LibreServer Blog / LibreServer Bullseye release 1
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With this initial release for Debian Bullseye the Freedombone project changes to a new domain with a new name: LibreServer at Although the name has changed the goal remains substantially the same - to make it easier to self-host internet services on low cost hardware that you personally own and control. It's about having some place on the internet which is genuinely yours, and where Google or Facebook are not acting as gatekeepers or bridge trolls. Getting back to the idea of the internet as a network of peers with a better balance of power.

Changes in this release

The most important changes are as follows:

Web admin menu

Changing strategy

“What we have is tech that subordinates human needs to corporate power. You could call that dystopian if you like, but maybe it’s something worse” - McKenzie Wark

Back in 2010 the idea was that anyone with a plug server and a suitably configured Debian stack would be able to have independent communications, flipping the table on Facebook. More than a decade later time has proven that the problem is a tougher one to crack than initial expectations implied. There is now more interest in self-hosting, and more people are doing it, but getting to the point of mass adoption has proven to be elusive mostly due to infrastructural and education hurdles.

This doesn't mean that self-hosting is no longer relevant, but that it is a limited tool. A tactic rather than a panacea. Other complementary initiatives will be required in order to get to a place where networks are no longer monopoly controlled. As indicated in the last release, community networks like Guifinet or NYC Mesh in which the last mile is owned by the people who use it may be an important step. Combine that with open hardware designs and some of the barriers to self-hosting would begin to fall. But this could be a long term struggle throughout the first half of this century, and success is by no means guaranteed.

The alternative to community run networks and services is what we have now, but worse: a world of total surveillance, artificial scarcity and information lockdown. If this is a world we do not want then we ought to be doing something about it. Complaining from the sidelines about the latest BigTech abuses or lobbying slimy politicians is not enough. One way or another, you need to become active.

How to install

Installation instructions can be found here. You will need a Raspberry Pi 4 or any x86 machine, such as an old laptop. If you're not installing the onion version then you will need to own a domain name and have a Dynamic DNS account somewhere or an equivalent VPN setup.

At the present time Armbian doesn't have official builds for Debian 11, but once that occurs installing on a single board computer running Armbian will be a viable option also.