This is a project to create a network appliance on top of Debian.

Network Topology

Out of box, the node should:

  • Bridge available wireless networks (connect to each)
  • Optionally provide an AP/Repeater
  • As DHCP server (gateway or similar)
  • Wireless

    Advertising Services on Connected Networks

    Goals:

  • A base appliance which takes care of low-level network autodiscovery and provides a framework for automation

  • Package notes are intended to outline a strategy for implementing a Neighborhood-Area social networking appliance.

There is a groundswell of popular support for the development of decentralized, federated social networking systems for f*&%book-style broadcast messaging without the central server. In this session we will be designing a Debian/Ubuntu variant with an embedded social networking server. It should provide neighborhood-area social networking services out-of-box, and be able to function in isolation or when intermittently connected to other nodes and the global Internet, and should provide a high level model of interaction around users, activity streams, and groups as well as low-level services such as automatic propagation of data and on-by-default encryption and identity verification, and should be extensible via 3rd-party apps. This project is not about creating code, per se, rather it is about identifying and integrating the smartest existing solutions in the open world to these difficult network problems. Bring your ideas, research notes, and working code, and be prepared to do some design!

http://wiki.barcampportland.org/index.php?title=BarCampPortland4SessionIdeas

Encryption/Identity

  • The first step in participating in the network should be creating an identity.
  • It should be possible to reuse an existing personal key-pair.
  • The private key should be kept securely

Browser-based “SSL Smartcards” seem interesting.

  • http://blogs.sun.com/bblfish/entry/foaf_ssl_adding_security_to
  • http://blogs.sun.com/bblfish/entry/sketch_of_a_foaf_ssl
  • http://webr3.org/blog/uncategorized/rdf-support-in-node-js/

I’m interested in two main usecases:

  1. Repeatable virtual servers with components pre-configured (“orchestration”)
  2. Neighborhood social networking appliances which provide semi-autonomous (federated) network services to the local area.

The second project is by far the more ambitious, while the first has potential for profit (it makes me more productive in serving clients and launching services). The first provides some foundation for the second.

Ingredients:

  • A APT package repository containing custom components on top of Ubuntu or Debian. To create an appliance, just install minimal Ubuntu, and then install the appropriate metapackage.
  • Possibly some Puppet or other orchestration
  • Alot of autodiscovery of peers and services
  • .. TODO: finish

References

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