Tentative About page for hostea.org (March 2022)

Hostea provides dedicated managed Gitea hosting, including CI/CD and static pages. Upgrades are carefully tested and include security updates. Each Gitea instance is monitored 24/7 and has backups.

You will want to rent a Gitea instance at hostea if you are …

  • Individual software developers or companies who need their own Gitea instance with CI/CD and static pages but can’t be bothered with installation and maintenance. You want the freedom to download a backup and seamlessly self-host it whenever you decide: no strings attached.
  • Organizations that want to resell Gitea hosting under their brand and rent the infrastructure at a discounted price. You want the option to run the hostea infrastructure on your own hardware in the future and seamlessly migrate your clients.

Committed to Free Software and Radical Transparency

  • Everything is public, there are no internal discussions, all financial records are public down to the last cent
  • Every piece of software is and will always be exclusively Free Software so that it can be self-hosted by users and re-used by competitors
  • Private data (names, adresses, etc. ) is carefully protected and destroyed as soon as possible

Hostea is operated by a collective of individuals and organizations

The members of hostea are like minded individuals and organizations who share the same commitment to Free Software and transparency. They share the hostea income in proportion of their involvement which is recorded in a publicly available spreadsheet for everyone to audit.

The motivation for becoming a member of hostea can be:

  • To refer the occasional customer to hostea, knowing it has a vote to influence where hostea is going.
  • To provide Gitea hosting to its clients under its own brand because it is easier than setting up hostea on their own hardware to do the same. And knowing that when they want to do so it will be as easy as possible.
  • To make a living as a Free Software developer working on developing and maintaining hostea. The time logged working on hostea will be compensated with the income.
  • To support the idea of a sustainable online service exclusively based on Free Software (there are actually very few of them, it is a non trivial problem to solve) and do nothing. In which case there won’t be any income distributed to the member.
  • To free developers from centralized forges lock-in by providing a reliable alternative and work on the Ansible playbooks to maintain hostea. In which case the member is entitled to a share of the income in proportion of the time.

Truly self-hostable

When self-hosting the development of a software project is difficult, it is a theoretical possibility that has no practical use. The Gitea project itself has been stuck on GitHub for many years. Hostea is committed to provide a seamless migration path to self hosting. A virtual machine to run the Gitea instance, including CI/CD and static pages can be downloaded at any time. It can then be booted on premise or in the cloud.

The infrastructure as code running hostea itself is published, documented and tested so that it can also be used on premise. Either to manage the virtual machine retrieved from hostea, with the same user panel, monitoring, backups etc. Or to run a public Gitea hosting service identical to hostea and become a competitor.

Interoperable with existing infrastructures

Running hostea with its integrated monitoring and backup system is an interesting proposition: all in one. When it is deployed within an existing infrastructure that has its own backup and monitoring setup, it provides:

  • A monitoring endpoint to get a global health status (red/green) which is an aggregation of the probes deployed to verify Gitea runs, security updates have been applied, the latest upgrades are installed, backups have been successfully created, communicates with the CI etc.
  • A backup download endpoint to get a copy of the backups so they can be stored in the existing backup system for safekeeping

Hostea is not …

  • Hostea is not a shared Gitea hosting facility that can be used for free such as Codeberg. It provides dedicated Gitea instances for a fee.
  • Hostea is not a company with shareholders that make a passive income. The income is redistributed to the people and organizations doing the work. The workers are also empowered with every decision about hostea, either by consensus or by vote.
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Thanks for taking the time to write about Hostea, this accurately describes the project’s goals! :slight_smile:

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