Co-op cloud tools

This guide explores and documents efforts to form free, open source alternatives to corporate cloud infrastructures, especially through cooperative business models.

Cooperative clouds

  • CoBox – “a distributed, encrypted, offline-enabled data hosting cloud platform”
  • Collective Tools – Cloud-based, free/open collaboration tools
  • CommonsCloud – “Cooperative, collaborative and decentralised cloud, alternative to the proprietary software platforms”
  • Dark Peak Data Co-operative – “Open-source software, hosted for your convenience, with democratic accountability
    • Offerings: web hosting, RSS, git
  • Drutopia – A free-software project and hosting service for easy web development with Drupal
  • fairapps – “communication solutions on a fair basis for creative teams and initiatives” run by the cooperative fairkom
  • HCoop – “an Internet hosting service and community, run democratically as a USA 501(c)(12) non-profit corporation”
    • Offerings: OpenAFS, web hosting, email, mailing lists, git, MoinMoin wiki, Jabber
  • IO Cooperative – “provides its members with technology infrastructure to sustain and enhance their professional, academic, and personal lives”
  • May First Movement Technology – “engages in building movements by advancing the strategic use and collective control of technology for local struggles, global transformation, and emancipation without borders”
    • Offerings: email, web hosting, webmail, Jitsi, ownCloud, GNU Social, OpenID, XMPP (Jabber)
  • Meet.coop (The Online Meeting Co-operative) – “A co-operative, open source, meeting and conferencing platform, powered by BigBlueButton.”
  • Open Web Systems - "secure, open source email & personal Nextcloud Hub accounts"
  • Servers.coop - "an algorithm for co-operation: a technical, governance, and cost-sharing stack which radically reduces the cost and complexity of setting up a server hosting provider"
  • Social.coop – “a coop-run corner of the fediverse, spearheading a cooperative and transparent approach to operating our social platforms”
    • Offerings: Mastodon
  • WebArchitects – “a Sheffield based, small and friendly, multi-stakeholder co-operative which provides ethical and green, web hosting, virtual servers and GNU/Linux sysadmin support services”
  • WebHosting.coop – “become a member of our democratic and socially ran web hosting cooperative association and experience the incredible benefits of transparent, honest, and reliable service”
    • Offerings: web hosting

Commons clouds

apps.opened.ca – Canadian higher ed cloud using Sandstorm, managed by OpenETCChatons – French network of commons clouds • Disroot – “a platform providing online services based on principles of freedom, privacy, federation and decentralization,” an Amsterdam-based volunteer service • eclips.is – “a free, lightweight platform where you can launch your (virtual) servers,” privacy focused • Framasoft – “A network dedicated to globally promoting “free” and particularly free software.” ◦ Konrad Lischka, “How a French association with 6 employees offers mainstream users free and libre alternatives to Facebook Groups, Slack, Skype and the like” (February 26, 2017) • The Good Cloud – NextCloud-based free and paid cloud service • Riseup – “provides online communication tools for people and groups working on liberatory social change”

Open-app ecosystems


Development co-ops

Autonomic – Worker co-op that offers open-source, secure cloud tools • Digital Life CollectiveTool cluster

Further resources

Awesome Self Hosted – “A directory of free software solutions and web applications which can be hosted locally” • erwin blom, “Open Source Alternatives for Everything,” Product Hunt • De-google-ify Internet, a project of Framasoft • Holo – holochain-based “peer to peer web on mini-servers” • libreho.st – “librehosters is a network of cooperation and solidarity that uses free software to encourage decentralisation through federation and distributed platforms. Our values connect transparency, fairness and privacy with a culture of data portability and public contributions to the commons.” • Marco Fioretti, Percloud proposal website • Jesse Kriss, “Anti-capitalist human scale software (and why it matters)” (February 10, 2016) • Open App Ecosystem – “interconnected independent open source applications” • Open Source I.T. – “a curated combination of open and free (libre) software that satisfy the majority of your personal and business productivity needs” • Nathan Schneider, “Prospectus: IoOCloud, a Cloud-Services Cooperative,” The Internet of Ownership (January 14, 2017) • Oliver Sylvester-Bradley, “PLANET – An open source operating system for a collaborative, sustainable economy,” open.coop (January 10, 2017) • unhosted web apps – “Also known as ‘serverless’, ‘client-side’, or ‘static’ web apps, unhosted web apps do not send your user data to their server” • Walsh, Dylan. “How credit unions could help people make the most of personal data.” MIT Sloan blog. July 8, 2019.