Open Source Project arkOS Brings Simplicity to Self-Hosting

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A new open source project led by a Montreal based software developer is hoping to make self-hosting less complicated, allowing individuals to take control of their data in a way not possible through cloud services like Dropbox and Google.

arkOS includes a Linux-based operating system and software stack that manages the self-hosting experience completely, according to the announcement. The solution allows users to host websites, files, and photos from Raspberry Pi hardware in their own home, and includes an automatic firewall that blocks access from networks or individuals that the user does not want. As users become more aware of the security of their data in light of NSA surveillance, these kinds of services may become more popular.

Typical self-hosting candidates are technically-inclined, but arkOS uses an open source graphical interface, called Genesis, to make setting up new services and websites simple. With arkOS, running a self-hosted server is as easy as running a desktop computer or smartphone, according to the company. (Genesis is a fork of Ajenti’s 0.6.x branch, according to Cook.)

The company launched a crowd-funding campaign last week to raise money for new arkOS features, including email hosting, compatibility with the Tor network, and improvements to the stability of the main applications. The funding will also make it possible to run the applications on a wider scope of hardware.  So far, arkOS has raised more than $18,000 of its $45,000 goal with 22 days left.

“Keeping data secure and independent from the large platform services is incredibly important for end users, in these days of mass marketing and NSA snooping,” John Cook, arkOS project manager said. “But at the same time, users still want to be able to share what is important to them with their friends. You shouldn’t have to sign a deal with the devil, or be a computer hacker extraordinaire, to have the best of both worlds.”


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  1. From the web hosts perspective, the only upsides of this would be 1) Learning and 2) the "control of your files" (as security will doubtlessly not be as good as most production servers) Costs of maintaining the computer aside, the average PC using 100W, on all day, everyday, at an average electric charge of .10 a KW, means that hosting would cost them about $7.20 per month... At $4.95, you can have worry free. The best thing would be to keep your activities online to things the NSA has no interest in!