arkOS, a crowd-funded project to provide private, in-home storage clouds, has raised its $45,000 funding goal to support its continued development as a decentralized alternative to cloud services.
Led by 23-year-old Montreal-based software developer Jacob Cook, the Linux-based operating system and software stack known as arkOS will make it easy for people to host websites, files, and photos from a Raspberry Pi server or desktop PC in their own home.
arkOS is presented as an alternative to public cloud services which have been known to be subject to surveillance, and has the support of many free-speech and privacy advocates. Crucially, arkOS features an automatic firewall to block unwanted access from outside networks and individuals.
In an article on Medium, Cook expressed his concern about the “consolidation and the vertically-oriented power structures” that make personal data vulnerable in large clouds run by third-parties. In a related blog post, he noted, “Decentralization and self-hosting aren’t the most glamorous things in the world, but they are critically important for the future of our Internet.”
Some of key arkOS features include being able to host and sync calendars/contacts using Radicale, host email and file-sharing apps, host private Cryptocat chats, and create decentralized social networking with Diaspora, Pump.IO, StatusNet, or Tent.
In a blog post thanking his supporters, Cook wrote: “This campaign and project has been a massive investment of time, effort, brainpower and love. I’ve done it up to this point, and will continue to do it, because I love working in this field and I am very passionate about creating change in a critical area of our communication. Thanks to everyone for your well-wishes and messages of support over the course of the campaign. They have been huge motivators for me personally. To know that there are so many people who believe in me and this project has been crucial for helping me to follow through and make the vision a reality.”
The crowd funding period for arkOS ends Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013.