Topic/Interview Suggestion -

Hey all,

There’s a project I’ve been enthusiastically following for the past year-and-a-bit… and even discussed a bit about it with @sil at Oggcamp last year… It’s a self-hosting server for web applications called Sandstorm.

Basically, you install the sandstorm service following the instructions at and either get a URL (which is a combination DDNS service that also provides a wildcard TLS certificate for the domain) or your own URL.

You get a “login” URL at the end of the setup, and then you associate it with Github, Google, or SMTP based login (and if you’re an “at work” person, you can also get it to do LDAP or SAML login). Once you’ve got it set up, you install web apps via their app catalogue at

The guy who set up the project is an ex-googler, and there’s a fairly sensible hosted service which you can test it out on ( or just… pay for!

Anyway, it’d be great to have you talk about it, and maybe even worth getting someone from the team on the show :slight_smile:

It is interesting, and @JonTheNiceGuy and I have indeed discussed it. @bryanlunduke have you played with sandstorm? I suspect it might meet a few of your needs quite well.

Talking of things that @bryanlunduke might appreciate (or even “Mr. One Bold Word” @jonobacon ?) I particularly like using Hacker Slides which is basically just a markdown based presentation application.

I’ve also played with using Davros is api-compatible with OwnCloud for file synchronization, but never really tried much with it.

I do use Idea Otter, Dillinger, Etherpad and Ethercalc for various short-lived projects.

It is nice that you can stand something up, share it with a small handful of email addresses, download the whole application-and-data as one lump and then import it into another sandstorm instance, and finally destroy the lot with only a couple of clicks.

I’ve been running my own Sandstorm instance on a server in my house for about a year, and I like it a lot. I mostly use the Etherpad application for my own notes, Ethercalc for looking at financial figures on loans, and Groove Basin for hosting my music, but I’ve played with a handful of the other applications in their web app “store”.

Their looks nice, too, but I don’t have anyone else using my hosted instance so I have no one to chat with.

I also pay for the hosted service - it’s actually free while still in beta, so I haven’t spent any money yet - and host everything that’s not private there too. That’s just my way of supporting the business model that backs their development. But again, I haven’t actually paid anything yet.

Eventually they want to add GPG-based login as an option. I look forward to that and plan to switch to it when it’s supported. But GPG is such a royal pain to set up. Even with the latest EFF promotion campaign I couldn’t get it working in two hours and gave up.

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