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We think it's important to understand that Co-op Cloud is more than just software and technical configurations. It is also a novel organization of how to create technology socially. However, strictly technically speaking you may be wondering:

What about $alternative?

We have various technical critiques of other similar projects which are already up-and-running in the ecosystem, as they don't necessarily meet our needs as a small tech co-op. However, Co-op Cloud isn't meant to be a replacement for these other projects.

Here is a short overview of the pros/cons we see, in relation to our goals and needs.


Cloudron is complete solution for running apps on your own server


  • 👍 Decent web interface for app, domain & user management.
  • 👍 Large library of apps.
  • 👍 Built-in SSO using LDAP, which is compatible with more apps and often has a better user interface than OAuth.
  • 👍 Apps are actively maintained by the Cloudron team.


  • 👎 Moving away from open source. The core is now proprietary software.
  • 👎 Libre tier has a single app limit.
  • 👎 Based on Docker images, not stacks, so multi-process apps (e.g. parsoid visual editor for Mediawiki) are a non-starter.
  • 👎 Difficult to extend apps.
  • 👎 Only supported on Ubuntu LTS.
  • 👎 Upstream libre software communities aren't involved in packaging.
  • 👎 Limited to vertical scaling.
  • 👎 Tension between needs of hosting provider and non-technical user.
  • 👎 LDAP introduces security problems - one vulnerable app can expose a user's password for all apps.
  • 👎 Bit of a black box.


YunoHost is an operating system aiming for the simplest administration of a server


  • 👍 Lovely web interface for app, domain & user management.
  • 👍 Bigger library of apps.
  • 👍 Awesome backup / deploy / restore continuous integration testing.
  • 👍 Supports hosting apps in subdirectories as well as subdomains.
  • 👍 Doesn't require a public-facing IP.
  • 👍 Supports system-wide mutualisation of resources for apps (e.g. sharing databases by default)


  • 👎 Upstream libre software communities aren't involved in packaging.
  • 👎 Uninstalling apps leaves growing cruft.
  • 👎 Limited to vertical scaling.
  • 👎 Not intended for use by hosting providers.


CapRover is an easy to use app/database deployment & web server manager for applications


  • 👍 Bigger library of apps.
  • 👍 Easy set-up using a DigitalOcean one-click app.
  • 👍 Works without a domain name or a public IP, in non-HTTPS mode (good for homeservers).
  • 👍 Deploy any app with a docker-compose.yml file as a "One Click App" via the web interface.
  • 👍 Multi-node (multi-server) set-up works by default.


  • 👎 Single-file app definition format, difficult to tweak using entrypoint scripts.
  • 👎 Nginx instead of Traefik for load-balancing.
  • 👎 Command-line client requires NodeJS / npm.
  • 👎 Requires 512MB RAM for a single app.
  • 👎 Backup/restore is "experimental", and doesn't currently help with backing up Docker volumes.
  • 👎 Exposes its bespoke management interface to the internet via HTTPS by default.


Ansible mature automation and deployment tool.


  • 👍 Includes server creation and bootstrapping.


  • 👎 Upstream libre software communities aren't publishing Ansible roles.
  • 👎 Lots of manual work involved in things like app isolation, backups, updates.


Kubernetes (or K8s) is a system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.


  • 👍 Helm charts are available for some key apps already.
  • 👍 Scale all the things.


  • 👎 Too big -- requires 3rd party tools to run a single-node instance.
  • 👎 Not suitable for a small to mid size hosting provider.


Docker Compose is a tool for defining and running multi-container applications.


  • 👍 Quick to set up and familiar for many developers.


  • 👎 Manual work required for process monitoring.
  • 👎 Secret storage not available yet.
  • 👎 Swarm is the new best practice.

Doing it Manually (Old School)

If you are an absolute Shaman in a Shell and learning new gadgets just slows you down, have it, but maybe ask how old is old enough?


  • 👍 Simple - just follow upstream instructions to install and update.


  • 👎 Loads of manual work required for app isolation and backups.
  • 👎 Array of sysadmin skills required to install and maintain apps.
  • 👎 Hard to share configurations into the commons.
  • 👎 No idea who has done what change when.


Stackspin deployment and management stack for a handful of popular team collaboration apps.


  • 👍 Easy instructions to install & upgrade multiple tightly integrated apps.
  • 👍 Offers a unified SSO user experience.
  • 👍 Offers tightly integrated logging, monitoring, and maintenance.
  • 👍 Has a strong focus and attention to security.


  • 👎 Upstream libre software communities aren't involved in packaging.
  • 👎 It is not designed to be a general specification.
  • 👎 Hard to share configurations into the commons.
  • 👎 Significantly limited library of eight apps.
  • 👎 Additional apps are treated as "External Apps" with only OAuth2/OpenID integration.
  • 👎 Requires a Kubernetes cluster.


Maadix managed hosting and deployment of popular privacy preserving applications.


  • 👍 Nice looking web interface for app, domain & user management.
  • 👍 Offers a paid hosting service to get up and running easily.


  • 👎 Upstream libre software communities aren't involved in packaging.
  • 👎 It is not designed to be a general specification.
  • 👎 Hard to share configurations into the commons.
  • 👎 Limited library of apps.
  • 👎 Uses OpenNebula, Ansible, and Puppet as underlying technologies.
  • 👎 Appears to be only a team of two people.
  • 👎 Appears to be inactive on Mastodon and limited GitLab activity.