I do not know much about freeshell.de, but can say that I have found the type of internet community that I have missed since the early 90s ont hese shells.
The tilde crew is really awesome as well.
At least in the case of SDF, it can be a "social" community just as much as a platform for various hosted services.
It features a custom BBS of sorts called 'bboard' - which lets users post messages about any and all conceivable topics - from Unix to ham radio to philosophy and old telephones.
It also has its own chatroom called 'com' in addition to various channels on its own irc.sdf.org server.
There is an active ham radio "club" within SDF, and there are regular "partyline" voice chats (conference calls) offered through its VoIP service.
It also hosts a huge gopher/phlog community - where users not only post interesting and unique content, but often make a point of writing posts in response to other users' posts.
As someone who first got online in the mid-1990s via AOL on a Macintosh, I largely missed out on the early days of the Internet, before it came to be dominated by the WWW. I truly appreciate SDF because it is a nice space for folks to get a small taste of what life used to be like on the net, before it became dominated by commercial interests, relentless invasion of privacy, and proprietary services.
I'd encourage all to create an account and take a look around. The one-time $36 donation to get lifetime ARPA membership status is well worth it, in my opinion.
Is it safe to ssh into an untrusted host? What are the things to watch out? I know that ssh -X is not a good idea but are there other options that are potentially dangerous?
Or is it just that people trust their shell providers?
> Its important to emphasize that escape sequences used in up-to-date terminal emulators used today most likely don't have such vulnerabilities, since they have been mitigated in the past. However, terminal emulators developed recently and used on other devices, like on embedded devices, Android, iOS can still contain such vulnerabilities.
> Agent forwarding should be enabled with caution. Users with the ability to bypass file permissions on the remote host (for the agent's UNIX-domain socket) can access the local agent through the forwarded connection. An attacker cannot obtain key material from the agent, however they can perform operations on the keys that enable them to authenticate using the identities loaded into the agent.
Interesting, that is a blast from the past I had nearly forgotten about.
Back when connecting the world was viewed as (and often experienced as) a good thing.
The problem is, unless you donate or find someone to sponsor you, you don't actually get shell access; you get some very limited BBS functionality. And even once you do donate to get the basic access level, there are a number of basic programs (like Python and a C compiler) that aren't executable without getting a higher access level.
I wound up installing my own local version of pkgsrc in my home directory just to see if I could use that work around the issue, but that's not really a good option for the "teach someone how to use a Unix shell" use case.
It's easier to just spin up a free tier VM on one of the cloud providers than it is to use the "Public Access Unix" on SDF.
At that time, the creation of a public minicomputer running Unix, which you can telnet into was groundbreaking. And in the late 90s when the WWW was taking off, it offered a wide ranges of community services, including a shell, access to newsgroups, Gopher, E-mail, IRC, and being an ISP with dial-up and DSL network connection, that served as a great platform to your online presence.
The time has changed and today it doesn't have the significance that it was. Running a system by yourself or renting a virtual server makes more sense.
Although SDF itself is still a good community, and now has a Minecraft server and a Mastodon server in addition to the technical BBS.
- multinode / shared nfs homedirs / multiuser
- CLI mail is wired up properly
- publish www via ~/public_html
- system from source, 3rd party stuff in ports
the modern 'random ubuntu laptops + dhcp on wifi' network feels hugely impoverished by comparison as far as network cohesion
(but yes there are positives to this tradeoff too)
As for the random ubuntu laptops, try to do the dhcp on wifi using a debootstrap of a minimal debian on a separate partition, then configure wpa_supplicant to start dhcp by systemd dependancy, and detect wifi card to start wpa_supplicant@wifi_card_device_name. This could give you a great introduction to modern tools! (bonus points if you setup a native wayland)
Understand the old and the new ways gives a better picture of the overall system, and will help you make education decisions.
(And it's not forbidden to setup CLI mail on your modern system, or a systemd-based classic unix! mix and match to your tastes!)
Eh? It takes a minute of dropping in on com to get someone to verify you, and after that you have access to everything in the 'basic' user level -- which does indeed give you access to compilers and the like.
There are the "instructor" and "student" levels, but since this wasn't an official course I was running but just "I want to show someone the ropes of Bash scripting," I found it a lot easier to just spin up a free-tier VM on Google than try to find someone who could give me the appropriate membership level.
lrwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 9 Jan 2 2018 /usr/pkg/bin/python -> python2.7
-rwx---r-x 1 root users 5952 Nov 12 17:13 /usr/pkg/bin/python2.7
-rwx---r-x 1 root users 1685 Nov 12 17:14 /usr/pkg/bin/python2.7-config
lrwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 9 Jan 18 2018 /usr/pkg/bin/python3 -> python3.6
-rwx---r-x 1 root users 7728 Feb 9 2018 /usr/pkg/bin/python3.6
-rwx---r-x 1 root users 3132 Feb 9 2018 /usr/pkg/bin/python3.6-config
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 5984 Dec 24 01:27 /usr/pkg/bin/python3.7
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 3132 Dec 24 01:27 /usr/pkg/bin/python3.7-config
There is the additional membership level MetaARPA, at $9/month which you need to have to have access to tools like git:
$ ls -l /usr/pkg/bin/git
-rwxr-x--- 1 root MetaARPA 2481424 Sep 11 13:50 /usr/pkg/bin/git
But anyhow, this kind of restriction of use of basic development tools for the free tier makes it kind of useless for what I wanted to use it for, even if the restriction isn't enforced all that well. I could understand if they restricted usage, like disk or CPU, or things like TLS for your home page, and I can understand restricting some outbound networking to prevent abuse, but not providing access to Python and Git in the free tier?
(I wonder if my account still works...wow, it does. I should really change that password.)
My long term hobby project is a web desktop for Linux. Security wise it is much the same as letting people use a shell from https. It would be nice to have a system to allow people to try it out and have a couple of hundred meg or so of persistent storage.
It's quite a daunting prospect, and such fun if you get it wrong.
It has gone private/premium since. Nowadays perhaps you can achieve the same with SELinux or AppArmor?
I could dialup to Peachnet - a free Gopher server provided by the University System of GA and somehow navigate to it. It was a six step process to get there and I had a macro to automate it.
It was a 7 bit connection and I could only use Kermit to transfer files. I still haven’t found an interface as clean as the “nn” news reader I use to use to read Usenet.
a) survival of the service is more likely assured
b) there's someone to file a ticket with and an SLA/SLO when things break
c) doesn't enable jerks to ruin something for everyone, i.e., draconian limits or taking a service offline
Like 2 bucks for a year. Sure it's a crappy 128mb system but that's enough to do a lot of things.
A more respectable machine is probably like 15 usd a year (1gig w/ ipv4).
Keeping in mind that you get what you pay for
2USD ones... https://lowendspirit.com/locations.html
Yeah I'm not giving anyone in this price class a credit card. Paypal & disposable credit cards only.
It's also quite possible that they close shop fly-by-night style so I wouldn't rely on them for anything serious. Still for the price I find them useful for experimenting & learning.
freeshell.de, however, has this great oldschool feel without being too crowded. Very hipster, highly recommended.