A Status Update and a Thank You

jmf can't be stopped

Thank you, jmf

Even before jmf officially joined the Lollipop Cloud team, they were contributing to the project. Over the last 3-4 months jmf has been a HUGE asset and have done a LOT of work quietly ensuring our website and documentation continue to evolve and improve. From the moment they found out about the Lollipop Cloud project, they have been involved. We cannot express gratitude in words well enough to do justice by jmf.

jmf has also quietly pushed to ensure we have a proper download site, a way of verifying the integrity of our project’s output (blog posts, public downloads, etc), and more. They have kept a fire under others butt’s so these critical items of infrastructure for the project were addressed, accessible, and complete in a timely manner.

Thanks to their hard work and dedication, our project continues to improve, evolve, and become more accessible to individuals without extensive technical knowledge or access to expensive, cutting edge equipment.

Documentation Updates

jmf has been on a mission to improve the accessibility of our documentation, has worked to improve the initial install, setup processes, and overall clarity. Their amazing documentation and work can be found on our official documentation repo (link).

Website Update

jmf recently finalized our code of conduct with input from the community, and we have added it to the website. You can find the full CoC text here (link), as well as in our documentation code repo here (link).

It’s pretty simple: we welcome all and will not tolerate unkindness, bigotry, or bullying, which hinders innovation, contributions, and progress.

Official Boards

After much testing, discussion, success, failure, and inspiration… we are happy to announce the boards we will officially support!

We’ve selected 4 different boards as our primary targets for the Lollipop Cloud project. Our team members will be working with these boards heavily and will prioritize supporting them. The boards were selected for their price ($25-$100 USD), specifications, and ease-of-use, keeping in mind our goal of making self-hosted clouds an accessible reality.

Orange Pi PC Plus

The Orange Pi PC Plus (product details / link) is a reasonably priced arm32v7 board. This board can be purchased as a full set that includes a board, case, and power supply. It’s got enough RAM, CPU, and more to run a full self-hosted cloud for an individual, family, and maybe a little more.

It has an on-board WiFi chip and on-board ethernet so networking won’t be a problem. It has 3 USB ports for additional WiFi adapters or USB disks. It also has a full HDMI connector so you can setup using a USB keyboard and TV/monitor/etc.

This is our recommended board for deploying a Lollipop Cloud, especially for our beginner users.

Orange Pi Plus 2e

The Orange Pi Plus 2e (product details / link) is an arm64v8 board. It packs 2Gb of RAM, 4 core CPU, lots of expansion options, built-in WiFi, built-in ethernet, and more.

This board can run a self-hosted cloud for an individual, family, or small group. If you’re looking for the “big board,” this is it.

O-Droid HC2

The O-Droid HC2 (product details / link) is an expensive board that packs the most computing power of our target boards. We are recommending this board for those who want to build their own “home brew” Synology NAS.

While not the cheapest option, this should be a reasonable replacement for entry level Synology NAS boxes if you’re looking to self-host a NAS + Cloud without using proprietary software.

Orange Pi Zero Plus

The Orange Pi Zero Plus (product details / link) is a small, inexpensive arm64v8 board. This board is a great starting point and can be used as a little pocket router with ad blocking, VPN, and more. This is best used as a WiFi hot spot device. It can also function as a very basic cloud but does NOT have quite enough RAM to function as a full cloud.

This is a great choice if you’re looking for something pocket sized and/or minimal.

Download Site

As part of the infrastructure updates we also setup https://dl.lollipopcloud.solutions. At present you’ll find our builds of Borg and Armbian along with sha256 hashes of the files and GPG signatures of the files. As part of the process of improving accessibility of the Lollipop Cloud we will be creating customized Armbian builds as well as our own builds of borg. These 2 pieces of software are very difficult to build on a Lollipop (because they use a LOT of resources) and can be difficult to implement without some additional guidance.

Our goal is accessibility, and this is a first step towards improving the accessibility of both Armbian and Borg.

Integrity Checks / Verification / GPG

We have been hard at work fine tuning our approach to continuity. We now have dedicated Nitro Key Storage USB tokens for our core team members (jmf and KemoNine as of this writing) which house all of our passwords, GPG signing keys and a little more.

The Nitro Key Storage is an open design and was selected because it allows our team members the ability to keep our passwords safe while giving our team members a GPG hardware token along the way.

You should start seeing more GPG signatures appearing on our git repos, website and download site. We will be sure to devote some blog space to this topic once things are 100% and are fully implemented by our team. Our plan is to ensure each of our team members are setup with a GPG key for signatures, encryption and authorization. The goal being ALL of our public facing services, data, etc will be fully signed so our users can verify the integrity of everything we publish.