Free hosting for free people.
TuxFamily is a non-profit organization that provides free services for projects and contents
dealing with the free software philosophy.
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Posted on Saturday 1 April 2017
Hey, it's April Fools' Day!
As you are reading this, most websites on the Internet are publishing
some kind of joke, hoping nobody within their audience notices today's
Which actually gets kind of complicated in those harsh times where
almost every human gets access to the Internet through an NTP-regulated
Ah, what a wonderful time to be alive!
This year, at TuxFamily's, we decided not to do any prank; historically, we have used April Fools' Day to threaten our estimated hostees with various calamities, downtimes and heretic decisions; what kind of hoster would do that each and every year to their hostees? That sounds inhuman. Are we inhumane? No we're not. That's why this year, instead of a silly joke, we provide you with the closest you can get to a guided tour within the TuxFamily universe, namely the infrastructures and the staff behind your favourite hoster.
Let's start with the infrastructures: our main datacenter is located in Poo, a charming town in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh:
Our main machine room, during dry season:
These guys are former interns who, alas, left us too early during the latest monsoon.
For redundancy purposes, we have three other datacenters in Nowhere, Oklahoma. All three can be seen on this picture, with engineers about to lay an additional optical link to the first one:
This is our network backbone; as you know, TuxFamily lives on your donations and thus always strives to save money by NOT purchasing useless stuff such as fancy racks or needlessly long cables.
It would be boring to present you with pictures of all of our servers, so instead let's focus on our most powerful machine, which is also the one we check, inspect and clean most often.
Similarly, you probably do not really care what we use to work: still, here is a picture of Xavier's workstation:
and another one of Sylvain's workstation:
But enough hardware! Surely, we are proud of our infrastructures, but we never forget how useless they would be without the true magic brought by our dream teams:
First, let's introduce our PR (Public Relations) team, i.e. the guys we send to various events such as RMLL, Solutions Linux, etc. to represent TuxFamily and explain how great it can be for you:
(yes, that was "bring your child at work"-day).
By the way, they happen to be the people whom you could have rented for a night if our last year's idea of a "service that will enable you to bid for your favorite TuxFamily staff member" had become a reality. Too bad nobody liked the idea.
As you probably know already, people convinced they ought to be hosted by TuxFamily have to submit a description of their project, which is reviewed by our moderation team:
Yes, these are the guys who either accept or reject your demands. Similarly to the PR team, they all have extensive knowledge of communication and human "sensibilities" and are so dedicated to their task they sometimes travel and "knock" to the rejected candidates' doors to better explain why the project was rejected and why it is, alas, "strictly unnecessary to further insist". And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why it is so important to fill your exact residential address in TuxFamily's panel!
Of course, it would be unforgivable to forget our sysadmins! Always deeply concerned with privacy matters, be it for your data or for themselves, they expressed the wish to remain anonymous while still providing a nice group photography:
These guys are the ones who, thanks to our state-of-the-art monitoring systems, wake up at 4:37 in the morning to extinguish the fire that started at 22:12.
Last and clearly the least is Serge, our latest intern, whom we appreciate less for his programming skills (although he is quite good at "spit programming", a peculiar variant of "speed programming") than for his astonishing survival abilities:
Way to go, Serge!
That's it for your guided tour within the premises of TuxFamily. Sadly, since Serge's drool is drowning our last functioning keyboard, we are currently unable to publish the exact licenses of this article and its pictures until tomorrow.
Edit: it was of course our usual April Fools' prank; our main datacenter is in France, those famous actors do not work for TuxFamily at all and we do not send gangsters to break your wrists when your project gets refused (that does not constitute a reason not to read the FAQ before applying, though). On the other hand, who can prove we do not have a llama in the team?
Posted on Friday 17 February 2017, at 08:57 UTC
We are currently experiencing a network outage on all of our main services. We don't know what happened yet, we will keep you in touch.
Edit 2017-02-17 10:05 UTC: We are back!, it was due to fiber cut on two fibers which were supposed to be on two distinct paths but in the end obviously were not.
Edit 2017-02-17 22:55 UTC: And it's down again.
Edit 2017-02-18 03:12 UTC: Up!, it should be the last time, that was probably for the definitive fiber repair.
Posted on Monday 24 October 2016, at 13:39 UTC
Due to CVE-2016-5195, we started rebooting all our hosts on a new kernel, we already silently updated all servers on which you are allowed to execute code a few days ago but it doesn't cause much disruption due to load balancing.
However, now it's time for all remaining hosts, storage servers, routers, … and that will be much more noticeable :-)
Edit: Done!, everything should be back, if this statement is wrong, please contact us ;)
Posted on Sunday 9 October 2016, at 16:24 UTC
VHFFS, the software which energizes TuxFamily, was released, featuring all changes required or just nice to have for Debian Jessie, a new TLS certificates support on top of the Let's Encrypt project allowing hosted websites to benefit from HTTPS.
Of course, as TuxFamily follows almost day-to-day the VHFFS master branch, we are already running it!
Posted on Saturday 2 April 2016
Debian Wheezy security support is scheduled to end at the end of April, therefore we have to upgrade to Debian Jessie before this deadline. The good news is that it leaves you a few weeks to check that your installed webapps will continue to work after the upgrade.
Posted on Saturday 2 April 2016
Until recently, anything hosted by TuxFamily and reached over TLS (HTTPS, POPS, IMAPS, etc.) implied to accept a self-signed certificate.
Since the "Let's encrypt" initiative has become a reality, TuxFamily recently jumped on the bandwagon:
- *.tuxfamily.org web areas now benefit from a wildcard certificate (*.tuxfamily.org) kindly provided by GlobalSign.
- Most *.tuxfamily.org services also benefit from that wildcard certificate.
- Other TuxFamily-hosted web areas (e.g. vhffs.org or yabause.org) now benefit from a Let's Encrypt certificate.
- Due to technical limitations, *.*.tuxfamily.org web areas and domains remain plagued by a common name mismatch error; fortunately, those remain quite rare and should benefit from a Let's Encrypt certificate on the long run.
Since your web areas are now reachable by everybody over both HTTP and HTTPS, you are now free to adapt your sites accordingly; typical setups include (but are not restricted to):
- handling both protocols;
- enforcing only authenticated traffic to HTTPS;
- enforcing all traffic to HTTPS through redirections and/or HSTS implemented in .htaccess.
Posted on Saturday 2 April 2016
All TuxFamily services are now reachable over IPv6, making them future-proof with regard to IPv4 address exhaustion.
Those of you managing their domains through DNS servers other than TuxFamily's may want to add some AAAA records pointing to 2a02:2178:1000:201::4 (IPv6 address for web.tuxfamily.net).
Posted on Friday 1 April 2016
These times are rough. Or at least they seem so. Daily news look increasingly bad. Global warming, conflicts, terrorism, economical concerns, extremists fueled by global political disinterest, the list feels endless. All these events and the extraordinary noise they bring along with them divert our attention from many good things that also happen on a daily basis: scientific progress, environment-friendly innovation, constructive local initiatives, education-oriented projects and more generally people adding their humble yet significant contribution to the better side of Humanity. TuxFamily takes pride in providing such people with a free hosting platform that helps them achieve whatever good deed they are aiming for. And yet...
And yet, forgotten among the forsaken, the TuxFamily staff members are too often neglected. Hidden behind a machine that works too well for anybody to wonder who exactly winds up its clocks and replaces its gears, the TuxFamily staff recently managed to narrow down, thanks to the cheap services of an estimate psychotherapist who accepted to work for only 250% of TuxFamily's patiently-collected treasury, the true cause of their long-dwelling spleen: they lack recognition and gratitude. Medication for the whole team having been dismissed as too expensive, it was decided to fight and improve the situation through two ground breaking ideas.
The first idea consists in reminding both our hostees and their visitors that there are actual people working under the hood of each web site. To this end, starting in a few days, all TuxFamily-hosted websites, with no possible exception, will be altered on-the-fly so that they display the face of a random TuxFamily staff member. That modification should remain discreet in most cases, as pictures are only about 100 pixels wide. However, thanks to well-engineered heuristics, all sites that either lack proper backups or which are not up-to-date security-wise will inherit an extra feature: the face of a TuxFamily staff member will *follow* the mouse cursor. This revolutionary feature allows everyone to become aware that a given site needs some extra caring, thus boosting both TuxFamily's staff's egos and the amount of speculative applications from new contributors to your projects! And it can be seen right now on the following websites:
Despite being under heavy discussions, the second idea was deemed ready for disclosure: in the coming months, a new TuxFamily service will enable you to bid for your favorite TuxFamily staff member; those of you who win these auctions will be entitled to spend an entire evening with that staff member. Whether "evening" actually means "night" and what exactly you will be allowed to do with that staff member is actually the "still under heavy discussions" part of that project. But we are confident that these questions will be duly addressed in no time.
All members of the TuxFamily team thank you in advance for your upcoming support to their mental health!
Edit: As most of you hopefully understood, yesterday's communication was our usual April's Fools' prank -- we hope it made you smile, laugh, choke on your dinner and/or other similar reactions that do not involve suing us in court. Some of you may wonder how close we actually are from the couch of a psychotherapist. Well, good news, most of us are fine.
Posted on Tuesday 17 November 2015, at 21:21 UTC
TuxFamily.org will be at Paris Open Source Summit 2015 event in Paris on November 18-19
It will be a great time for all of us to meet, talk about your projects and to have some feedbacks on our hosting platform. You are all welcome in our cubicle for a coffee (or more !) We always enjoy having a special time with our hosted people so don't hesitate, come and have a talk with us.
Posted on Sunday 13 September 2015, at 05:24 UTC
We are currently experiencing an outage on the download repositories master. We will keep you in touch.
Edit: Back online.