Unicorn reaches EOL. Long Live Unicorn!

Unicorn is our soon-to-expire 3 year contract experiment in totally self-hosting services on a donated VPS. It was said that maintenance of such an idea was impossible, but here we are reaching the finish line in a couple weeks.

What does Unicorn do?

Most famously, it hosts this very forum at discuss.noisebridge.info thanks to the exhausting number of heroes and interest put in by volunteers both former and current: Victoria Fierce, @rando, @the, @themanmaran, @elimisteve @bfb @fnord (too many names!!) and all the other wonderful volunteers on our about page

Activity over last 30 days and types of users

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Statistics of total topics and posts

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Graphs of usage over the last calendar year

Unicorn hosts a number of other services besides the forum, as listed on our wiki, which famously include:

Minio - s3 compatible storage hosting various data for Noisebridge applications in both encrypted and unencrypted buckets.
Scuttlebutt - our introverted p2p social network recently passed 1k users.
Minetest - open alternative to Minecraft. Our server hides a lot of user contributions in it’s digital Noisebridge island.
RSS-Bridge allowing you to access your social media, follow manga releases, Steam store product postings, follow your favorite porn stars, and whatever else from old school RSS feeds.
Rocket.chat - never took off in usage

Lessons Learned

  1. Experimentation works!!! In general, volunteers at Noisebridge have been very trustworthy. We’ve fostered a strong, decentralized community of people who will help keep the system a-float as needed. This also indicates we do not require a strong hierarchy to protect or restrict these sorts of services.
  2. We’re going to need a bigger boat. Brony - VPS running Debian 11 Bullseye now available can serve as a successor to Unicorn. or, Reproducibility can be king and useful services such as Minio could migrate over to our rack infrastructure where they can enjoy more rigorous documentation.

Big thanks to all of the volunteers who’ve helped out. I hope others will keep this world alive!

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