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[libreplanet-discuss] Hello, and setting up a server

From: Jim Garrett
Subject: [libreplanet-discuss] Hello, and setting up a server
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 2015 10:36:05 -0400
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Hi everyone,

This is my first post to this group.  I've been using GNU/Linux for about 15 years but attending LibrePlanet last month brought me to understand the full implications of Free Software.  I was expecting more technical talks, but was pleasantly surprised that the humane implications of Free Software were prominently visible.  I was particularly struck by the session on Gnu Health and two regarding libraries (Alison Macrina's and Jennie Rose Halperin's, the latter in the context of cultural heritage organizations, libraries being the most common).

As a side note, the library presentations made clear that librarians live at the intersection of information and freedom every day.  Our values overlap substantially, and they could be valuable allies, even though individual librarians may or may not be computationally sophisticated.  Befriend your local librarian today!

But I have a specific question.  I'd love to use Friendica and other Free social-network software, and invite my friends and relatives to join, but I feel I should set up my own server to support this.  I know there are nodes available, but I'd like to take responsibility if I'm inviting others to join me.  Furthermore, if we imagine a world where Free social networking predominates, it's a world in which lots of people are running their own servers.  But servers need to be on all the time.  So I'm imagining lots of people running low-wattage small servers, such as Raspberry Pi's (or other systems-on-a-chip) to support Free social networking.

However, I'm not an experienced system admin, and this world I envision involves people who are also not experienced sys-admins running servers.  Hence a few questions:
  1. Am I correct in thinking that running a server for this purpose requires a static IP address?
  2. Lots of inexperienced people running servers sounds like a large-scale security disaster waiting to happen.  Is there any way this could be managed?

Thanks in advance,

Jim Garrett

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