Fosshost Interview: Open Source Hosting Provider for FOSS Projects

Fosshost


Introduced here at 9to5Linux about four months ago, Fosshost is a not-for-profit hosting provider for FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) projects. They offer hosting services like virtualized infrastructure, mirrors, storage, collaboration, and domain name to open-source projects who meet their eligibility criteria.

Among the big names that Fosshost offers its services, there’s Debian GNU/Linux, GNOME, Xfce, The Tor Project, IPFire, Xubuntu, Armbian, Linux Lite, Manjaro Linux, Deepin Linux, FreeCAD, F-Droid, Qubes OS, Serpent OS, Ubuntu Unity, and many more.

I wanted to learn a bit more about this awesome initiative and their future endeavors, so I spoke with Thomas, the Founder of Fosshost.

Hi, welcome to 9to5Linux! First, I want to say a big THANK YOU for all the great work that you’re doing for FOSS projects. Please introduce yourself to my readers, just in case they don’t know you already.

Hi, I am Thomas, the Founder of fosshost.org. Fosshost began in April 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and we provide world-class hosting services to more than 60 open source projects globally, including Debian, Armbian, GNOME, XFCE, Graphene, and the Free Software Foundation Europe.

By providing our services to the heart of the Open Source community we can remove the barriers and costs associated with cloud computing. We rely upon the kind donations and sponsorship of established hosting providers including FDCservers, Equinix Metal, Host Key, Digital Ocean, Jolt, and Serverius.

I’m curious to know when and how were you introduced to Linux and Open Source and if you’re using Linux in your daily workflow? If so, what’s your favorite distribution and how did the FOSS movement changed your life?

I became involved with Linux at a very young age as I have always had an interest in the command line, bare metal, and the data centre environment. I was taught Linux by a guy from Australia and the first OS we practiced on was Debian. Sadly I lost contact with him but I am always grateful for the support and knowledge I learned from him. Since then, I have been involved with various open software communities and projects including Freenode.

How did you come with the idea of Fosshost?

There are so many talented individuals and projects who produce free software. We provide these projects with the foundations and platform to design, develop, test, and host their project. This unique offering supports the adoption and movement of free software. We believe that we are the most active organization of its kind within Europe.

Besides hosting, what other services are you offering to free and Open Source projects?

Typically, we provide virtualized infrastructure to projects, but we also help with domain names, web and email hosting, storage, and community collaboration. We will always be happy to discuss with Open Source projects bespoke or custom requirements.

Four months ago when I discovered Fosshost, you were hosting only a handful of projects. I see that you’re now offering hosting to more than 60 open source projects. What are your plans for the future to attract more projects?

Indeed! Since Fosshost launched, we have witnessed a rapid growth. We believe that this is in part due to the current uncertain economic times and high unemployment rates due to COVID-19 and our commitment to supporting the Open Source community.

We are proud to have helped so many projects, and we have lots of interesting projects currently in progress to further expand our services, such as the Fosshost CDN, which will be an AnyCast CDN available to the Open Source community providing distributed DNS and GeoIP HTTPs.

CDN sounds very interesting, could you please tell me more about Fosshost CDN?

Essentially we have built an AnyCast CDN which is in more than 17 PoPs globally, thanks to our sponsors. The AnyCast CDN will provide DNS services as well as Geo IP services for HTTPs content such as our mirrors projects and static file hosting.

It will be exclusively for Open Source projects and is entirely non-commercial. The CDN is being provisioned on the Fosshost / Nate Sales AS34553.

I see you recently partnered with Ampere Computing, what’s that all about?

Ampere Computing the ARM-based computer chip processor has agreed to support and work in partnership with Fosshost to provide ARM64 hardware which will be provisioned for virtualization for projects to use for build and development purposes.

The donation by Ampere Computing is extremely kind, thanks to you Ampere and Peter Pouliot. We will have three 1u Lenovo eMAG systems with 128GB RAM. Those interested can read more about this partnership here.

Thank you for your time and stay safe!

Thank you for the virtual interview with 9to5linux.com and Marius!

Last updated 3 days ago

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