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Freenet is a project that creates a darknet F2F (friend-to-friend) global networked data-store that support anonymous websites and message boards. (Read more on To use it with gentoo, you'll have to do everything yourself as there is not an ready ebuild for it presently.


You'll need java runtime to run freenet. (See first part of Mozilla Firefox/Java)

It maybe a good idea to run freenet under a separate user id instead of root or your everyday user account:

 adduser freenet --create-home
 passwd freenet

If you run sshd with DenyUsers directive, be sure to edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config and edit in something along the line of "DenyUsers root freenet".

Following the linux installation instruction from freenet's website (

 su -l freenet
 tar xvzf freenet07.tar.gz
 cd freenet
 ./ start

Now Freenet is installed and operative and you can browser your fproxy control panel at

If you want to start/stop your node without having to login as freenet user, you can put this script into /etc/init.d :

 start() {
       ebegin "Starting Freenet"
       start-stop-daemon --start --chuid freenet --exec /home/freenet/freenet/ start
       eend 0
 status() {
       start-stop-daemon --start --chuid freenet --exec /home/freenet/freenet/ status
       eend $?
 stop() {
       ebegin "Stopping Freenet"
       start-stop-daemon --start --chuid freenet --exec /home/freenet/freenet/ stop
       eend 0

and save it as /etc/init.d/freenet. Then you'll able to start/stop freenet as root typing

 /etc/init.d/freenet start

and also you can make it start at boot using the rc-update command.

Alternative installation: Sunrise overlay [not working at the moment. Will be updated later]

There's another method for installing Freenet. Anyway you have to be a little familiar with overlays. There's a Freenet ebuild into Sunrise overlay that will do all the work (check dependencies, download packages, create users, etc.).

First of all, you need to use that overlay. Follow the quick instructions on its homepage. (It's not explicit in those instructions, but you need also the subversion package)

Before emerging freenet, you have to unmask it by typing

 echo "net-p2p/freenet-bin ~x86" >> /etc/portage/package.keywords

Now you can

 emerge freenet-bin

When emerge has finished its job, you can start Freenet by typing

 /etc/init.d/freenet start

That's all! Now you can browser your fproxy control panel at

Please note that this method may not always work due to digest not in sync with packages. If you get any errors that you can't fix by yourself, you can use the other install method up in this page.

Remark on digest error:

In case you get a digest error you could try the following:

 cd /usr/portage/local/layman/sunrise/net-p2p/freenet-bin

(or where your overlay is)

Recreate the digest by:

 ebuild freenet-bin-0.7_beta_pre1126.ebuild digest

The try the emerge again.

Boot-Strapping Your Node

Since Version 0.7a2 you can connect your node to Freenet just enabling Opennet. It's no more necessary to publish your noderef on IRC channels. Please note that opennet is not as safe as darknet. So, if you need the maximum level of anonymity that Freenet can offer, turn off opennet. As you can see in Freenet documentation, to run a daknet-only node, you have to exchange your noderef with somebody you trust.

Similar Projects

Tor and Privoxy provide a (relatively) low-latency anonymous (onion) network that also have hidden websites that actually runs off hidden-away web-servers; freenet, on the other hand, have disembodied web-pages that "floats around" the encrypted-distributed data-store, and cannot provide services, e.g. database queries, but as a result is immune to DoS attacks and server downtimes. There are couple tor+privoxy howto pages here on gentoo-wiki that might also interest you if you are curious about browsing the web anonymously or just want to know more about anonymous networks in general: HOWTO Anonymity with Tor and Privoxy and HOWTO Anonymity with Tor on the web.

See Also

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Last modified: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 03:44:00 +0000 Hits: 6,508