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Pubnixes and the Tildeverse

alternative hosts web hosting shell access communities

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#1 Computer Nerd Kev

Computer Nerd Kev

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 02:21 PM

I thought it might be worth talking here about some of the free public access *NIX systems that are available. These aren't the same as Heliohost, in fact their common feature is perhaps the main thing that Heliohost doesn't offer, which is shell (command line) access. They also don't generally try so hard to replicate the level of support and user friendliness of a commercial web host, like Heliohost do. All the same, many offer web hosting, and some are run by official not-for-profit organisations.

SDF may be the oldest, dating back to 1987 and a 501( c )(7) non-profit organisation since 2001. Another is Grex, a non-profit dating back to 1991. Both offer web hosting, though with less storage space than Heliohost and no cPanel (administration is generally expected to be done from the shell (command line) after logging in via SSH.

In recent years a lot of new services have appeared, many as part of the "Tildeverse". Tilde.club seems to be the largest, but there are a lot out there, some with only a handful of users. Here's a list. Not all offer web hosting, but many do. The exact features vary a lot, with the smaller "Tildes" generally less restrictive on the resources available to individual users. They generally aim to inspire a community spirit, sometimes following a particular philosophy. Very much on a hobby sort of level, commercial use is often discouraged/disallowed.

Gopher, an internet protocol predating the web, is also often provided for a growing number of hobbyists. A list of Pubnixes is also on there:
Or available via a Web-Gopher proxy.

Most run flavours of Linux or BSD. Wilde is the sole Windows one, and if you're game there's even one running the obsolete DEC operating system TOPS-20.

I just read SDF's long history page, and it was quite interesting to me (maybe not to the average joe).

Anyway, not equivalents to Heliohost, but possibly of use/interest to some people here.

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