Open source software hosting website Fosshost is shutting down

Open source software hosting website Fosshost will no longer provide services as it reaches the end of its life.

fosshost

Fosshost project volunteers announced this weekend that after months of difficulty reaching leadership, including the CEO, they have decided to shut down and users are being urged to immediately back up their data and switch to alternative hosting platforms.

UK-based non-profit Fosshost has provided services completely free of charge to several high-profile open source projects, including GNOME, Armbian, Debian and the Free Software Foundation of Europe (FSFE). But that will soon change as the project reaches the end of its life.

The site fosshost.org has already stopped its activity and states the following:

Fosshost to be considered EOL
At this time, Fosshost deeply regrets to announce that we can no longer continue to offer our services.

Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Fosshost volunteers, we are in a situation where we cannot guarantee that our servers will remain online, and in fact we expect them to go offline soon.

Because of this, we strongly recommend that all Fosshost tenants back up their data immediately and migrate elsewhere as soon as possible.

As Fosshost began to show signs of failure, former volunteers and others deeply interested in the sustainability of free software began building alternatives, new homes for projects that had previously relied on Fosshost.

The Radix project
The Radix Project is committed to providing free, on-demand, on-demand hosting for your FLOSS/open source efforts.

The Radix Project is one such initiative, founded in part by one of Fosshost's architects.

And urges to read the message of the founder of Radix from here.

The indefinite notice and on Twitter caused a lot of confusion among the community members who could not understand the real reason behind Fosshost shutdown.

"We are unable to pay for the co-location costs and that is why our servers will be going offline as Thomas Markey, our CEO, is not reachable," an alleged Fosshost volunteer appears to state in a post of on YCombinator Hacker News.

The commenter states that Thomas Markey, who has been unresponsive for the past six months, is the only person with access to bank accounts with funds needed to operate Fosshost.

It is worth noting that Fosshost is a Community Interest Company (CIC), officially registered at Companies House, in England. Therefore, its management is still responsible for submitting annual balance sheets and documents.

Otherwise, Fosshost, like any other organized organization, could be struck off the company register with additional penalties for directors.

Started in 2020 as a project by CEO Thomas Markey, Fosshost has quickly grown into a cloud platform adopted by the open source community due to its reliability, scalability and provision of global hosting infrastructure.

As of December 2021, Fosshost had up to 250 open source projects using the service to develop, build, test, and compile software.

But its continued increased reliance on the CEO meant that Fosshost had an Achilles' heel. And the early warning signs of Fosshost's internal management chaos began to emerge this year.

By August, Fosshost had reached an unacceptable state forcing it to remove software such as AArch64. At the time Fosshost said its current management and leadership team were "under review." By September, Fosshost had suspended its applications, citing scalability issues.

Users were then encouraged to explore alternative hosting arrangements or try to contact Markey who was "the only one who could fix it".

On the bright side, former Fosshost volunteers and free software enthusiasts have started building an alternative with The Radix Project, which will be free, as it should be when we're talking about open source software.

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Written by Dimitris

Dimitris hates on Mondays .....

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