Support the future of the self-hosted Web.






pledged of $45,000


days left

Campaign Ended

This campaign is now finished! This page is an archive of the funding campaign we led in November-December of 2013. If you would still like to make a donation without receiving a reward, please visit the Donations site. For questions, please contact the project via Twitter or via email.

What is arkOS?

arkOS is an open-source platform for securely self-hosting your online life. It is designed to help its users take control of their personal data, and to make running a server as easy as using a desktop computer.

arkOS is an operating system and software stack designed to easily host your own website, webapps, email, "cloud", social networks and more, all within arm's reach. It does this by interfacing with existing software and allowing the user to easily update and change settings with a graphical interface. No more need to depend on external cloud services, which can be insecure "walled gardens" that require you to give up control over your data. No more need to rely on proprietary boxes in your house that do fifty different tiny things but not all of them at once. And no more need for volumes of books on system administration, and years of time spent learning the tips-and-tricks. arkOS makes running a server just as easy as running your own desktop PC - no need to touch the command line!

It is far more than just an operating system. arkOS will have several different components that come together to make a seamless self-hosting experience possible, no matter what device you are using it on. Each of these components will work with each other out-of-the-box, allowing you to host your websites, email, social networking accounts, cloud services, and many other things from your arkOS node. Chief among these is the graphical server management application called Genesis.

Genesis is an application that allows you to add, remove, modify and customize the different facets of your arkOS node. From here, you can easily install plugins and server apps, upload files, manage your cloud, update your system and much more. You can monitor the health of your system and get alerts if a problem occurs. Genesis can even back up your information and store it in case you make a mistake.

All source code for arkOS applications is licensed under the GNU GPLv3, and all available on Github.

arkOS in the Media

Feature in VentureBeat

Interview with Computerworld Australia

Feature in Raspberry Pi Geek (German)

Interview with

What can it do right now?

Genesis, and the arkOS project as a whole, has been in development for several months now. It is currently considered in Alpha phase, and runs well on the Raspberry Pi microcomputer, its first focused platform. Despite this, you can already do a good deal of things with it:

  • Host your own website using Wordpress, Jekyll, or with your own HTML/PHP. Install these sites and have your system configure them automatically without you having to lift a finger
  • Bring your "cloud" home by running an ownCloud instance and syncing your files, photos, music, calendars, contacts and more
  • Manage security for these services with an integrated automatic firewall and defense system
  • Generate SSL certificates quickly and easily, and assign them to your services with the press of a button
  • Install and remove apps or plugins just like you would on your iPhone, with a handy Applications pane that tracks down dependencies for you
  • Manage your server with a variety of additional tools, such as Network Connections

All of this is done in an easy and intuitive way using Genesis.

Why Crowdfunding?

arkOS is launching a crowdfunding campaign to support its continued development over the course of the next year. It has been a labour of love up to this point, relying on the developer's income for all of its infrastructure and free time as a side project. As the project grows, it will require more resources if it is to be successful. In order to prioritize development and devote more attention to a stable and secure release, I am seeking to fund one year of full-time development, as well as investments in additional infrastructure and support for the project. Once the one year of full-time development is over, the project should be able to sustain itself through donations and the provision of services that help users with the self-hosting process.

The best way to ensure that arkOS succeeds is to give it the time and attention it needs in order to go from rough-around-the-edges alpha to solid and secure self-hosting solution. That is what this crowdfunding campaign is designed to do.

On the Agenda

Here are the things that your contribution will help achieve for arkOS in the coming months.

Efficiency, security and design

arkOS' central utility is called Genesis. Genesis is an application that interfaces with software running on your arkOS node and allows you to modify it with a easy-to-use and intuitive graphical interface. You have instant access to your decentralized web presence, hosted from home and kept off the "cloud." Simply install the right plugins for the features you want in Genesis and it takes care of the rest. Genesis uses an extensible framework, meaning additional tools can be made to work with it, and installed/removed in a modular fashion. Genesis is a work-in-progress, originally forked from a prior project Ajenti.

In keeping with the project's core values, Genesis is intended to be easy to use and to feature an intuitive design. This is what sets it apart from most server managers out there. Most of them allow you to run your server graphically, true, but they don't actually make the experience easier, using common language and visual styles across the board that enable non-system administrators to host their own services. Genesis changes this.

Genesis is the core of arkOS, and it needs a lot of work before it will be stable enough for everyone to use and rely on. We have already had a good showing from individuals willing to bugtest features, but the aim is to make Genesis a tool that is stable by design. This will require more time spent in shoring up its core frameworks and features, making them more efficient on low-performance devices, and providing security verification.

Get more information about Genesis, or check out its documentation.

The true centre of your self-hosted Internet

As it stands in its alpha version, arkOS already allows you to do some pretty cool things. You can, for example, run a Wordpress blog from home, play with a Jekyll static site, or sync your calendars and files with an ownCloud instance. Generating SSL certificates and assigning them to these services is super easy. Managing access controls via the built-in firewall and defense rules with fail2ban integration is hot off the presses.

Your contribution will help take self-hosting with arkOS to the next level. Here is a list of things on the agenda to add over the course of the next year:

  • Host your calendars/contacts and sync them effortlessly across devices (using Radicale)
  • Host your own "Dropbox"-like clone, accessing your files from anywhere
  • Host your own email on your custom domain
  • Get started with decentralized social networking, using Diaspora, Pump.IO, StatusNet, or Tent
  • Host your own XMPP chat server on your custom domain, or run a private Cryptocat server to talk with your friends
  • Share your arkOS services as Tor Hidden Services
  • Register a domain from inside Genesis, instantly setting it up to work with your running services, or use a dynamic DNS address for the same purposes (see below)
  • Integration with RetroShare, Tahoe-LAFS, CJDNS and much much more

This is just the tip of the iceberg - there are many more features planned in addition to these with the aim of truly making self-hosting a snap.

Branching out with arkOS CONNECT

Ask anyone and they will tell you: self-hosting is not easy. arkOS intends to change that, but there are many obstacles that exist these days that one simply cannot fix without some outside help. This is where arkOS CONNECT comes in.

arkOS CONNECT is the name given to a suite of planned and actively-developed tools that will allow users to self-host their data but still rely on certain services for availability and stability concerns.

The first tool is called DelugeDNS, which will provision dynamic DNS addresses and automatically set this up within Genesis at the user's behest. DelugeDNS will also be able to proxy requests to different ports on the user's device, should the required ports not be accessible normally. A working prototype is already being tweaked and will be improved over the next six months.

Another tool in the works is called Drydock. Drydock will be a simple backup sync service only for arkOS-powered servers. Backups can be made transparently in the background on your server, to ensure that your data is safe in the event of power outages, data corruption, hungry pets or any other problem your self-hosted server might encounter. All data will be encrypted locally on the device before being stored on central servers, available for restore anytime (provided you have the encryption key you used to first save it).

More tools will follow after that. All of these services will be entirely optional, and will be offered to help the self-hosting process be as easy and secure as it can be while still providing for decent reliability. Your contributions will go toward making these exciting new options a reality.

Running on anything

One of arkOS' goals is to make self-hosting accessible, no matter what you are running. If you have an old desktop PC collecting dust in your closet, but don't have access to a Raspberry Pi, you should be able to refurbish that PC and run arkOS on it without any troubles.

We are hoping to extend support first to armv7, then to armv5, then to full-sized platforms like x86/64. In order to achieve this, new repositories and management systems need to be devised in order to provide for the different architectures. This takes time, effort and network capacity to get off the ground. Your contributions will help in making these new repositories a reality.

About Me

My name is Jacob Cook. I'm a 23-year-old software developer and student based out of Montréal, Québec, Canada. I am arkOS' project leader and main developer. Decentralization and distributed services are causes I'm passionate about. My work on arkOS brings these interests together with my knack for Linux system administration (my day job) and a growing interest in the fields of software development and security.

In addition to myself, there are other contributors to arkOS who have worked on core functionality, plugins and new tools, who are based all over the world.

I hope that you find this project and its goals worthy of your hard-earned donations. Please leave a comment via the Questions tab above if you have any, I appreciate constructive criticism and am always willing to engage with interested parties.

Open Project with an Open Philosophy

arkOS isn't merely an idea on paper: viable alpha versions of many of its tools are already available for download and testing. When you back this campaign, know that your contribution rests with an established project that is growing by leaps and bounds.

At its core, arkOS is a community effort to push forward the technical capability of self-hosting and decentralization of services. It is not a business, it will never operate on a for-profit basis, and will always encourage and value input/contributions from any interested user. arkOS source code is licensed under the GNU GPLv3, and all available on Github.

The project has many different forms of contact that are very actively updated with project news and updates of all shapes and sizes. I frequently post development updates to let people know the things I'm working on on the forums, even when no software is being released or major news comes up. You can expect constant and timely updates and responses to inquiries, just like I've always done, should you decide to back this campaign.

Thank you for your support!

Campaign Ended

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Project

Q. What is the project's mission?

A. arkOS's goal is to provide the easiest, most secure and most reliable way to host Internet-connected services for individual users. The project aims to be open-source, portable between device architectures, and (for more advanced users) portable between operating systems. Whether they choose to run these services from their own home, or to use a virtual private server (VPS) or rented space elsewhere, arkOS aims to cut down on the time, money and knowledge required to securely host these services.

Q. Why is arkOS being developed? Why should I care?

A. arkOS represents one of the many ways in which individuals can take steps to secure their data. Whether it is from corporations that want to use privately-stored information for marketing purposes, random strangers who have no business with your information, or dishonest governments spying on the content of your communications, arkOS can be used to help users become more self-reliant when it comes to the many forms of data we store on the Internet. Whenever one point carries such a huge amount of our data on different users in various forms (like Google, Facebook, etc.), there is one single point of failure, meaning that the monopoly becomes less responsible to individual wishes, and less secure against potential abuses of data en masse. arkOS aims to help change this trend. While its true that decentralizing data on your own device also creates a single point of failure, this point rests under your control - meaning you can take steps to secure it, to ensure its reliability and its support.

Q. What will the project be able to do when it reaches its first major release?

A. With arkOS, users will be able to host a wide variety of different websites and web applications. They will also be able to host their own email on their own domain, as well as chat servers, file sharing for personal or public use, cloud services like hosted calendar and contacts, and much more. All of these services will be automatically configured by the software itself, and all of this will be done with a special Security framework, giving users granular control over what computers and services can access the individual applications.

Q. What sort of platforms does arkOS support?

A. Currently arkOS can be run on a Raspberry Pi, but with your support it will be expanded to other platforms too: other single-board computers like the BeagleBoard Black or the CubieBoard platform, or to full-size x86/64 computers and virtual machines.

Q. What is the current state of the project and its development?

A. arkOS is in Alpha phase – that means the project is being actively developed and its features are mostly in early, rough stages. Currently one can use arkOS and its graphical management utility Genesis to host a website (WordPress, Jekyll, ownCloud or a custom site), run a Windows (Samba) file share, or set up a torrent server. The core security, database and SSL frameworks of arkOS are also mostly functional.

Q. When will the project be stable enough for general use?

A. The core of arkOS (and of Genesis) is expected to enter general Beta phase early in 2014. At this point, users interested in using arkOS to host their software can expect relative stability, provided that they install any important updates in a timely manner. The project targets to have its first major release in Summer 2014.

Q. Why should users consider trying arkOS instead of any other Linux distribution or server software stack out there?

A. arkOS is focused on ease-of-use for the end user, and creating the best possible experience for self-hosting one's own data, no matter what the format may be. That being said, other Linux distributions or projects are typically geared towards functional setups that require significant knowledge of Linux, the command line, and the backends of the different tools that one wants to host. arkOS changes this by providing an experience for running a server that is both uniform in function, and intuitive to anyone that has used a desktop computer before.

Q. Why create an entirely new Linux distribution instead of just running the software on an existing one?

A. arkOS includes more than just Genesis. It uses utilities that aid the self-hosting process on whatever device it is running on. In order to provide the easiest and cleanest experience possible, arkOS focuses on creating an easy installation process, where all of these tools are already set up, configured and enabled as they should be. In the future, many arkOS tools will be portable to other Linux distributions for those willing to do the extra work required to set them up.

Q. How is arkOS different from other similar projects in this sphere (e.g. Space Monkey, FreedomBox, Prometheus, etc)?

A. arkOS allows you to easily host and manage a variety of services from home. It does not require a special proprietary device to use, and it can do much more than simply host one's files for personal use. It does not try to "recreate the wheel" in how it deals with hosting services: it focuses on interoperability with existing programs and protocols. On a project level, arkOS seeks to provide a stable self-hosting experience as its number one goal. It may proceed to exploring new ways to network with servers in the future, but it seeks to "do one thing well" before branching out. Finally, arkOS is a completely open project, eager for input from everyone from the very beginning. It is not a business nor another pretentious Silicon Valley startup, but a project steered by interested everyday users, that will always be both "free-as-in-freedom" and "free-as-in-beer" at its base.

Q. What is arkOS CONNECT? What is DelugeDNS/Drydock? How do these tools fit in with the arkOS project as a whole?

A. arkOS CONNECT is the name given to the many tools that are in development and that will be produced in the future that assist the self-hosting process through the project's own infrastructure. These tools, along with others under the arkOS CONNECT umbrella, are provided by the project's own infrastructure, to allow users to be as independent and decentralized as possible while overcoming many of the technical obstacles that impede self-hosting in general. For example, one of the facets of arkOS CONNECT will be DelugeDNS, a dynamic DNS and port proxying system integrated into Genesis, removing the hassle/confusion of setting up domain names or modifying DNS records. arkOS CONNECT will be entirely optional, and once it is rolled out, users will have the choice of choosing the individual service they wish to use, or the choice to not use any of them. The services will be provided for free or at minimal cost, only to cover overhead and the developers' personal investment.

Q. Who is behind the project?

A. The project is developed by Jacob Cook, a 23-year-old software developer and student based out of Montréal, Québec, Canada. Jacob is the only full-time developer on the project at the moment; however there are other contributors who have worked on core functionality, plugins and new tools, who are based all over the world.

Q. How can people contribute their skills to the project?

A. Contributions of all types are very welcome, and no offer will be refused. Developers who have a background in Python, Golang, JavaScript, Windows development and more can work on the backends of the different apps and installers that comprise the project. Web developers and designers are helpful for improving the Genesis webapp and maintaining the project's websites. Linux admins can contribute time to maintaining the package repositories for different hardware. Check out the Github repos or email Jacob for more information.

About the Campaign Itself

Q. What is this website? It doesn't look like Kickstarter/IndieGogo to me...

A. This site is hosted on a custom crowdfunding platform that I have been working on in my spare time. I developed it for many reasons, primarily because I wanted to be able to accept a variety of funding sources (like Bitcoin) for this campaign, and I thought it would be neat to have a custom design for this site. Once the project is complete I will publish a customizable version of it that anyone can set up themselves!

Q. When will this campaign start/end?

A. The campaign will normally run from November 4th to December 4th. Should the funding target not be met by December 4th, the campaign may be extended for another 30 days.

Q. What if the campaign doesn't meet its goal?

A. All funds gathered by the campaign will still go toward development, analogous to a "Flexible Funding" campaign that you might see on IndieGogo. That being said we are trying very hard to meet the goal and must reach it if we are to implement all features within a reasonable timeline!

Q. Who made your awesome video?

A. The animation was done by the very talented Jen Montes!

Q. What are the rules for contribution via Bitcoin?

A. It's easy to contribute to the campaign via Bitcoin. Just click "Contribute", choose "Bitcoin", enter your information and enter your Bitcoin address. A Bitcoin address is required so that we can manually check the Bitcoin wallet and verify that you contributed the amount indicated on your order. An email address is also required in case we need to contact you about your order. Please note that we reserve the right to disable new Bitcoin contributions at any time, due to suspected fraud attempts or particularly volatile exchange rates.

Q. What if I want to contribute by wire transfer/cheque/other method not supported here?

A. Please contact with your details, they will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Q. When will rewards be shipped?

A. Rewards should start to ship in early January 2014 and should be complete by the end of February barring supply delays. Rewards will ship according to the reward package ordered, and pending supply from external providers.

Q. Will returns/refunds/order changes be accepted?

A. Returns will only be accepted in the case of defective electronic material being sent out, such as a defective Raspberry Pi. If this is the case, please let us know as soon as possible and we will send you a replacement. Refunds will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and can only be guaranteed if for some reason we cannot fulfill on shipping your reward. Order changes can be submitted anytime before January 6th and they will be accepted.

Q. Who should I contact in the event of a return/refund/order change?

A. Please contact with your order details and mode of payment. We will get back to you within 24 hours of receipt.

Q. Will the rewards ship in time for Christmas?

A. No, unfortunately rewards will not be claimable in time for Christmas. As the schedule above says, rewards should start shipping early in 2014.

I'm pleased to announce that ALL rewards for all funding levels have finally been sent out! I do apologize for the extra time it has taken -- it isn't easy mailing over 900 rewards, both envelopes and packages, all by one's self :) Your patience is very much appreciated, and I hope you won't be disappointed!

Here are some details regarding when you can expect your reward, if you haven't yet received it:

  • Cadet, Captain, and Commodore - You should have received your rewards already. If not, please contact me.
  • Lieutenant - Unless you live in a remote location (parts of Eastern Europe, South America or Southeast Asia) you should have received your rewards already. If not, please contact me.
  • Commander - These rewards should be received within the next 3 - 5 business days for orders in North America (many have already received them). International orders may take two to four weeks to arrive, depending on location.
  • Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral and Admiral - These rewards should be received within the next 5 - 7 business days for orders in North America, and 6 - 10 business days internationally depending on location.

Rewards including SD cards were written with Genesis 0.5.1, an alpha release for testing purposes. You can always use Genesis to update itself to the latest version, which is 0.5.3 at the time of writing. Genesis 0.6 will be the first stable Beta, and will also be available for update when ready. You can follow along with the development progress right from your SD card!

If you encounter any problems with your equipment, please let me know. Questions about software and support are most quickly addressed via our forums at

The hard work continues, and can be tracked on the forums, on our main mailing list, or on diverse social media. Once again, thank you all so much for your support during this campaign!

Hello all,

Due to complications with our provider of SD card services, there has been a delay in getting the cards duplicated for use with the Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately this means an additional delay in getting the cards out to supporters. However the good news is that the software will be at a newer and more stable version (0.5.1) than the version prior intended for shipping.

I can confirm that all rewards at levels Cadet, Captain and Commodore have indeed been shipped out. If you have supported the project at one of these levels and have not yet received your reward, you should be seeing it within the next week or so.

The timeframes for shipping the rest of the reward levels depends on when the SD cards will arrive here. The latest estimate I have will put them here in just over a week. Lieutenant and Commander rewards would, therefore, be shipped out in two weeks, with Rear Admiral and up being shipped out just after that.

I sincerely apologize for the delay with the SD cards. I cannot exclude the possibility of further nominal delays, but rest assured that I'm doing everything I can to get the cards to me so they can get out to you within the shortest of timelines.

Thank you.

Hello everyone, Dropping a quick line to inform you about the latest shipping timelines. Everything has been ordered and is currently in production, en route, or already here. Things are still mostly on track with initial estimates. Due to some delays in getting supplies from overseas (Chinese New Year, they tell me), a few items will be slightly delayed. Here are some more specifics:

  • Cadet and Captain reward levels are being sent out NOW, and donors should expect to receive them within the next two to three weeks (late January to early February).
  • Commodore reward level will be sent out once the RPi cases come in, which should happen within the next two weeks. Therefore donors should expect to receive them within the next three to four weeks (mid to late February).
  • Lieutenant and Commander reward levels will be sent out once the SD cards come in, and I should be receiving them within the next three weeks. Therefore donors should expect to receive them within the next four to five weeks (late February or early March).
  • Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral and Admiral reward levels will be sent out when the "split installation method" is ready and the media for these arrives accordingly. I should be receiving the final supplies for these within the next four weeks, meaning they will be arriving to donors within the next five to six weeks (mid to late March).
  • Extra rewards for Vice Admiral and Admiral-level support, like version naming and free arkOS CONNECT subscriptions, will be assigned later this year when they are developed and ready for testing. You will be contacted directly via email when the time comes for this.
I do apologize if these nominal delays present any inconvenience. In any case I am very happy to finally be sending things out and I hope you will be happy to receive them too! Thank you again for your support! - J

Happy new year to all arkOS supporters! Thanks to you, today marks the first day that I am officially working on this project as a full-time endeavour. 2014 will indeed be the year of arkOS, and there are many exciting things in the works. Below is a big progress update on the project, the funding campaign, and a brief look ahead to what is coming up in the next few weeks and months. Enjoy!

Project Update

December may have been a holiday month, but that doesn't mean that work on the project was at a standstill. LOTS of exciting things were added in the runup to Christmas that you may have missed:
  • A roadmap page was added to the site. This page will be frequently updated to track expected release dates and features for each release.
  • A Vagrant VM image was added to quickly get started with Genesis testing or development. This VM image runs Arch Linux and is configured to run Genesis automatically. You can get it from the Downloads page.
  • The arkOS Installer for Linux and OS X released version 0.3.1. This version includes bugfixes, faster writing to disk in OS X, translations in many languages including German French Spanish and much more, and the OS X version of the app is now signed to prevent annoying security errors.
  • A new Wiki has been setup for documentation of the project. Now everyone can add their notes and instructions for getting arkOS to work on various devices. And multilingual support for translating the documentation is in the works.
  • Work has been underway on Genesis: general framework progress has been made, the beginnings of a TinyTinyRSS plugin and a Poche webreader plugin too.
  • Two new mirrors were added: Paris and Taipei. They join the original official mirrors in New York and Amsterdam, and the existing community mirrors in Frankfurt, Orlando, and Vienna.

Order Status

Here are a few important things to note:
  • Supplies for the orders have been ordered from the respective suppliers and should be arriving here shortly. Most orders will be shipped out over the course of the month of January. Some orders may not make it out (or arrive) until February, but rest assured that I'm working as hard as I can to get them to you in a timely manner.
  • The address listed on your order will be the one supplied when you filled out the order. If you used PayPal, this will be the primary shipping address on your account. If for some reason you need to give a new address, please contact as soon as possible so the address labels will be printed correctly.
  • Make sure to check the confirmation email that you received after your order was submitted to confirm your reward level and other details are correct. If you would like to make a change to your order, such as changing the reward level, please contact immediately. Order changes cannot be accepted after January 6th.
  • The version of Genesis that will be sent out on the SD cards will be a special release called 0.4.2. This is a stable preview version of 0.5 - it will have some of the features scheduled for release in 0.5, and an update feature to move you along to new releases of Genesis when they are pushed out. This is being done due to the time constraints of having everything shipped out in sync with each other.
  • Reminder that returns will only be accepted in the case of defective electronic material being sent out, such as a defective Raspberry Pi. If this is the case, please let us know as soon as possible and we will send you a replacement. Refunds will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and can only be guaranteed if for some reason we cannot fulfill on shipping your reward.

A Look Ahead

Here are some of the things you can look forward to in the coming weeks and months:
  • The written specification for the arkOS email system(s) will be ready for publication by mid-January. Then they can be reviewed or discussed by interested developers.
  • Genesis 0.5 is in active development, a preview release (0.4.2) will be ready by mid-January with the official release soon thereafter.
  • Multiplatform support is coming soon - a new build system is being developed to facilitate this, and armv7 support should be in place before March. That means being able to use arkOS on your Beagleboards, Cubieboards, etc. will soon be possible!
I hope everyone has a great start to their New Year and thanks again for your support for the project!

As of today, November 28th (the Thanksgiving holiday in the US), the arkOS project has been fully funded for the next year of its development. Thank you to everyone who participated in the campaign thus far -- we did it! Your contributions will help make the vision of arkOS a reality, and its fledgling beta into a stable and well-rounded self-hosting system.

This campaign and project has been a massive investment of time, effort, brainpower and love. I've done it up to this point, and will continue to do it, because I love working in this field and I am very passionate about creating change in a critical area of our communication. Thanks to everyone for your well-wishes and messages of support over the course of the campaign. They have been huge motivators for me personally. To know that there are so many people who believe in me and this project has been crucial for helping me to follow through and make the vision a reality.

The campaign will remain open until its original termination time of 11:59pm EST on December 4th, 2013. Until then, contributions will still be accepted. There is a list of stretch goals for the project that any additional donations will be set aside for. To see these goals, visit the funding page.

Thanks again for your contributions, and for helping us reach this massive achievement. :)

Thanks to your hard work and dedication, we have been able to reach 90% of our funding goal with nine days to go! This past week we've seen a fantastic increase of almost 20%, a glowing article in Fast Company, as well as pieces in Norwegian and Chinese tech media. We are so close to the end of this campaign, and with your shares, tweets, posts and continued support, we'll get there by December 4th. If you have given to the campaign but haven't yet taken the opportunity to share on your social networks or to explain what arkOS is to your friends, now is the time!

If we are fortunate enough to get to 100% before the end of the week, I'll post another update with some nice stretch goals to consider for the final donations.

Thank you all so much for your support!

Thank you everyone for your amazing support and enthusiasm for the project thus far. Thanks to your tireless efforts, the project has now collected half of its funding after only nine days. This tremendous achievement would not have been possible without your help.

The project has been covered by several prominent media outlets, with more to come. Notably VentureBeat, which did a spectacular feature on the project and how it might be the next best privacy tool for people looking to ween themselves off Google services, and Make: Magazine, a great resource for hacker/maker and Raspberry Pi news. Many outlets in other languages have also written about the project: Heise Online, the largest technology news source in Germany; El Confidencial, a major publication in Spain, and Der Standard, one of Austria's news sites of record.

We have seen great success so far. But getting to 100% is not a given, and I still need your help to make this happen. If you have contributed to the campaign, please consider sharing news about the project with your favourite tech blog or news source, if they have not yet covered arkOS. Also please consider sharing the project among your social networks to get the word out. The more funding we obtain, the more features we will be able to accomplish in a shorter amount of time. It's a win for all parties!

Thank you again,


Hello everyone -

First off I wanted to thank you all for a great run thus far - we are already above 5% into our third day. This momentum is critical for getting this campaign and this project off the ground.

Social media is going to be critical in getting more attention for the project so that we can achieve our goals. Many of you have already done a great job sharing links via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Diaspora and more. Thank you so much for your help in this regard. If everyone who has given so far can share even one time, the potential reach can be massive. Please if you have a moment continue to "get the word out" about arkOS!

To help with these ends, I've contributed an article for Medium that might help people understand why projects like arkOS are so important for a free and privacy-respectful Internet. You can share this link with your friends and family which might explain things for them in a better format.

Check out the article, "Shifting Power on the Internet," at Medium:

Thanks again for your contributions and efforts so far!

To all arkOS friends and supporters:

Several months ago I started working on this project in my free time, not sure if it would go anywhere, with just an idea in my head and many conversations with other people in the decentralized tech field. The project has grown by leaps and bounds since, with several alpha versions of its core software released, sketches of groundbreaking future features to be developed and included, and the formation of a passionate community of early adopters and bugtesters.

Today marks a turning point in the course of the arkOS project. In order to support future development and stable processing of new features in the short and long term, I am happy to announce that I have launched the Fund arkOS campaign. This campaign is a Kickstarter-style crowdfunding effort, with different reward levels based on your giving ability and your interest in the project. You can get anything from a sticker, an awesome t-shirt from your choice of three designs, a custom Raspberry Pi case, or even complete ready-to-go Raspberry Pi packages including everything you need to get started with arkOS!

Make note that there is an EARLY BIRD Special which will run ONLY until November 10th: Contributions of $100 will get an arkOS sticker, a special edition arkOS Raspberry Pi plastic case, and your pick from three designs for an awesome t-shirt to show your support. Even if you are not able to contribute financially, sharing the crowdfunding page with your friends and family will make a huge impact for what this campaign is able to accomplish. I encourage everyone to use the share links included on the Fund arkOS page, and spread the word far and wide across your social networks. Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement as the project enters this new phase!

82 Questions

There has been a test of the ssl function in arkos. Some of the Cipher suites are known as unsafe [1]. Are you going to remove them?


Hi Sam -- The latest alpha version of Genesis was the first one that featured SSL certificate generation and SSL capability for webapps. So the current infrastructure does not reflect all of the security measures that the official "public" release will contain. Future versions of the Webapps infrastructure will definitely be tuned to use secure ciphers and default settings as recommended by SSLLabs. Thank you!

Hi there, PayPal had an old address, where to send my new address for shipping?

Hi Mehlstaub -- Go ahead and email your address to, thanks!

Thank you so for much for your work. I hope the donations will allow you to do some amazing things next year. I wanted to note that the link to the interview is broken.

Thanks for your support Garfunkel! I'll update the link.

Hi Jacob i for one would like to thank you for what you are doing as we really need some thing like this so we can leave the google's of the world i am really looking forward for this project going forward and will be watching if i can do anything please contact me

thank you

regards Eric

Thanks for your support Eric!


I orderer a little amount of bitcoins to contribute as a cadet but probably it will not arrive until tomorrow the day after. Any solution to contribute after the campaign is end?

Hi leviatan -- if you process the order on the site today, you can actually make the Bitcoin transfer within a couple days and it will still be acceptable. Thank you!

Could you display the funding progression curve? Is it me or I've an spectacular progress in the final days?

Hi Kyle -- I'll have a blog post up after the campaign is over with a full overview of important data. Thanks!

I messed up my donation and did not send the bitcoins. Can you please provide me the address so that I can still send the bitcoins or email me to work things out? Date/time of donation was 2013-11-29 13:07.

Hi Borodin -- sending an email now, thank you!

If we contributed to the program via Bitcoin, and since then the exchange rate makes it sigifnicantly more than we originally intended, is there any refund to the level we pledged or is it woo hop for the program so sad for you kinda thing? :)

Hi Trekkie -- The Bitcoin values are updated automatically from an API once per day; unfortunately since the values change so much and vary between providers I can't provide any exact refunds. BTC is transferred into USD almost immediately after they are received, so I'm not making anything on donated BTC as the value goes up. Thank you!

Would the Improv from KDE / Make Play Live, be suitable for running ArkOS with an instance of ownCloud for myself and a few friends? I'm a bit concerned about it only having 1gig of ram (although it sounds like they're planning on offering upgrades later...)

Hi HostMeBaby -- I just heard about the Improv yesterday, it looks like a very interesting platform and I would be happy to extend support for it. 1Gb of RAM will be more than enough for your stated use-case, so no worries there :)

Will I be able to install bittorrent sync?

Would it be foolish to install xbmc as well as my pi is currently a media centre as well as filesharer, how much memory/cpu is free when idling?

Hi Sam -- I'm not personally supporting btsync since it is a closed-source application and I have lots of other applications to work on at this time. BUT there are contributors who have raised the idea of adding it themselves, and I would be more than happy to support someone making a plugin for it. Feel free to contact me for more info. Thanks!

Hi, in the same line of dignati's question, now that you got 100% funded, could it be possible to work on redundancy as one of the "Stretch Goals"? I think it's the main flaw of the self-hosted soluction.

PS: I'm already but this would be great!

Hi Rodrigo -- It depends how you define "redundancy" or what form of it you reference specifically, but some of the services offered by arkOS CONNECT (namely Drydock and Dutchman, on which more details are forthcoming) could ostensibly be used to provide data redundancy both offline and online. Thanks!

If i get a cool die-cut arkOS sticker to place on your laptop, mobile phone or even your Raspberry Pi case (Cadet - 3.69 EUR). Does it cost not more than 3.69 EUR the sending to germany ?

Hi Paul -- Cadet level contributions will be shipped by regular mail, allowing sticker prices to be very cheap. So no need to worry. Thanks!


Paypal had an old postal address.. Who should I contact to change the postal address for shipment ? :P


Hi vdemeester -- sending you an email now :)

Will there be an option to install and configure KnockKnock on ArkOS through Genesis?

Hi technolibre -- I have some more work to put into KnockKnock before it would be ready for that, but I do plan on offering that as well as maybe another static site generation system. Thanks!

How likely is it that Mailpile ( would work with arkOS? Have you been tracking their project and would you consider integrating it to arkOS.

I'd like to suggest you also look at building support for ThinkUp ( at some point in the future and to track what YunoHost ( are doing in their project as it seems similar.

Hi Stephen -- I've been in contact with the Mailpile team and arkOS is definitely interested in building in support for it, once both arkOS and Mailpile are stable and ready for such a thing. There is no timeline yet as I don't know when this will be, but stay tuned for updates in the future. Thank you!

Is it planned to make installation of tools like gitlab or gitorious easier by integrating them into arkos?

Hi Fred -- I don't have concrete plans for integrating these things yet as there are more high-priority things coming down the pipe. Plus those tools won't be compatible with the Pi, so it will have to wait until more hardware is supported. But if an interested user wants to get started on plugins for them, they are certainly welcome to. Thanks!

Sorry, if this question was done... But i dont have a Raspberry pi device, but i want to test this cloud... And i want to know, if i can install this cloud server in my pc with windows 7???

How i can do that...

Well ill thanks your answer!

Hi Carlos -- There aren't any plans for arkOS software to support non-Linux operating systems any time soon. Be that as it may, you will be able to use your Windows PC to install arkOS to an SD card for use in an ARM-based platform. If you want to test arkOS, you can do so with a virtual machine that is running Arch Linux (like VirtualBox). Feel free to check on the forums or in IRC for more information on how to do that. Thank you!

Will arkos have a ddns feature?

Hi acraig -- Yes arkOS will have several options for ddns, whether you use a service like no-ip or if you prefer to use a more robust solution like DelugeDNS which we are currently building as a companion to arkOS. Thank you!

Does the kernel supports distributed computing, or clusters? If not built in, can you make it a bit easier to patch it ourselves?

Hi Vicary -- Not at the moment, but we are researching how best to do this and it is something we are very interested in. So expect something in some form on this front in the future. Thank you!

Will there be a plugin to install and configure a java application server like jetty?

Hi Fred -- There is nothing planned for this at the moment but I would be welcome to input and/or contributions to this end by willing developers. Thanks!

Will arkos have a VPN feature?

Hello Ed -- Yes there will be VPN functionality via Genesis, for both connecting to a VPN and hosting your own OpenVPN server. Thanks!

Hi Jacob,

I really like your vision of a decentralized web based on self-hosted servers. But let me ask you: Do I see it right that you basically forked Ajenti, build some of your own stuff into it and made a Cowdfunding-Campaign out of it without trying to contribute back to Ajenti or even giving the appropriate credits somewhere? That just don't feel right and leaves me puzzled if this project will be fair in the long run. :-(

Hi Johannes -- the fact that Genesis was forked from Ajenti has been mentioned and been given credit in many many places: in the Github repository, on the arkOS blog, in the forums, in publicity materials and news articles, and on the pages that explain what Genesis is on the website. It is even mentioned on this very funding site, where it explains what Genesis is ( I certainly don't keep it a secret. You might not have noticed it before but that does not mean it isn't there :) Furthermore there have been many significant changes to the framework since the fork, and there will be countless more in the future. I haven't been able to submit any changes upstream because they rewrote their software essentially from scratch shortly after I forked the software. If that hadn't been the case I would have gladly submitted pulls for all of the features I've been adding. Thank you!

I am open to contribute but I have a question. If I send a 500US$ contribution, shall I have any part on the future company? Is this a donation? I'm new to crowdfounding so I don't know these details.


Hi Agustin -- Your contribution will go towards making arkOS' vision of a stable self-hosting experience a reality. There is no for-profit venture planned at this time, so contributions do not receive shares in a company or anything like that. You will receive, however, any of the rewards listed for your contribution, should you choose to claim a reward. I hope this helps. Thank you!

Will we be able to translate ArkOS by example in French thanks to services like ?

Hi HLFH -- Yes, translation for the main interface will be forthcoming in the next year. We are already collecting translations for the Installer here: Thank you!

Will ArkOS support CubieTruck ?

Hi HLFH -- Yes the CubieTruck is among the first new platforms that will be supported by arkOS, with your help in funding. Thanks!

when you will be releasing a stable version of arkos

Hi Robo Tech -- a stable beta version of arkOS is expected in March/April 2014. Thank you!

How easy/difficult would it be to host an instance of the Fever RSS feed reader? I haven't looked into the details yet but the website describes it as a "PHP and MySQL application that you run on your own server" and requires a UNIX like server running Apache, PHP 4.2.3+ and MySQL 3.23+.

Hi GreyArea -- arkOS supports all of those stated requirements. Since it is just an RSS reader (likely not very heavyweight, heavy PHP apps on the RPi can be troublesome), you should be able to integrate it and run it no problem. Thanks!

Hi, would it possible to sync contacts with outlook and android?

Hi Daniel -- Yes this will be possible. It is possible now with ownCloud integration and it will be possible when a more native solution can be implemented in the future. Thans!

Will you support node.js?


Did you plan to change the license to a less restrictly license like MIT, BSD or Apache license?

Hi mp3tobi -- There are no plans to change the licensing at this time.

Will the E-Mail Feature also use the feature only fetch the mails via pop3 from the provider and send it to the provider via smtp. And from the Raspberry Pi you can reach your mails via IMAP. So the time the mails are on the provider are reduced to a minimum.

On home Internet you can't send the mails very good, because many of the IPs from the home internet are on the spam blacklist.

So a pure self hosted e-mail provider is not always the best.

Hi mp3tobi -- Yes I am aware of these problems and have plans to circumvent them during the implementation of the email service. A reference document for how the email service will work should be released in December/January. Thank you!

Do you plan to implement solid encrypting into arkOS? By the way I cannot wait for this to get released :)

Hi Anonymousperson -- Yes, encrypted data stores are indeed planned for arkOS very soon. Thanks for your support!

What does the Raspberry Pi case look like? Any early designs?

Hi CodeGosu -- The case will be a rounded plastic case with a special arkOS design printed on top with ink. This design will only be offered during the crowdfunding campaign, so make sure to get yours! Thanks

How is this different from an NAS like Synology?

Hi Ash -- NASes are traditionally used to host media on your local network for access. This is something arkOS can do, but its primary use-case is for using other forms of hosted Internet data more broadly, such as websites, email, chat, and much more. So while arkOS could be used as a NAS, it would be missing a major component of its intended functionality. Thanks!

Why no XMPP server? There is lots of talk about decentralisation but seems to be missing this key component. Great project BTW!

Hi Lloyd -- XMPP server is planned for arkOS. It is listed on the front page under planned features. Thanks for your support! :)

is shipping to non-us countries (case, t-shirt) included in the reward levels?

Hi Archer -- Yes shipping is included provided that you don't live in an extremely hard-to-reach area. So North America / Europe / Major cities elsewhere should be fine. Thanks!

Is is possible or planned to use multiple Raspberry Pi nodes for different services? This would allow for high usage and would add a bit redundancy.

Something like this is one of our long-term goals -- not laid out yet but rest assured we are keen on it. Thanks!

The Rear Admiral level says it includes a USB drive. Is that an actual USB drive? If so, what size will it be? Or is it a USB CD card reader?

Hi Ronnie -- Yes the Rear Admiral kit comes with a 32GB USB flash drive for storing your data on. I will update the reward description to be more specific. Thank you!

Every successful project/software tends to grow. Can the Raspberry Pi handle my daily demands? Sorry, but most of the Raspberry Pi information out there makes it sound like a great hobbyist tool & not a killer server.

Hi Concerned_In_Canada -- That certainly depends on your daily demands, but you might be surprised at the amount of stuff a Raspberry Pi can handle. Even if you have too many things to run on the Pi, one of the funding goals is to expand support to new platforms - small singleboard computers that are like the RPi but more powerful, as well as full-size computers and servers. arkOS runs on the Pi in its Alpha version, but is not married to that architecture forever. :) Thank you!

One of the main feature I'm waiting the most for is the email hosting. I was wondering how far is it in the list of priorities?

Hi Aurélien -- Email hosting is a very exciting thing for a lot of people, that is why I am putting a good deal of time into it to make it work right and to people's expectations. It remains the top feature to add in to Genesis, and my current estimation puts an Alpha version of it being ready between December and February. So it is just around the corner! :) Thank you!

What does the sticker look like?

Hey bobmcpersonbob -- The stickers haven't arrived yet but they should be here tomorrow. I'll be sure to post a photo when they get here. Thanks!

Reward Levels

All contributions of $2 or more get the donor's name (or appropriate pseudonym) on a special Donors page of the website.

Cadet $50.01283€3.99₤3.19

Get a cool die-cut arkOS sticker to place on your laptop, mobile phone or even your Raspberry Pi case

Lieutenant $250.06414€19.96₤15.96

Get the sticker and a branded 8GB SD card with arkOS written on it - no need to mess with the Installer!

Commander $500.12828€39.93₤31.91

Get the sticker, the SD card and a stylish special edition arkOS Raspberry Pi case.

This case branding is exclusive to the crowdfunding campaign.

Captain $750.19242€59.89₤47.87

Get the sticker and a high-quality arkOS t-shirt. Choose from one of three available designs.

Commodore $1250.32069€99.82₤79.78

Get the sticker, the Raspberry Pi case and the t-shirt of your choice.

Rear Admiral $2500.64139€199.63₤159.55

Get the sticker, the Raspberry Pi case, the t-shirt of your choice, and a Raspberry Pi Model B with charger, 32GB USB drive and SD card, for secure and dependable data storage.

Vice Admiral $5001.28277€399.27₤319.10

Get the Rear Admiral package, get your RPi case signed by the lead developer, AND have a major version of arkOS Genesis dedicated to you and named after you!

Admiral $10002.56555€798.53₤638.20

Get the Vice Admiral package plus get a free lifetime subscription to all arkOS CONNECT services that will be offered in the future. This includes DelugeDNS (dynamic DNS + port proxy), encrypted backup service, and more.

This offer is good for the medium subscription level for each service.