LibreServer Blog / Return of the Mesh

We live in apocalyptic times in which it once again becomes possible to think the unthinkable. Much of the economy is mothballed. Once bustling metropolises have empty streets and almost no traffic. A pathogen 160 nanometres in diameter has brought the entire might of capitalism nearly to a standstill, and the usual veil of misdirection has slipped aside to expose the naked realities of class division. In April of 2020 you are either an essential worker or a nobody. All of the billionaires, aristocrats, CEOs and other people with inflated opinions of themselves fall into the latter category.

It's situations like this that the Freedombone mesh was designed for. Emergencies and disasters, where the internet is unavailable or untrustable. I hadn't worked on it for approximately a year, since the Debian buster version was released. Mesh might be the future, but I preferred to focus on where most people are at now, which is still very much the client/server paradigm. But events prove that there's still a need for some kind of fallback option.

There had been a fair amount of bitrot. I've switched out OpenVPN for Wireguard, which also simplifies the process of connecting meshes. Some fixes were needed on qTox and various daemons. And of course the switch from iptables to nftables. But now the Freedombone mesh is available again, with more recent versions of packages. Avahi also seems more stable than it was on the previous Debian version. CryptPad now loads at impressive speed on a decade old netbook, and once loaded everything is realtime. This kind of rapid, trivially easy to deploy arrangement without any centralized gatekeepers and exclusively running on IPv6 is how the current internet should be, but very much is not.

Need to videoconference between bio-isolated rooms in a field hospital during an internet blackout? I'm not aware of any other system which can do things like this. All of the geniuses of Sillicon Valley have never considered such a thing worthy of a moment's consideration. They're too busy riding on slides and having free lunches, or obsessing over numbers of clicks.