interesting free services like Diaspora and encrypted DNS among others)
# Join The Community
If you are a libre hoster as described above, you can join Librehost Community. To add yourself to Librehost, you need to follow guidance here . In short, practically you just need to create a text file in a certain format (json) and ping Librehost. There is also an active forum to communicate between libre hosters here.
Almost every hoster has a donation page but here I present as example pages from the three hosters mentioned above:
- Librehosters introductions - so we know people behind each services and countries where they operating from.
- Alternative-World’s Resources - my big list of Gafam solutions by services and information.
- Gafam x Alternative-World - quick entrance for you to get free, ethical online services.
- What is internet federation? It is like email! - my favorite explanation in explaining fediverse.