You don’t have to be a geek to setup FreedomBox!

What is this FreedomBox thingy?

See this 4-minute video to learn what it is.

Well, the important concept to grasp here is that, servers that enable communication for a lot of people can be big and expensive, but to serve the needs of one family, all you need is a simple Single Board Computer like Raspberry Pi or OLinuXino-Lime2

Apart from the privacy-enabling stuff, it also has a chat client, web-based bit-torrent client, blogging software, ad-blocking using proxy server, file synchronization, a social networking server, VoIP server etc. It’s a convenient little thing to have, with lots of utilities.

FreedomBox setup on a Raspberry Pi

Disclaimer: I didn’t mean to write a tutorial, but just to explain how I setup my FreedomBox. I felt that there might be a lot of people like me who may find this useful. I’ve used a MacBook and a Raspberry Pi in my setup process. Also, tried it on two different routers. Please take my advice with a pinch of salt. This is neither official nor recommended.

In this setup, the FreedomBox acts as a home server connected as just another device to the router. The FreedomBox can also act as a router which can have some additional benefits.

Download the image for Raspberry Pi from the FreedomBox website. In my case, I downloaded this one —

Put the SD card of your Raspberry Pi into a card reader and connect it to your laptop. There’s a nifty little utility called Etcher which can quickly get the above image installed on the memory card, in just 3 steps. Insert the SD card into the Raspberry Pi. We’re done with FreedomBox installation.

This is where the Wi-Fi router comes in.

Connect your Raspberry Pi to the router using an ethernet cable. Connect to your router’s web interface using some URL like or Try both 1.1 and 0.1 with both the series.

For D-Link routers, the default username is admin and the password field must be left blank. If you’re in Hyderabad and using the ACT FiberNet’s router like me, the default username is admin and password is radinet_admin. Search on Quora if these don’t work for you. There are some other combinations.

See the connected devices on your router and find the FreedomBox’s IP address. Hit that IP address in your browser. You’ll see a warning that the connection is not secure, click the “Advanced …” link and proceed for this time.

Now you’re on the Plinth interface of FreedomBox. You can access the FreedomBox when your laptop is connected to this router, but not from the internet, well not yet.

To access it from the outside, you need to do port forwarding. Follow this process: - Find the static DHCP settings on your router, and define a static IP address for your FreedomBox’s mac address (your router will show the mac address as well). I set it whatever the FreedomBox’s current IP address was. - Next, find the setting called “IP forwarding” or DMZ on your router and add your FreedomBox’s static IP address there. - Then, find the setting called “Port forwarding” on your router and enable port 443 (the port for HTTPS connections).

Now, if you know your public ip address (a simple google search will tell you), you can go to https:// and reach your FreedomBox. But that ain’t as cool as what we’re gonna do next.

Go to FreedomBox’s plinth web interface, login (or create a new account if setting up for the first time) and click on the Configuration tab in the menu bar. You should see an option called Dynamic DNS Client on the left. There you’ll find some instructions, but basically it tells you to go here and register for a dynamic DNS. Choose the domain “” for extra awesomeness! Once you register a domain there, like, it might take a few minutes to actually start working. Then you can just use a URL like and access your FreedomBox from anywhere. This domain name will also be necessary when setting up federated applications on the FreedomBox.

Not just you, but you can create as many user accounts as your Raspberry Pi can support for your friends and family and have secure communications and some cool utilities all hosted on a credit-card-sized computer!

Now is a great time to take a look at all the features of FreedomBox and start using them. FreedomBox/Features — Debian Wiki

Congratulations! You have setup your own FreedomBox and may have turned a bit geeky as a side-effect.