Freenet (version 0.7) - a Freenet Mini Howto for linux. (I am using ubuntu 8.04 and KDE)                                       Back to Main Page

This i a very short version, and if you want to know more, go to the Internet etc.

This howto is without any guarantee, and you may use it on your own responsibility only.

There may be errors, but I do not want to use too much time to  write this howto.

My idea is to make documentation, so you can at the least start using the program.

I have abstracted what I find most important, from lots and lots of documentation.

To check specific words you may use: (search).

It's most convenient to print this howto out, to use it by your side !

Index of page:

What is Freenet

To download Freenet

You need to have java

To install Freenet

Where is Freenet installed

How to use Freenet

The most important menu links

The Firestarter firewall

How to make a freesite

Freesite Howto - more info

Kompozer - how to create the index.html file

How to publish the freesite

You can download the jSite program

How to start the "JSite" program

How to insert a Freesite anonymously

The Bookmark editor

To start/stop/status Freenet

How to install Freemail

The Freemail Plugin

How to set up the Freemail account

The Freemail server settings

Your Freemail address

To send a Freemail

How to install libpoco5

To install FMS

To install the Thunderbird FMS extension

To create your FMS identity

To announce your FMS identiy

To setup your FMS news account

The FMS news server settings

To install the FMS program

To insert a new version of the FMS program

To subscribe to FMS newsgroups

To send a message to a news group

The trust system

FMS Guide WOT (Web of Trust) - more info

How to exchange reference nodes (ref. nodes)

Freenet links

To download  Freenet keys

What is Freenet:  A part of the  Internet, where one can surf anonymous, and one can also place one's own webpages there etc.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

To use Freenet, you need to have java - "sun-java6-jre" (newest version) installed.

You also need to have "Firefox" installed (newest version).

To download Freenet, open a shell konsole and run:

mkdir /home/yourusername/download  - instead of "yourusername" you shoul use your own "user name"

cd /home/yourusername/download


This will fetch the Freenet archive called new_installer.jar and place it in "/home/yourusername/download" (I am only using example names).

To install Freenet - still in same directory - run:

java -jar new_installer.jar

Note: At this point please first close any webbrowser/programs you might have running.

To index of page

Where is Freenet installed

Then Freenet is installed in a directory called /home/yourusername/Freenet - and running.                                            To index of page

If you open the "/home/yourusername/Freenet" directory in a file manager, you will see something similar to below:

I have above marked two important directories with red color:

The "datastore" directory is the place where your part of the encrypted data of Freenet is stored, and is per default 1 GB in size - you can at a later time change

the size in "" which is the main configuration file of Freenet.

The "downloads" directory is the place where the data you download from Freenet is placed.
To index of page

How to use Freenet

In order to use Freenet you open your Firefox browser and go to "":

The most important menu links

I have marked the most important menu links with red:

Browse Freenet "" is the fproxy - main page of your Freenet, the place from where you will link to the other subpages, indexes etc.

Messages "" - here you can check your alert messages etc.

Plugins "" - this is the place where you install your plugins (e.g. freemail plugin).

Configuration "" - here you can change your Freenet setup (nickname, store size in bytes, enable insecure mode etc.)

Connections to Friends "" - this is the place where you find your ref. node (Node Reference) and where you insert the ref.

nodes of other users (friends) in order to become invisible to other people on the internet.  (Also called Darknet - trusted people)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 To index of page
Connections to Strangers "" - when you first start Freenet you will automatically be  connected to some other peoples ref.

nodes (strangers) and on this place you can see how many connections you have - but when you use "strangers" you will not be invisible to the internet, but what

you are doing will still be encrytped, so nobody can see what you are doing etc.  (Also called Opennet - untrusted people)

Downloads and uploads "" - is the place where you can see/control how your download from Freenet progresses and here you can also

insert one -or more address keys of freesites be downloaded

The Ultimate FreeNet Index - is one of many indexes where you can surf other websites (freesites) of Freenet, and a good starting point.

[Edit] "" - is the place where you can edit your Freenet Bookmarks - for each bookmark there are

some small icons which should be self explainable (edit - delete - add bookmark - etc).

You can also see your username (nickname) "user1" which can be changed in "".

On the Freenet Home page there are also some links to important documentation of Freenet: FMS (Freenet Message System), Freemail

(Freenet's own e-mail system),  how to "Publish" your own freesite, a "Freesite HOWTO" and "The Freenet Applications Freesite" etc.

You should make an ordinary bookmark of "" on your Firefox browser.

Note: If you have problems with opening Firefox, open a konsole and run "firefox -ProfileManager".                        To index of page

The Firestarter firewall

If you are using linux, you should have "Firestarter" firewall installed in order to open the necessary Freenet ports (27655 - 41392 - 1119):

To see the "Firestarter" minihowto (Use the top left arrow "Go back one page" in Firefox to return to this page).

You may use any other firewall at your liking.

How to make a freesite with some text, and some images, using the "konqueror file manager" and the "JSite" publishing program.

Open a konsole shell and run:

mkdir /home/myusername/my_freesite  (creates an empty directory by the name "my_freesite") - this is the place where you should place all the files for your freesite.

Then place some images i the directory "my_freesite" (flower1.jpg - flower2.jpg) - you can place as many images as you like, but the total size

of the freesite should be maximum 4 mb in size, in order to make it fast to be downloaded by others.

Then select all the images - right click the selection and choose "Compress - Compress As - Gzipped Tar Archive" and press enter:

(You can choose another format instead)

Then a "tar.gz" file called "Archive.tar.gz" is created, containing all the images:                                                           To index of page

You should now remove the selected images to save space:

Then you must place a small image called "activelink.png" in the same directory - you can use the below image as an exact model for your

own freesites:                                                                                                                                                            To index of page

When you include an "activelink.png" file, a "spider" program should pick your freesite up, and place its link in the "Activelink Index" (it

might take a long time).

You should place some text designating the contents of the freesite in the "activelink.png" image as shown below:

The contents of the directory "my_freesite" will then look as below:

Kompozer - how to create the index.html file

You should now open "Kompozer" and create a html file called "index.html".

In this "index.html" file you can insert text of your choice" and also a link to the "Archive.tar.gz" (and other images as well)

Goto "website_minihowto" to see howto do it

Your freesite by the name "my_freesite" will then look like shown below:                                                                            To index of page

How to publish the freesite - please note that my username is "user1" (and not "myusername" - I am using examples only).

You can download the jSite program from - Bombe's flog   - and place it in the "/home/yourusername/Freenet"



The newest version as of 9/2008 is "jSite-0.6.jar"

We will now start the "JSite" program which is the "default" Freenet publising program:

Open a konsole shell and run:

cd /home/yourusername/Freenet

java -jar jSite-0.6.jar  (as shown below):                                                                                                                                        To index of page

Click on the "Add project" button

Insert the text/contents as shown above, designating your freesite:                                                                                To index of page

Name: The name of your freesite project - of your choice

Description: A short description of of your freesite

Local path: The path to the directory containing your freesite files on your harddisk (here /home/user1/my_freesite) - use the "Browse" button

The Freesite Path content must be a single word only

Then click the "Next" button

Select the "index.html" file - and mark the "Default file" small square

Then click the "Insert now" button                                                                                                                                        To index of page

Here you see the progressing of the insertion of your freesite into Freenet

Here you see that your freesite project is successfully indertet - click "OK"

Here you shall click the "Copy URL to Clipboard" so your freesite key "USK@xevrM....myfreesite/0" can be pasted into

"" as a bookmark for you to use when needed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To index of page
Then click "Next" - "Quit" - to leave "jSite".

Please note, that if nobody downloads your freesite, it quickly will disappear completely.

Click the "Edit" button to open your bookmark editor (the place where you insert -and delete bookmarks etc).

Here the bookmark editor is opened - and you should click the icon in the red square to "Add a new bookmark"        To index of page

Name: Here you insert the name of your freesite "my_freesite"

Key: Here you paste the contents of the clipboard, which you have earlier copied from jsite.

Description of the bookmark: Here you can insert a short description of your freesite, as you like.

As you have an "activelink.png" image file, you should mark the " link?" square.

Thin click "Save" - and your bookmark is created                                                                                                            To index of page

Your bookmark "my_freesite" is created                                                                                                                    To index of page

Here you see your bookmark "my_freesite" on your Freenet FProxy home page (                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To index of page

Here your freesite "my_freesite" is downloaded - by clicking your bookmark

Here is a dialog asking you what to do with the download you just requested - this dialog you will see many times when using Freenet.
                                                                                                                                                                                To index of page

Here is your queue dialog (  - the place where you can follow your download requests.    To index of page

Here is the "Archive.tar.gz" archive file - the file with your flower images - after it has been downloaded as shown in

"" (just an example)

And here is the contents of "Archive.tar.gz" after it has been clicked with the left mouse button - which uncompresses the file - ready to

be moved to another place on your harddisk of your choice - for later use.                                                        To index of page

Note: I have marked all the important points in this minihowto with red color, to quickly draw your attention when reading.

To start Freenet open a konsole and run:

cd /home/user/Freenet

./ start

To stop Freenet open a konsole and run:                                                               

cd /home/user/Freenet

./ stop

To check whether Freenet is running open a konsole and run:                                                               

cd /home/user/Freenet

./ status

To update manually to a newer version of Freenet (is normally done automatically)

cd /home/user/Freenet


How to install Freemail - in order to be able to communicate anonymously with other Freenet users you should install Freemail, which

is the "default" mail program for Freenet.                                                                                                                To index of page

Please note, that I have used "yourusername" or "user1" interchangable (as examples only).

I have taken the following screenshots from another computer, but I have tried to make it look real for you (examples only).

You also should install the "Thunderbird" mail -and news client program.

In this example we will create a freemail user called "xyzfk" and a freemail addres called "xyzfk@freenetdomain.freemail" - you could use

other names - but please note, that the ".freemail" extension will be added automatic by the system - "xyzfk" is not the same as your linux

username, but you could use your linux username as well as your freemail username.

Open a shell konsole and run:

mkdir /home/yourusername/freemail_download     (creates a directory called "freemail_download" for your freemail plugin download)

Then open Firefox and go to "" - open the "Freemail" link:

                                                                                                                                                                                        To index of page

Choose the "Download" link.

Click the "Freemail-0.1-11.jar link  (to download the freemail plugin)                                                                            To index of page

A dialog window you will meet

The "Download and uploads" dialog - the place where you will see/control your freenet downloads                                                        To index of page

The Freemail Plugin

Here the freemail plugin has been downloaded into the "/home/user1/Freenet/downloads" directory (the place where all your freenet

downloads will be placed).                                                                                                                                            To index of page

Here you have copied the freemail plugin into the "/home/user1/freemail_download" directory.

"MfeZlMXJZja-FfLA6Yyqf~e8HdH5r3-WsxGtUxUOdyE" is the name of the freemail plugin, which is a java jar (contained in a zip file) - this

file should be used as is, which means it should NOT be unzipped by you.                                                            To index of page

This is where you have placed the freemail plugin, in the "" page (both path and filename - then click on "Load"

                                                                                                                                                                                        To index of page
Here the freemail plugin has been installed, and then you should click the "Visit" button to get to the "Add account" dialog

Name: "xyzfk" (you could have chosen another name)

Password: Here you insert your secret freemail password (please keep it in a safe place).

Domain: "freenetdomain" (you could have chosen another name e.g. "freemaildomain" or anything of your choice - please do not add

".freemail" as it will be done automatic by the system.

Now your freemail account has been created:                                                                                                        To index of page

Your freemail username is "xyzfk" and your freemail address will be "xyzfk@freenetdomain.freemail" which really is an alias name for a

longer encrypted freemail name, so you both will have a short -and a long freemail address for the same account.

How to set up the Freemail account

Here you have opened the "Thunderbird" mail/news client program for the first time, and an "Account Wizard" is automatic opened for you - you could

reach the same dialog by choosing: Thunderbird - Edit - Account Settings - Add Account.                                        To index of page

In the following screenshots I have marked the important items/buttons with red color.

Click "Next"

Then click "Next"                                                                                                                                                        To index of page

Insert as shown - then click "Next"                                                                                                                                    To index of page

Then click "Next"                                                                                                                                                                To index of page

Then click "Next"                                                                                                                                                            To index of page

Then click "Finish"                                                                                                                                                                To index of page

Choose "View settings for thei account"                                                                                                                                To index of page

The Freemail server settings

Insert settings as shown                                                                                                                                               To index of page    

Choose Outgoing Server (SMTP" - then click "Edit"  (do not click "OK" yet)                                                           To index of page

Insert settings as shown - then click "OK"                                                                                                               To index of page

Then click "OK"                                                                                                                                                            To index of page

Insert your freemail password and click "OK"                                                                                                            To index of page

Your Freemail address

The first time, after you have created your new freemail e-mail account, you will automatic receive two e-mails, the first one showing your

"long encrypted" freemail address - the second e-mail showing your "short" freemail address:                                To index of page

                                                                                                                                                                                        To index of page

To send a Freemail

Here we try to send a test freemail to our own freemail address                                                                                    To index of page

and here we have successfully received our own test freemail!

(In order to be able to send messages to FMS (Freenet Messaging System) we will need a working freemail account).

How to install libpoco5   (I am using ubuntu 8.04)

In order to install FMS (Freenet Messaging System) you need to have "libpoco5" installed.                                        To index of page

To get the "dpkg_dev" package installed, run the following shell command:

"sudo apt-get dpkg-dev"

mkdir /home/user1/poco_download

Then go to the following download site:


From there download the following 6 deb packages into the "/home/user1/poco_download" directory:







Now run:

cd /home/user1/poco_download  (so you are placed in the "poco_download" directory)                                            To index of page

Then install the 6 deb packages by running following commands, in order 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6:

1.    sudo dpkg -i libpocofoundation5_1.3.2+dfsg1-3_i386.deb

2.    sudo dpkg -i libpocodata5_1.3.2+dfsg1-3_i386.deb

3.    sudo dpkg -i libpocosqlite5_1.3.2+dfsg1-3_i386.deb

4.    sudo dpkg -i libpocoxml5_1.3.2+dfsg1-3_i386.deb

5.    sudo dpkg -i libpocoutil5_1.3.2+dfsg1-3_i386.deb

6.    sudo dpkg -i libpoconet5_1.3.2+dfsg1-3_i386.deb

It is most easy to copy and paste each line at a time onto the command line, then press enter.

After that you should have "libpoco5" installed.

To install FMS you need to download the following:

"fms-linux-i386-bin-0.3.19.tar.gz" which is the very FMS program (this is version 0.3.19)                                          To index of page                 

"Thunderbird Trust Plugin Freesite" is a special add-on extension for Thunderbird.

Goto - choose the "FMS Freenet Message System" link - then choose "Prototype" and double click on each of the

respective two links - it may take some time, as Freenet is not as fast as the normal internet:

                                                                                                                                                                                        To index of page

When you click on the "Thunderbird Trust Plugin Freesite" you come to the below  site, and then you will have to double click on the

"Download here" link:

When you see this dialog, choose "Download in background and store in downloads directory which is "/home/user1/Freenet/downloads":

                                                                                                                                                                                       To index of page

Go to "" to check your downloadss:

                                                                                                                                                                                        To index of page

After the downloads have finished, copy the files into "/home/user1/fms_download" (use drag and drop with the mouse) - create the direcory

first with the following shell command:

mkdir /home/user1/fms_download                                                                                                                            To index of page

To install the Thunderbird FMS extension

Then open Thunderbird and choose "Tools - Add-ons" - then choose "install" - then choose the "thunderbird-fms-extension-5-fms.xpi" and

click "Open":

"Install Now"

                                                                                                                                                                                        To index of page

Then click "Install Now":

Then click "Restart Thunderbird":

                                                                                                                                                                                       To index of page

Then do this dialog, as shown below - "OK"

To create your FMS identity

At this time you should create an identity (I have chosen the identity name of "xyzfk" but you can choose a different name):

                                                                                                                                                                                            To index of page

Insert "xyzfk" - "Create"

Then you see this dialog:

                                                                                                                                                                                        To index of page                           

To announce your FMS identiy

You shold at some time announce your identity, by filling aprox 12 to 20 of some of the below shown puzzles - "Announce"

When you go to "Local Identities" you will see your newly created FMS identity - click on "Export identities" to save your identities to file

"identities.xml"                                                                                                                                                            To index of page

Here you see the "Save File" dialog:

Please note, that you can create such FMS identities for one time use, when you e.g. want to insert a freesite anonymously - then you must remember to remove

the identity after ( - How to insert a Freesite anonymously

                                                                                                                                                                                        To index of page

To setup your FMS news account

Then you should set up your FMS News account - Open Thunderbird - choose "Edit - Account Settings":

Click "Add Account":

                                                                                                                                                                                            To index of page

Choose "Newsgroup account":

Insert you FMS identity name "xyzfk" and your Freemail address:

                                                                                                                                                                                       To index of page

Insert "localhost":

Insert "fms" but you could choose another account name:

                                                                                                                                                                                           To index of page

Your FMS accont is set up:

The FMS news server settings

Insert values as shown below - "OK":

                                                                                                                                                                                        To index of page

To install the FMS program

Go to "/home/user1/fms_download" - right click the "fms-linux-i386-bin-0.3.19.tar.gz file - then choose "Extract - Extract Here" - to install the

FMS program:

Your FMS program has been installedd, it consists of the below 5 files (the "fms" file is the very program binary - the file you call to start


                                                                                                                                                                                            To index of page

To start FMS do as below:

To stop the program here: "Ctrl+C"

To insert a new version of the FMS program is the same procedure as to install - please remember to have the fms program stopped

when you insert the new version - please remember to take a backup of the running FMS program (the 5 files as shown above).

To subscribe to FMS newsgroups

Now right click "fms" and choose subscribe:

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Insert your FMS identity name - "OK":

Choose one or more newsgroups - here we choose the "fms" newsgroup - "OK" (I also has choosen the "test" newsgroup - not shown):

                                                                                                                                                                                        To index of page

Here you can se that you have subscribed to the 2 newsgroups "fms" and "test" - I did also choose the "Re: Testing" news mail, to show what

it looks like (the text is in the lower right window which begins with "ELIZA......"

In order to send a message to a news group, choose "xyzfk <xyzfk@freenetdomain.freemail> -fms":

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Here I have chosen the "fms" newsgroup as receiver:

The trust system

In order to be able to send messages to the FMS newsboard, you need to be "Trusted" first - go to the "" page.

The idea with "trust" is to avoid spam on the news board.  FMS Guide WOT (Web of Trust) - more info

When you are reading FMS news on Thunderbird you can directly add your trust/no_trust numbers here (see below):


0 is no trust.

50 is normal trust

100 is maximum trust

You can read the other documentation mentioned in the Freenet links, inserted at the bottom of this page, or ask on the mailing list:

                                                                                                                                                                                        To index of page

How to exchange reference nodes (ref. nodes)

When you start Freenet for the first time, it is normal for a newbie to start in "Insecure" mode - which means that you automatic will be

connected to people you do not know, and which also means that you are not invisible to others on the internet:

I have marked the important points with red (I use this principle all over this page on the screenshots) so you quickly can learn how to do.

The "Enable insecure mode" should  be "true" which means you are not invisible!

You also can change your Nickname as shown above:
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To become invisible, you must exchange reference nodes with other people on the Freenet which you trust.

Goto "":

To be invisible you must exchange your reference with other people:

Select the text in the big red square (the text must be exact as is, or it will not work).                                               To index of page        

Then insert (paste) the text into an ordinary e-mail which must be encrypted (use Gnupg/pgp) or send it by Freemail to the person you know

and want to exchange reference node with.

Then this person must do exact the same, and send his reference node to you, and then you must insert it in smaller square "Paste the

reference here".

When both has inserted the reference nodes, they are connected as "friends".

You need to do this  with at best 10 persons, and when you have done this, you should go to "" and then change:

Enable insecure mode to "false":   - then click the "Apply" button.

Then you should be invisible to other people on the internet.

In any case what you are doing on Freenet is encrypted, so other people cannot se WHAT you are doing.

It is very important to keep the reference nodes secret, so only the "friends" sees them, and no unwanted persons gets to know them!!

To download  Freenet keys

This is a key (address) to a freenet site (an example only) - there are other types of Freenet keys as well:


If you have a key to a link you want to download, goto "":

you can insert it right after "" as shown below - or you could  insert it in the "Bulk downloads" box as shown

below (but not both places at the same time) - then click the "Download" button.

You can insert as many keys in the "Bulk downloads" box at the same time as you like - one key per line.

Then you can check the proceeding of the downloads in "" as well as controll the downloads.

The downloads will be placed in the "/home/user1/Freenet/downloads" directory - and at a later time you can then move them to other

directories on your harddisk.                                                                                                                                            To index of page

Note: You should be aware, that Freenet works slower than the normal internet, but when more and more people begin to use Freenet it

should become faster.

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Freenet links: - Incl Download

Mailing List Archive Freenet Support

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This guide can also be found at -> FMS (Freenet Message System) link -> Prototype               
To index of page

FMS Guide  

This guide introduces the Freenet Message System (FMS) and will take new users through the entire installation and configuration process. Later chapters cover additional tools and advanced topics.

Note: This guide is a work in progress and should be treated as such. If a section is missing information you think important, please send me an email and I will include your suggestions in future updates.


FMS allows groups of users to exchange messages in a manner similar to Usenet newsgroups. If you are not familiar with Usenet, think of FMS as an organized collection of mailing lists you can subscribe to. FMS can be accessed using any news reader. Most email clients double as news readers (Thunderbird for example) so for most users FMS will be comfortably familiar.

Perhaps the best FMS feature is a web of trust system designed to combat spam. The web of trust lets users assign a trust rating to any other FMS user. This allows users to ignore posts from anyone they believe will spam the system. More importantly, it also lets users rate the lists of other user's trust ratings for incorporation into their own trust ratings list. The web of trust allows the collective wisdom of peers to combine in overcoming spam.


First download the FMS program files.

Once you have downloaded the compressed program files move all of the files contained to a folder of your choice. A subdirectory of the Freenet installation directory would be a good option. Now would be a good time to read the readme file included with the installation files.

Start FMS to make sure that the binary you downloaded runs error free on your computer. Windows users should double click on fms.exe (FMS will start in a console window). For Linux user's FMS binary is identical sans the ".exe" extension (you may need to set file permissions if you cleared them when you extracted the tar.gz archive). When you are ready to stop FMS press <ctrl>-c.

The most likely error users may run across will be mismatched or missing libraries. Windows users will need to download the Windows runtime files (they are DLL's) and copy them to the FMS directory or to the system directory (something like "C:\windows\system32\").

Linux users can either update libpoco5 to match the version FMS's binary is currently linked to, or they can compile FMS to make a binary that links to their system's libpoco5 version.

FMS as a Service

FMS works like a proxy. In other words it is not accessed directly to view or post messages. Instead a news reader is used to access content. For that reason, running FMS in the background makes sense.


There are two ways to create a Windows service that will run FMS. The first is to use fms.exe options to create the service. To use that approach, open a command line prompt and execute these commands (Vista users will need to start the command prompt with admin privileges):

  1. cd <path to FMS directory>
  2. fms.exe /registerService

Now go to the Services MMC Snap-in and start the service.

The other approach involves manually creating the service at the command line. The advantage here is that custom naming, dependencies, and automatic startup can be configured. The listed commands will create the service, give it a nice name and description, set it to start automatically at boot, set a dependency so that it always starts after the Freenet service, and will start it.

  1. cd <path to FMS directory>
  2. sc create freenet-message-system binpath= "<path to fms.exe>"
  3. sc config freenet-message-system DisplayName= "Freenet Message System"
  4. sc description freenet-message-system "The Freenet Message System daemon"
  5. sc config freenet-message-system depend= freenet-darknet-8888
  6. sc config freenet-message-system start=auto
  7. sc start freenet-message-system


Different Linux distributions often handle services (daemons) in their own way so you will need to consult your distribution's documentation for configuration details. Most distributions use initialization scripts to start daemons and they should provide a template script to get you started.

Please send Status 417 an email with information about the correct configuration for your Linux distribution and it will be added here.


Please send Status 417 an email with information about the correct way to configure FMS as a service on OS X and it will be added here.


Once FMS is installed and running, the configuration interface can be accessed with any web browser via http on port 8080 (http://localhost:8080/). The home page displays some basic status information and should alert you when new versions of FMS are released.


One of the first things you should do is change the default web interface port from 8080 to something else like 8889. Port 8080 is commonly for local web servers. Many applications use it for that purpose and many users will likely run into conflicts so changing to a less overused port is a good idea. 8889 comes right after Freenet's default 8888 which makes it particularly easy to remember.

If your curious about reading messages posted before you installed FMS the Messages section, on the options page as several fields that will allow you to get them. Change "MessageDownloadMaxDaysBackward", and "MessageListDaysBackward" to get old messages. Set "DeleteMessagesOlderThan" as well or those old messages may be deleted soon after being downloaded. It can take several days for all the messages to download if you go very far back.

Create Your Identity

To post messages on FMS you will need to create an identity. Users can create as many identities as they wish and can even create single use identities. Go to the 'Create Identity' page and enter the name you would like to use for your identity. Once you click the 'Create' button go to the 'Local Identity' page and your new identity should be listed.

To see the components that make up your new identity click the 'Export Identities' button and view the resulting XML document in a text editor. SSK's are the keys used to post messages on FMS.

It's a good idea to backup exported identity information. Put it on removable media or even print it out so that if your computer dies or you do a reinstall you will still be able to use your identities. Never give anyone your private key because with it they would be able to impersonate you.

The address you use to publish messages on FMS is a combination of your identities name, an @ symbol, and part of its public SSK (from after 'SSK@' and up to the first ',').

The public and private SSK's from your FMS identity can also be used to publish your own Freesites and everyone on FMS will be able to verify that your the owner.

Announcing Your Identity

To ensure that others will be able to read your messages, your identity must be announced. To be considered announced an identity must be listed on at least one other identities' published trust list. There are two ways to get your identity published. The first would be to get another user to manually add your identity to their trust list. This will only work if you know someone well enough to do that.

The other method involves the use of captchas. Captchas are images of distorted text a person should be able to read but that computers hopefully can not. go to the 'Announce Identity' page and fill out about a dozen of these. With in a about a day and a half your identity should be announced on a public trust list or two.

Client Setup

There are many news readers that will work with FMS, but Thunderbird is a particularly good choice. An add-on has been written for it that integrates Web of Trust features into the message interface. Since it is a good choice for FMS, client configuration in the guide will focus specifically on Thunderbird. In general these settings will apply to most news readers.

Open Thunderbird and select 'Account Settings' under the 'Tools' menu. Click the 'Add Account' button on the bottom left of the 'Account Settings' window. This will open the 'Account Wizard' which will guide you through setup. Select the Newsgroup account radio button and click the 'Next >' button.

Now enter a name and the address of the identity you wish to use. On the next page enter the "server". FMS uses port 1119 by default so something like "localhost:1119" would work. That's it for the configuration so close the 'Account Settings' window.

To subscribe to FMS newsgroups right click on the FMS folder (in the folders view along the left side of Thunderbird's main window) and click the 'Subscribe...' option. When the list of groups load, check the groups you want to read and a sub folder for each will be created beneath the FMS folder.

It can take awhile for messages to download, and they will come in fits and starts, so don't get impatient if nothing happens right away.

Web of Trust

The heart of FMS's anti-spam strategy is a system called the Web of Trust (WoT). The Web of Trust allows FMS users to rate their level of trust for messages from other identites and how much weight they want to give to those identity's trust lists for when they build their own trust lists.

The underlying hope is that this will facilitate the formation of robust trust networks between those using FMS. That in turn should allow FMS users to quickly counter spammers. The theory seems sound but there have been few, if any real-world attacks on WoT's similar to the one FMS employs. We will have to wait and see how it fairs.

The web based configuration interface for your trust list is a great tool and you should use it. Go to the 'Peer Trust' page and take a moment to browse the list. Most of the columns can be ordered. It is easy to quickly see how WoT ratings are applied to identities on your list.

How Should You use the WoT?

Before you start applying ratings to other identities, there are several things you should know about the Web of Trust . The WoT is not a censorship system. Messages can not be removed from FMS by WoT ratings. The message trust you apply to an identity only effects whether or not you download posted messages from them. That personal trust level only extends to others who choose to use your trust list. If you abuse that trust others will lower your trust list trust rather quickly. Censorship by trust list isn't likely to effect many people and those that are effected are able to remedy the situation quickly.

Both message trust and trust list trust settings range from 0 to 100 with 50 being the default minimum for whether messages can be viewed or whether trust list will be used.

It's a good idea starting out to add a few positive trust list trust ratings to other identities. Select identities with published trust lists and a high trust list trust rating. Don't go over board until you know who to trust though. Once you have used FMS for a while, and have had a chance to get your bearings, it will be a lot clearer who's trust lists you should favorably rate.

By contrast to trust list trusts, be generous in applying message trust. Give small bumps every once in a while to identity's message trust when they post topical, non-spam messages. By the same token if an identity posts spam, by all means, lower their rating.

The goal is to build a comprehensive message trust list that others will want to use, and a trust list trust that will make your part of the WoT resistant to spammers.

Control Boards

Control boards are private boards that allow you to apply preset trust ratings to other identities. Go to the 'Control boards' page to manage your control boards. Whenever you reply to a message cc or bcc one of your special control boards to apply trust ratings to the replied to identity.

The main advantage of control boards is that they are client independent and save you the time of accessing the peer trust configuration page when you want to modify your trust list.

Thunderbird Add-on

If you chose to use Thunderbird as your FMS news reader there is an add-on that will help make changing identity trust settings a breeze. Once installed the WoT add-on will let you change trust settings for any identity in the message view whenever you are viewing a message they have posted.

Installing the add-on is fairly straight forward. For more details, and installation instructions checkout the official plug-in Freesite. There is also a helpful configuration video.

To index of page

Freesite Howto    This guide can be found on                                                    To index of page

    * Freesite HOWTO activelink
    * FProxy
    * Freesite Addresses
          o Content Hash Keys (CHKs)
          o Signed Subspace Keys (SSKs)
          o Updateable Subspace Keys (USKs)
    * Designing Your Freesite
          o Keep It Simple
          o Images
          o Activelink Images
          o Favicons
          o Links
          o CSS
          o Title Tag
          o Description Meta Tags
          o Language Meta Tag
          o Character Set Meta Tag
          o Category Meta Tag
          o Add To Bookmarks Link
          o Validating your Freesite
    * Uploading Your Freesite
          o jSite
    * Advertising Your Freesite
    * Frost
    * Freenet Messaging System(FMS)
    * Publish!
    * Activelink Index
    * Ultimate Freenet Index

Freesite HOWTO

This is a guide to making websites for use on Freenet, known as freesites. The process is similar to making standard websites, but there are few things that work differently due to things like the latency and storage model of Freenet. I also give some tips on how to ensure that your freesite is accessible as fast as possible to the highest number of readers, and how to publicise it effectively. I will assume you have a basic knowledge of HTML.

The basic idea is that you design your webpage as usual using HTML and CSS and then you upload the files to Freenet using an SSK key.

FProxy is the magic that allows you to use a standard web browser to view freesites.

The Freenet node allows you to store files in the network, and retrieve files from the network, including HTML files, but it doesn't natively speak the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) used by web browsers to retrieve webpages from webservers. FProxy, which is short for the Freenet Web Proxy, is a proxy web server that sits between your web browser and the Freenet node, and translates HTTP requests from the browser into file requests that the Freenet node can understand.

FProxy is part of the main Freenet program, and is enabled by default. It listens on the local interface on port 8888. (Normal websites use port 80.) To use it, you just take any web browser and go to the address http://localhost:8888/ . If your computer doesn't understand the name localhost, replace it with the equivalent IP address like this:

If you have the computer that runs the Freenet node on a local network, you can use FProxy from a different computer like this: http://mynode:8888/, where mynode is the name or IP address of the computer running the Freenet node. You will need to change the IP address to bind to parameter on the FProxy config page first.

Freenet provides some default pages in FProxy for administering your node: viewing the file transfer queue, your peers, statistics, etc.

If someone gives you a USK key of a freesite, you simply append it to the end of the basic FProxy URL in order to view the freesite, like this: http://localhost:8888/USK@yGvI...U79s,AQACAAE/toad/10/

If you use a USK key, like the one above, Freenet will automatically look for the latest version of the site. If you use the similar SSK key, Freenet will fetch only the edition you specifically ask for.
Freesite addresses

Regular websites have a user-friendly name like, where the name is registered with a centralised authority. Freenet is decentralized, so that approach doesn't work. Instead, the addresses of freesites are determined based on their content, or on a secret key held by the freesite owner. Unfortunately this means that freesite addresses are long strings containing about 100 random-looking characters, so they aren't easy to memorise. But if you are just linking to them using a HTML anchor tag like <a href="/USK@d5K..../myfreesite/4/">, that isn't a problem.

Freesite addresses are also knowns as keys, because they locate and decrypt the files that they point to. Freenet has two basic kinds of keys: Content Hash Keys (CHKs) and Signed Subspace Keys (SSKs). These keys are strings of about 100 random-looking characters. One part of the key identifies where in the network the (encrypted) file is most likely to be stored, and another part of the key decrypts the file once it is retrieved.
Content Hash Keys (CHKs)

Content Hash Keys are totally dependent on the file they locate: if two people separately insert the same file to Freenet, they will both get the same CHK as a key for retrieving that file. CHKs look like this:


You probably don't want to use a CHK as a key to your freesite, because if you change the site at all and reinsert it, you will get a totally different key.
Signed Subspace Keys (SSKs)

Signed Subspace Keys are a way of signing the key using a secret that only you know, so that people can be assured the file was inserted by you. So you can insert two different files to Freenet and people will know by looking at their SSKs that they were both inserted by the same person.

To insert a file to Freenet identified by an Signed Subspace Key, you first need an SSK keypair. This consists of two SSK keys, one of which is secret and only used by you to insert files. The other is the public SSK string that other people will use to access your file. We will see a program called jSite later on that generates this pair of keys for you.

This is particularly useful for freesites, since you are almost certainly going to need to update your freesite. When you insert the second edition of your freesite, people will need to know that you are the same person that inserted the first edition. So your first edition could be like this:


and your second one could be signed with the same key and look like this:


The problem with this idea is that it makes it difficult to automate the process of looking for newer versions of your freesite. So instead, the convention is to use a number in a well defined place to indicate the version:


Now someone looking at a version of your freesite can keep incrementing the version number to see if there is a newer version. But it would be nice to have our Freenet node do this automatically for us. After all, computers are supposed to make our lives easier, right? So the next step is to use Updateable Subspace Keys (USKs).
Updateable Subspace Keys (USKs)

Updateable Subspace Keys are almost identical to SSKs - they point to exactly the same data. The difference is that when you request a file using a USK, it triggers a process in your Freenet node to look for the most recent version. The format of the number is changed slightly as well. So if someone requests the fourth edition of your site using this key:


and you have already inserted the fifth and sixth versions, then their node should automatically send the content of this key to their browser, instead of the one they requested:


You will need to insert your freesite using a secret SSK key, and then advertise and link to your freesite using the USK version of that key. That way, people should always be taken to the most recent version of your site, even if there are still links on other people's pages to older versions.
Designing Your Freesite

You can design your website using whatever tools you prefer: text editor, Dreamweaver, Bluefish. Store all the files in a directory. You can use subdirectories as well, if you like. You can use images and favicons.

You can use HTML and CSS, but anything that could cause a freesite to connect to something external to Freenet will get filtered out by Fproxy, because it could be used to identify your IP address and thus destroy your anonymity. This includes Javascript, links to standard websites, images or CSS files hosted on standard websites and embedded objects such as Flash. So avoid using anything like this.
Keep It Simple

Freenet has a high latency, meaning it can take a while for sites to download, especially if you are used to broadband speeds. This is the necessary price you pay for anonymity.

As a consequence, you should try to keep the size of your freesite to a minimum, and don't require too many clicks to navigate around your site. This means:

    * Avoid using too many images, and keep images small.
    * Use CSS for styling rather than inline HTML attributes.
    * Split a freesite into separate subsites if it gets too large.
    * Use larger pages, and fewer of them, rather than many small pages.

Remember that Freenet stores data in chunks of 32kB. So roughly speaking, every extra 32kB of data you add to your freesite can add several seconds on to the retrieval time.

When you insert a lot of files to Freenet together under one SSK key, your node will automatically package files together before compressing them, to save space. These packages are called containers and hold roughly 4MB of files. You have no direct control over which files are grouped together, so you really need to keep your freesites less than this size. Even this size site could take a while to download, so even smaller is better.

Remember that the root of your freesite as far as FProxy is concerned is the part before the USK. So to include images within your own freesite, use syntax like this (note no slash at the start):

    <img src="mypic.jpg" alt="description of mypic"/>
    <img src="images/mypic.jpg" alt="description of mypic"/>
    <img src="../mypic.jpg" alt="description of mypic"/>

For the last example, note that you would need to be in a HTML file that is in a subdirectory. Be sure to use alt attributes on your img tags since people are more likely to be browsing with images turned off for speed, or to have problems retrieving images.

You can include images that are stored on other freesites - in fact this is positively encouraged - see the Activelink section. Use a syntax like this (note the slash at the start):

    <img src="/USK@d5K..../othersite/5/otherimage.jpg" alt="description of image"/>

It is a very good idea to add an alt attribute to all your images, because some people may browse with images disabled or using a text browser, or the images may take a while to come through, or they may be blind and using a screen reader.
Activelink Images

Activelink images are very important for ensuring that a freesite will be fetchable in a reasonable time, so make sure your site has one. An activelink is just an image in your site that can be used by another site to link to yours. On a regular website this kind of behaviour is called "leeching" and it frowned upon. But on Freenet it is very beneficial.

The great advantage of this to you is that if another site includes your image in their site, then anyone visiting their site will also be pulling a large part of your site into their Freenet cache. This is because of the containers that Freenet uses to group together files that are part of the same insert.

By convention, an activelink is stored in the root directory of your site, is called activelink.png and is 108 pixels wide by 36 pixels high. It is best to stick with this convention as otherwise it makes it difficult for other people and for Freenet spiders to identify your activelink. Here is the activelink for this freesite:
Freesite HOWTO activelink
                                                                                                                                                                                        To index of page
This is the code you would need to include in your HTML to link to this site using an activelink:

    <a href="/USK@8r-uSRcJPkAr-3v3YJR16OCx~lyV2XOKsiG4MOQQBMM,P42IgNemestUdaI7T6z3Og6P-Hi7g9U~e37R3kWGVj8,AQACAAE/freesite-HOWTO/1/">
    <img src="/USK@8r-uSRcJPkAr-3v3YJR16OCx~lyV2XOKsiG4MOQQBMM,P42IgNemestUdaI7T6z3Og6P-Hi7g9U~e37R3kWGVj8,AQACAAE/freesite-HOWTO/1/activelink.png" alt="Freesite HOWTO" width="108px" height="36px"/>

A freesite without an activelink is much more likely to die out over time than one without, unless it is very popular.

If your freesite is getting large, consider splitting it up into separate sites (you can still use the same key for them all, just change the site name) and have activelinks connecting them.

A favicon isn't essential, but it is a nice touch. Favicons are the little images that web browsers display in the Favourites list, or next to the address bar, or on the browser tabs. For example, Google's favicon is a blue letter G in a white box with a multicolored border: Google's favicon.

Create a special .ico file called favicon.ico using your favourite image program like the GIMP or Photoshop. 16x16 pixels should be fine. Put it in with your freesite files and let the browsers know it is there using code like this in the head section of your page:

    <link rel="shortcut icon" href="images/favicon.ico" />


Although freesites can't link to external websites, to protect your anonymity, they can obviously link to other freesites. Use syntax like this:

    <a href="/USK@d5K..../othersite/5/otherpage.html">mylink</a>

Note that the slash at the start is very important, otherwise it will think you are referring to a file within your own website called USK@d5K..../othersite/5/otherimage.html

To link to other pages in your own freesite, there is no need to include the USK part:

    <a href="myotherpage.html">
    <a href="subsection/myotherpage.html">
    <a href="../myotherpage.html">


CSS stand for Cascading Style Sheets. They are a useful way to separate the logical markup used by HTML (paragraphs, headings, etc.) from the style markup (colors, fonts, sizes, etc.).

If your site has several pages, sharing the CSS style information in a separate file is a good idea to cut down on the overall size of the site, as well as for ease of updating. So put your style information in a file called something like styles/main.css and use this in the HTML head section:

    <link rel="stylesheet" href="styles/main.css" type="text/css"/>

But if your site has only one file, the problem may be that the browser downloads the HTML before it finds the CSS file. So in this case, you might want to include the CSS in style tags in the header of the HTML file like this:

    <style type="text/css">
    h1 { color:#FF00000; }
    p { font-size:small; }

Title Tag

Every freesite should have a title in the head section of the HTML. Spiders will use this to display a meaningful title for your freesite. It should look something like this:

    <title>This is the Title of My Freesite</title>

Description Meta Tags

There are several automated spiders that crawl Freesite links and generate indexes of freesites. They use things like descriptions in meta tags to store brief descriptions about the site. So add a line like this to the head section of your freesite:

    <meta name="description" content="This is a brief description of my freesite."/>

Language Meta Tag

Freesites can come in many different languages. It is a good idea to let browsers and spiders know what language your site is written in. You can do this by adding a language meta tag in the head section of your page like this:

    <meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en"/>

If your site uses XHTML you can also add it to the html tag like this:

    <html xml:lang="en-US" xmlns="" lang="en-US">

Character Set Meta Tag

Closely connected to the webpage's language is its character set. This is the set of letters that are associated with each raw numerical byte of the page. FProxy will serve up freesites with a Unicode character set of UTF-8 by default, and this is a good choice to stick with, since it covers virtually all languages, and Freenet uses UTF-8 internally.

You can also specify the character set inside the HTML file itself, if you use a different character set for some reason, or in case someone isn't using FProxy to view the site. It is a good idea to do this, since browsers are always accurate at guessing the intended character set. Use code like this:

    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />

If you use a single-byte character set like ISO-8859-1 instead of UTF-8, then any non-standard characters in your site are likely to display improperly in the user's browser.
Category Meta Tags

Some index sites, such as The Ultimate Freenet Index will use a meta tag to classify your site into categories. Use code like this in the head part of your site:

    <meta name="category" content="flog,games,movies"/>

Add To Bookmarks Link

You can provide a clickable link on your site so that people can easily add a bookmark to your site from their FProxy homepage at http://localhost:8888/. This means they will be notified whenever you update your freesite. If you have an activelink, they can use this in their bookmarks list too, which means they will be fetching and caching your freesite whenever they visit their FProxy home page.

To create the "add bookmark" link, use code like this on your site:

    <a href="/?newbookmark=USK@...AAE/myfreesite/4/&amp;desc=My Freesite">bookmark my site</a>

Validating Your Freesite

You may want to check your pages are using correct HTML by using an offline HTML validator such as the one here:
Uploading Your Freesite

Now all the hard work has been done, it is time to upload your freesite into Freenet.

You can use any Freenet file upload utility to do this, but jSite is recommended because it is designed especially for uploading freesites.

jSite is a Java application that simplifies the process of uploading a freesite to Freenet. It comes bundled with Freenet in a subdirectory called jSite. You run it by double-clicking on the jSite.jar file (in Windows or Mac) or by running this from the command line (in Linux):

    $ java -jar jSite.jar &

Click on the Add Project button and it will create a new project for you and generate a pair of SSK keys. The Request URI is part of the public address of the site. The Insert URI is the secret key that enables only you to update the site.
The main jSite screen, showing the generated key pair

Now give the project a sensible name and description. These are just for your use and aren't publicly visible. The Local Path field is the local directory where your freesite is stored. The Path field is the public name of your site that will appear after the SSK part and before the edition number.

So the key of your final project will be like USK@...iroho7Kg~RvM~s,AQACAAE/my-test-project/0/
The main jSite screen, showing the details filled in

Now click the Next button. The next screen allows you to set a default file for your freesite that gets shown if you don't append a HTML filename to the key. You can also set MIME types and choose certain files to use externally generated keys. The Container and Replacements don't work at the moment, so just ignore them. All we want to do is select the index.html file and check the Default file box.
The jSite Project Files screen, where you set the default file.

Then click the Insert now button to insert the freesite to Freenet:
The jSite Project Insert screen, which shows the insert progress.

It will take a few minutes, depending on how big your site it. Either click on the Copy URI to Clipboard button here to get your freesite key, or click next to return to the main jSite screen where you can also copy the freesite key for any of your freesites.
Advertising Your Freesite

If you have existing freesites, and you don't mind people knowing you are the author of both, add an activelink to your new site and the indexing spiders should pick it up.

Also, you can announce your freesite on the sites board on a Freenet forum such as Frost or the Freenet Message System. The index spiders prefer the announcement to be in a particular format like this:

    Name: MySite
    Location: USK@...RvM~s,AQACAAE/my-test-project/0/
    Activelink: USK@...RvM~s,AQACAAE/my-test-project/0/activelink.png
    Description: This is my test freesite.
    Categories: freenet,testing

Good Luck, and get uploading those freesites!

To index of page

How to insert a Freesite anonymously.

You need to have Freenet, Freemail, FMS, Thunderbird and jSite installed (please read above).

1. Make your Freesite ready to be uploaded to Freenet.

2. Create an identity, just for this insert - http://localhost:8889/createidentity.htm

3. Announce identity - http://localhost:8889/announceidentity.htm - fill at least 12 puzzles - then click announce - wait 1 - 2 days until your new (one time) identity has

been announced - and you are able to post a message to the FMS board.

4. Upload your Freesite using jSite and save the key of the website - click "Copy URL to Clipboard" and then paste the contents into a file and save the file in a safe way.

5. Announce your Freesite to the FMS board "sites" with the above URL key and a short explanation about what your site contains like this:

Advertising Your Freesite

Also, you can announce your freesite on the sites board on a Freenet forum such as the Freenet Message System. The index spiders prefer the announcement to be in a particular format like this:

Name: MySite
Location: USK@...RvM~s,AQACAAE/my-test-project/0/
Activelink: USK@...RvM~s,AQACAAE/my-test-project/0/activelink.png
Description: This is my test freesite.
Categories: freenet,testing
6. Remove your identity - http://localhost:8889/localidentities.htm - Delete

This should be the main points for an anonymously insert of a Freesite, to make it extra anonymously.