[Legacy] comprehensive walkthrough and guide to Digital Sovereignty. Explaining Linux, Personal Data Servers, and Free Software for the security-minded activist and user.
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The CitizenWeb Project Guide

A comprehensive walkthrough and guide to Digital Sovereignty. Explaining Linux, Personal Data Servers, and Free Software for the security-minded activist and user.


If you are ...

  • Concerned about the creeping power that unaccountable corporations like Google and Facebook have over our lives
  • Annoyed by the closing "walled gardens" of Google, Microsoft and Apple and the rampant consumerism that comes with it
  • Worried about governments snooping in your email and cloud data
  • Tired of the constant erosion of our rights online with no real alternatives

... then read ahead, because these guides are for you!

There are alternatives to the closed corporate ecosystems of Google, Microsoft and Apple. There are alternatives to the daily destruction of privacy rights that occurs online. Take your data back into your own hands, and lose -none- of the functionality that you rely on. Build a server with all of the features you need and unlock. And hit the titans like Google where it hurts - deny them the ad revenue they get from selling your personal information to the highest bidder.

At this time, two guides are included:

  • Linux: Dive into the basics of Linux, the free and open source operating system. Learn how to use software suites that, in most cases, won't cost you a dime - and are 100% open source. Use software that is customized to your interests, and learn to make your computer work for you. Never fear the changes or hassles another Windows version will bring!
  • Setting Up Your Personal Server: Choose the features that are important to you, and ones you may be interested in maintaining. Set up a server on your home network, and connect it to the Internet. Host your own email and website safely and securely. Access your files, media, contacts and calendars remotely -- while keeping complete control of your data and who sees it.

If you're still not convinced why all of this is important, or if you aren't even sure what it is: take a look at the Introduction, and read some of the arguments behind why you should pursue your digital sovereignty.


Topic List

  1. Introduction
    1. "What is Free Software, and Why Do I Give A Damn?" The Case for Making The Switch
    2. "What's wrong with Google?" Security, Safety and Rights On the Internet
    3. A Manifesto for a Decentralized Web
  2. Getting Started with Linux
    1. Choosing a Distribution
    2. Installation Project: Ubuntu
    3. Ubuntu: Using and Configuring Your New System
    4. Securing your Mail, Internet and Chat Applications
    5. APPENDIX: Popular Software & Open File Formats
  3. Setting Up Your Personal Server
    1. Why a Personal Server?
    2. Before You Begin: Options, Configuration and Hardware
    3. Assembling Your Server/PC Coming with version 1.5 in May 2013
    4. Installing and Configuring Ubuntu Server
    5. Getting In: Project to SSH and VNC
    6. Networking: Setting up DHCP, DNS and NAT Forwarding
    7. Email: Setting up Postfix and Dovecot
    8. Website Hosting: Setting up Apache Server
    9. Cloud Services: Setting up ownCloud
    10. Security: Firewalling and Threat Detection
    11. Managing and Streaming Your Media
    12. APPENDIX: Guide to Virtual Machines
    13. APPENDIX: Guide to FreeNAS
  4. Crash Courses
    1. Backup Your Data



v1.5 - May 2013

Adding Linux Articles:

  1. Installation Project: Arch Linux
  2. Arch Linux: Using and Configuring Your New System
  3. Personalize Your Linux Desktop (openbox, conky, etc)

Updating Linux Articles:

  1. Add to APPENDIX: Popular Software & Open File Formats: VoIP/Chat with Jitsi and Jabber

Adding Server Articles:

  1. Decentralized Social with Tent and BuddyCloud
  2. Chat and VoIP with Jabber/SIP

Adding Crash Course Articles:

  1. Introduction to cron and bash
  2. Security Tips for non-Linux Operating Systems


This guide is openly available and developed - Licensed under Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0

Any suggestions are welcome -- submit them via a git request at https://github.com/cznweb/citizenweb or email them direct to jacob [at] citizenweb [dot] is