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This page documents the GNUnet history.

Second GNUnet Hacker Meeting 2018 at La D├ęcentrale, Switzerland

The GNUnet hackers met for the second time this year. The primary goal was to squash bugs to bring out a new release. Aside from this we worked hard on improving the documentation and to launch this new website.

GNUnet 0.11.0pre66

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 07:20 - Christian Grothoff

Download link:

  • http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnunet/gnunet-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz
  • http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnunet/gnunet-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz.sig
  • http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnunet/gnunet-gtk-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz
  • http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnunet/gnunet-gtk-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz.sig
  • http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnunet/gnunet-fuse-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz
  • http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnunet/gnunet-fuse-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz.sig

    We are pleased to announce the release of GNUnet 0.11.0pre66.

    This is a pre-release to assist developers and downstream packagers to test the package before the final release after four years of development.

    In terms of usability, users should be aware that there are still a very large number of known open issues in particular with respect to ease of use, but also some critical privacy issues especially for mobile users. Also, the nascent network is tiny (~200 peers) and thus unlikely to provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information. As a result, the 0.11.0 release and especially this pre-release are only suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance.

    License change

    GNUnet 0.11.0pre66 is the first release that will be made under the GNU Affero General Public License v3+. After a significant amount of internal discussion lead constructively by Lynx (thanks!), the conclusion has been that the IPC and REST APIs should be extended with support for an GNUNET_MESSAGE_TYPE_AGPL or /agpl request that enables users of these client/service-style APIs to download the source code.

    Naturally, the discussion on licensing may not necessarily end here, but at this point we are not aware of any dissent in the community and this release seems to be the right time to make such a change. While the final decision was not subjected to a broad feedback round, this was done simply on the grounds that this placement of the AGPL API seems to addresses all concerns that were raised. Finally, thanks to the copyright assignment all developers are participating in, the community will be able to revise this decision later if necessary.

    It should also be noted that this change does not impose additional restrictions on the licensing models of GNU Taler or pEp: both projects have agreements with GNUnet e.V. that ensure that they can make decisions that fit these applications (not to mention significant parts of GNU Taler are already AGPLv3+ already).

    About GNUnet

    GNUnet is a framework for secure peer-to-peer networking. GNUnet's primary design goals are to protect the privacy of its users and to guard itself against attacks or abuse. At this point, GNUnet offers four primary applications on top of the framework:

    The file-sharing service allows anonymous censorship-resistant file-sharing. Files, searches and search results are encrypted to make it hard to control, track or censor users. GNUnet's anonymity protocol (gap) is designed to make it difficult to link users to their file-sharing activities. Users can also individually trade-off between performance and anonymity. Despite providing anonymity, GNUnet's excess-based economy rewards contributing users with better performance.

    The VPN service allows offering of services within GNUnet (using the .gnu TLD) and can be used to tunnel IPv4 and IPv6 traffic over the P2P network. The VPN can also be used for IP protocol translation (6-to-4, 4-to-6) and it is possible to tunnel IP traffic over GNUnet (6-over-4, 4-over-6). Note that at this stage, it is possible for peers to determine the IP address at which services are hosted, so the VPN does not offer anonymity.

    The GNU Name System (GNS) provides a fully-decentralized and censorship resistant replacement for DNS. GNS can be used alongside DNS and can be integrated with legacy applications (such as traditional browsers) with moderate effort. GNS provides censorship-resistance, memorable names and cryptographic integrity protection for the records. Note that at this stage, it is possible for a strong adversary to determine which peer is responsible for a particular zone, GNS does not offer strong anonymity. However, GNS offers query privacy, that is other participants can typically not decrypt queries or replies.

    Conversation allows voice calls to be made over GNUnet. Users are identified using GNS and voice data is encrypted. However, Conversation does not provide anonymity at this stage --- other peers may observe a connection between the two endpoints and it is possible to determine the IP address associated with a phone.

    Other applications, including in particular the SecuShare social networking application, are still strictly experimental.

    For developers, GNUnet offers:

    • Access to all subsystems via clean C APIs

    • Mostly written in C, but extensions possible in other languages

    • Multi-process architecture for fault-isolation between components

    • Use of event loop and processes instead of threads for ease of development

    • Extensive logging and statistics facilities

    • Integrated testing library for automatic deployment of large-scale experiments with tens of thousands of peers

    Noteworthy improvements in 0.11.0pre66

    • Improved documentation, converting Drupal handbook to Texinfo (thanks ng0!)

    • GNU Name System now can take over arbitrary TLDs, and support for conversion from DNS zones to GNS exists

    • Critical bugfixes in CORE, DHT and CADET subsystems

    The above is just the short list, our bugtracker lists over 350 individual issues that were resolved (see https://gnunet.org/bugs/changelog_page.php).

    Known Issues

    We have a few issues that are most likely not resolved in the final release. Users should be aware of these issues, which we hope to address shortly.

    • There are known major design issues in TRANSPORT, ATS and CORE which will need to be addressed for usability, performance and security.

    • There are known moderate implementation limitations in CADET that impact performance.

    • There are known moderate design issues in FS that also impact usability and performance.

    • There are minor implementation limitations in SET that create unnecessary attack surface for availability.

    • The Web site and manuals still need significant rework.

    • Subsystems related to SecuShare and RPS remain experimental.

    In addition to this list, you may also want to consult our bug tracker at https://gnunet.org/bugs/ which lists about 200 more specific issues. Availability

    The GNUnet 0.11.0pre66 source code is available from all GNU FTP mirrors. The GTK frontends (which includes the gnunet-setup tool) are a separate download. Please note that some mirrors might still be synchronizing.

    • GNUnet on a FTP mirror near you http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnunet/gnunet-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz

    • GNUnet GTK on an FTP mirror near you http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnunet/gnunet-gtk-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz

    • GNUnet FUSE on an FTP mirror near you http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnunet/gnunet-fuse-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz

    • GNUnet on the primary GNU FTP server ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/gnunet/gnunet-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz

    • GNUnet GTK on the primary GNU FTP server ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/gnunet/gnunet-gtk-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz

    • GNUnet FUSE on the primary GNU FTP server ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/gnunet/gnunet-fuse-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz

    Note that GNUnet is now started using "gnunet-arm -s". GNUnet should be stopped using "gnunet-arm -e".


    This release was the work of many people. The following people contributed code and were thus easily identified: Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Bart Polot, Sree Harsha Totakura, Nathan S. Evans, Martin Schanzenbach, Julius Bünger, Nils Gillmann, Philipp Tölke, Florian Dold, Руслан Ижбулатов, tg(x), David Barksdale, Christian Fuchs, Nils Durner, Omar Tarabai, Maximilian Szengel, Supriti Singh, lurchi, David Brodski, xrs, Fabian Oehlmann, Carlo von lynX, Christophe Genevey Metat, Jeffrey Burdges, Safey A.Halim, Daniel Golle, Phil, Bruno Cabral, Ji Lu, Heikki Lindholm, Markus Teich, t3sserakt, Claudiu Olteanu, Marcello Stanisci, Moon, anryko, Arthur Dewarumez, Julien Morvan, Adnan H, Lin Tong, Andreas Fuchs, Christian Rupp, jah, Alejandra Morales, Matthias Kolja Miehl, Andrew Cann, Antonio Ojea, Pascal Mainini, amirouche and hark.

  • 2018-08: GSoC 2018 - GNUnet Web-based User Interface

    Tue, 08/14/2018 - 07:55 - Phil Buschmann

    What was done?

    In the context of Google Summer of Code 2018, my mentor (Martin Schanzenbach) and I have worked on creating and extending the REST API of GNUnet. Currently, we mirrored the functionality of following commands:

    • gnunet-identity
    • gnunet-namestore
    • gnunet-gns
    • gnunet-peerinfo

    Additionally, we developed a website with the Javascript framework Angular 6 and the design framework iotaCSS to use the new REST API. The REST API of GNUnet is now documented with Sphinx.

    Why did we create a REST API?

    ... when you can use the command line tools? We need to keep in mind, that everyone has the right to stay secure and private but not everyone feels comfortable using a terminal. The further developed REST access to GNUnet APIs in addition to the new web application allows new users to interact with GNUnet over a well known tool: their browsers. This addition to the C API and the command line tools may attract new users and developers.

    How can we use it?

    1. The REST API developed in GNUnet The REST API is already merged into the gnunet.git repository (GNUnet Main Git). To use the new features, clone the repository and follow the Installation on gnunet.org. Then, start the rest service with "gnunet-arm -i rest".
    2. The Web Application The web application is available under the gnunet-webui.git repository (GNUnet WebUI Git). You need to install the newest version of 'node' and 'yarn'. Dependent on your system, you may need to download newer versions and install them manually and not over your packet manager. After the installation succeeded, you need to clone the repository. Then, you need to run "yarn install" and "yarn start" for testing purposes. To deploy the website (keep in mind, that this website communicates with another localhost instance) use "yarn build" for building the web application and use the output in the 'dist' directory.
    3. The Documentation The documentation is available under the gnunet-rest-api.git repository (GNUnet REST API Docmentation Git). Clone the repository and "make html". Then open the 'index.html' under 'build/html/'.

    Please, give it a try and contact me, if you find any bugs or unintentional features. ;)

    What can be improved?

    Right now, the build process of the web application may be a little too complex for a casual user. We may be able to solve this by using docker. Additionally, the web application does not prevent wrong inputs but responds with error messages. Adding GNUnet Records is currently only usable for people, who know how a GNS Record looks like. This can be adapted to each record type. Last but not least, additional features, design changes, etc...

    Thanks for reading.

    2017-10: Launching the new gnunet.org

    Welcome to the redesign of gnunet.org, our website about GNUnet.