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Re: Please let's not talk about "clouds"

On 04/24/2013 07:32 AM, Richard Stallman wrote:
>     > That makes no difference to the ethics of the service.  Even if the
>     > programs are released as free software in whichever way you like, the
>     > users of the service have no control over what that server does.
>     And so with any shared hosting solution, even those running exclusively
>     with free software.
> If you mean remote server rental, that's a different issue entirely.

No. I really mean "shared hosting". Which is, a single server, with
let's say apache, bind, postfix and so on, running. Then customers get a
web GUI to control their account in the server, add mailboxes, domains,
etc. against a generally very low yearly fee (from 5 to 100 USD per
year, generally). I'm the author of one of such management software:


This can be setup to do "shared hosting", though you can of course use
it for yourself only and use the root user web GUI.

I think this is very comparable to have root access and user access on a
Unix system. Even someone running as a user is running free software,
even though he obviously has a lot less control than if it could "su" to
gain root access.

> When you rent a remote physical server, you generally have full
> control over the software running on it, so it's ok. With a virtual
> server, you have control over most of the software running on it, and
> maybe you have control over all of that software. If so, it's ok.

That isn't what "shared hosting" is.

> However, as a user of SaaS, you don't have any control over the software
> running on the server which does your computing.

I think that's the same issue as with being only a user with no root
access in a Unix system (I'm obviously considering we have only free
software running on the SaaS here...).

Thomas Goirand (zigo)

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