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Fosshost Press Release Statement

By Thomas Markey | Mar 15, 2021


FOSSHOST, a UK-based non-profit organisation, launched March 2020 by open-source advocate and technologist, Thomas Markey, paves the way for distributed cloud computing services to the free and open-source software community.

Thomas Markey, Founder and CEO said "Our launch was quite timely, we started providing this essential service just before the first lockdown. Since then, our services have been in demand and today, over more than 100 projects, groups, and individuals use our services to host their software or code. One example is GNU Health, a project ran by Dr Luis Falcon which provides free software to hospitals, focusing on developing nations. Our ecosystem continues to develop, growing daily. It is a very busy time for us right now."

Fosshost provides hosting service at no cost to projects eligible for its services. Services such as Virtual Private Server can be critical infrastructure for FOSS software teams, for example, to host code repositories and build ("package") software for end-users. Absent Fosshost, projects may turn to for-profit providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud, if they can afford them. The service Fosshost provide is means-tested and delivered and supported by a team of more than 15 volunteers globally, many of whom have a full-time job elsewhere.

Sponsors include IOMART, Equinix Metal, and other organizations whose internal support programs benefiting the open-source community are magnified by the personal support, education and training, and technical expertise provided by Fosshost. Thomas said, "We do not expect any project to make a financial donation to use our service, but rather talk about us on their website and during a conversation with other projects. That reciprocation, from voices within the community who share our respect for FOSS ideals, is how we want to raise awareness of our service."

Fosshost projects of all sizes, including many well-known "FOSS flagship" projects such as Debian, a GNU/Linux Operating System and The Internet Archive, a service that stores historical copies of websites, as well as Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) who use Fosshost resources to provide many of their own projects with hosting, such as German Corona Warn App (CWA) that has been downloaded more than 26.1 million times.

The response, especially from academic institutions and research organisations has been increasingly positive. According to Nate Sales, Fosshost Chief Technology Officer, "AArch64-as-a-service is a game-changer." He went on to explain, "by making it easy for FOSS projects to target Arm-based hardware as part of their usual DevOps practice and release cycles, we are creating a future where users have more freedom in choosing between AArch64 and Intel-based hardware and making better use of volunteers' efforts across the FOSS ecosystem. It's a home-run."

Fosshost is looking for new volunteers to join its organisation to help support the ever-increasing and growing project list.

Corwin Brust, Chief Operating Officer for Fosshost, said "Our recent organizational pivots are a recognition of both the value and values of our project. We are responding to almost unbelievable demand from the community by focusing our work more directly and accountably on amplifying the impact of our tenant projects while creating professional development opportunities for our volunteer staff," adding "by entrusting more of the day to day operations to the new staff positions, and also by selecting officers who are excited to train, supervise, and to delegate authority, Thomas is sending power message affirming the self-governance models at the heart of so many great and lasting FOSS projects while at the same time creating tangible opportunities for individuals to learn by serving the community."