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Re: [GNUnet-developers] Hello! (brief introduction and lots of questions

From: Christian Grothoff
Subject: Re: [GNUnet-developers] Hello! (brief introduction and lots of questions)
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2019 18:29:50 +0200
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On 6/13/19 12:49 PM, Olie Ayre wrote:
>>> ### 3: How might I make use of my "ego"s and GNS zones from
>>>        multiple machines?
>> We don't have a convenient way to do this, but if you are a competent
>> sysadmin you can just copy the files from
>> $HOME/.local/share/gnunet/identity/egos/ from one system to the other
>> (that's where the private keys are) and restart the peer to have the
>> identity subsystem rescan the directory.
> That makes sense, so to do that I'd probably be writing some form of simple 
> sync
> script to automatically sync between the machines when reachable. Is some 
> means
> of using an ego across multiple peers a planned feature to come up in the 
> future?
> Or is the idea of having a different ego or set of egos for each device the
> intended usage?

We don't prescribe any "intended usage" here. Syncing or separate egos
are both valid choices for users.

> If it is, then what's the intended/planned means of having
> coherency between different devices?

Well, strictly speaking sync'ing devices would seem out-of-scope for
GNUnet. That said, in the context of pEp and GNU Taler, I hope to soon
have a few students work on a backup/sync solution which might
eventually be applicable for this as well.

>>> If not, then would it be
>>> reasonable to run most if not all of my GNUnet content from my
>>> VPS which will be on all the time?
>> Yes, indeed. Same for the GNS zones.
> Right! I understand that better now. So if I store my content and GNS records
> (and maybe also egos) on my VPS, would I need to be copying it to the devices 
> I'd
> be using to directly interact with GNUnet (as with above)? Or would it be
> possible to have GNS zones on each device that I can directly delegate to my 
> VPS'
> GNS? I think what I'm trying to understand here is - from a user perspective -
> what the intended way of using GNUnet is for a user that has multiple devices 
> and
> - at least with a legacy internet mindset (for now) - is after some form of
> coherence between these devices, as it's very rare that someone with multiple
> devices uses each only for very specific and distinct tasks where having 
> distinct
> GNS and egos for each would be fine.

As I said, we don't prescribe any particular usage pattern, both are in
principle possible.

> You asked about suggestions for the documentation, I think having some
> explanation of the relation between peers, GNS zones, and egos could be very
> useful - in particular explaining what depends on what, what things can be 
> moved
> between others, and especially in the more usage-oriented sections, what the
> expected approach is. Describing an ideal mindset towards GNUnet would make it
> much easier to be approaching it in a way where the user isn't trying to
> "translate" the legacy internet into the GNUnet. For example, a section named
> "Publishing public content" could describe the best approach for people that
> would want to do the equivalent of host a personal website or closest 
> analogue to
> that. Another section might be titled "Managing multiple peers" and could 
> explain
> the specific purpose of egos and GNS zones from a user's perspective and what 
> the
> intended approach is for a user with multiple devices, such as pointing out 
> the
> specific directories to copy between machines but also what usability
> implications that might have and how best to work with egos across multiple
> devices. I think there are already very good sections that cover actually 
> using
> GNUnet - the ones for using the GTK programs for instance made things much
> clearer for me to understand - so having more of such sections to cover more
> aspects of using GNUnet would be incredibly helpful.

Makes sense. I'd be happy if someone wrote such sections. I suggest
maybe in a "tutorials" chapter or in the FAQ -- both of these seem
reasonable places for these particular points. Could be something we
should work on while we do the dogfooding at the hacker meeting.

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