January 26, 2021

Welcome to Micronetia

Welcome to Micronetia

Micronetia is a system for people to create their own standalone blog, website or other internet connected resource that is hosted by them so that it can't be arbitrarily deleted because some part of BigTech decided that either the content or its creator needed to be cancelled.

The initial Micronetia project uses a Raspberry Pi, the Ghost blogging/newsletter open source software and the free tier of service from Cloudflare to put up a website (such as this one) which can support thousands or millions of visitors but which is hosted securely in your living room where no one can delete it.

Micronetia Network Overview
Get started by following these instructions.

The Micronetia project is a work in progress but the intent is that it will provide multiple options for software platforms and ways for users to easily share posts and for visitors to easily move from one micronetia host to another. Essentially everyone can host their own portion of the internet "cloud" under their own control.

No BigTech Lockin

The only dependency on proprietary BigTech is the use of Cloudflare and this is because Cloudflare makes the distribution easy and convenient. There's no absolute requirement for Cloudflare and indeed as the project develops some of the developments may include replacing some or all of the Cloudflare bits with alternatives. Indeed alpha versions of this project did not use Cloudflare's Argo Tunnel and they worked just fine. They were discarded simply because the Argo Tunnel solves the whole "poke a NAT hole in your firewall" issue which is such an issue that there are entire websites devoted to helping the less technical user

Multiple Hardware Options

The "reference" hardware for this project is a Raspberry Pi 3B+ or Pi 4 but there's absolutely nothing in it that requires a Pi. The Pi was chosen because you can buy a fully functional Pi computer with all the stuff needed for this project for under $100, however all that is really needed is a computer that can run linux. If you have a spare laptop, desktop or whatever you are welcome to adapt the scripts to run on that. If you want to run the service remotely at a hosting provider, then that is fine too. A future to-do of the project will be to wrap some kind of script around it so that it all the critical bits can be run on any debian (ubuntu) server.

Multiple Software Options

The "reference" software is Ghost for blogging. Ghost was chosen because it is open source, easily customizable and easy to use. But once you have the pi platform and cloudflare's tunnel up, there's absolutely nothing that requires you to continue to use Ghost. There are dozens of blogging platforms, numerous web server platforms and so on available for the Raspberry Pi so if Ghost doesn't suit as a blog platform then it should be easy to add a different one (feel free to contribute a patch to the project that installs and runs your preferred one instead)

And There's (Going To Be) More

Subsequent Micronetia applications will use the same basic platform (Pi + Cloudflare + open source software) to do other things, like acting as a remote file server and/or backup device, a collaborative office (google docs replacement) or a chat server (slack/discord replacement).

The Micronetia project is hosted on gitlab for people who want to contribute, download or fork and uses a BSD 2 Clause license