greenhouse

greenhouse logo

🌱🏠 the easiest way to grow IT yourself

Greenhouse is a specialized cloud service designed to make self-hosting your own website, email, web services, etc, as easy as possible.

We don't ask you to compromise on privacy or security: it's your server, we simply make it reliably accessible on the internet.

cartoon of an older man holding three carrots

what we do

Greenhouse enables your own web server (running on your computer within your own home or business) to be accessible on the internet in seconds, with no credit card required to get started.

Unlike most other services, we don't try to take ownership of your site or your users' data away from you. Our technology is designed so that we couldn't spy on you or your users even if we wanted to.

Greenhouse is a πŸƒGPLv3-licensed open-source project currently in development by SequentialRead. We provide everything you need to get your own server online for your home, organization, or business.

Why would anyone want to use a cloud service for self-hosting?

Isn't that an oxymoron? Why do I need this?

In short, because it makes self-hosting ✨ radically easier ✨. It's cheap, reliable, and it works every time, no matter who or where you are.

Running servers from home isn't easy, especially if you're not a computer whiz. Trying to host a reliable web site or email server from scratch might seem impossibly hard. Or it might work at first, but then inexplicably stop working months later. But no matter who you are or where you live, as long as you have an internet connection, you can run your own reliable web site or web service with Greenhouse! We handle the complicated public internet networking configuration for you, alleviating the worst pain points associated with self-hosting.

For the technically inclined;

Greenhouse eliminates the need to purchase/aquire, configure, test & maintain a router, firewall, domain name, TLS certificates and/or VPN tunnel.

We do this by providing domain name registration, DNS record management, and TCP reverse tunnel as a service.

You, the server operator, use the service by signing up for an account and then launching our easy-to-set-up Greenhouse client application on your server computer.

The open-source client application ( greenhouse daemon 🌱🏠😈 ) runs an embedded instance of Caddy Server to automatically obtain TLS certificates from πŸ”’ Let's Encrypt & secure your web traffic with TLS / HTTPS.

how we do it β€” what makes greenhouse different

Greenhouse provides a network gateway that allows internet users to connect to your server(s).

self-hosting

a diagram showing a user connecting securely to an application self-hosted in someone's living room

True self-hosting ranges from difficult to impossible for most people. Many of the requirements are either not avaliable, not documented, or require complex work-arounds.

greenhouse

a diagram showing a user's secure connection passing through the greenhouse network gateway inside a public cloud, and then reaching an application self-hosted in someone's living room

Greenhouse provides all of the neccesary network configuration to host a server on the public internet, but it leaves all of the data storage and web-serving up to your system.

You retain exclusive ownership and control over your data, web traffic, and processes.

traditional cloud

a diagram showing a user connecting securely to an application hosted inside a public cloud

Almost all other cloud service providers offer exclusively custodial services, meaning they technically own all of the data and encryption keys related to your application.

Our unique security model means we couldn't access your systems or "wiretap" your web traffic even if we wanted to. This differentiates our product from mainstream cloud services like cloudflare and digitalocean.

Threshold πŸ”οΈβ›°οΈπŸ›€οΈβ›°οΈπŸ”οΈ (the Greenhouse network gateway software), only routes secure connections and doesn't require access to your TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption keys, so it can't see or interfere with your users' web traffic. You can think of Threshold's data privileges similarly to how you might think about your ISP (Internet Service Provider): they both handle all of your network connections, so they can see who's connecting to who, but thanks to TLS, they can't access the contents of those connections.

We don't charge any mandatory monthly fees, meaning you only pay for the bandwidth you actually use. If your server is not very popular or it doesn't handle large media files like audio, images, and videos, you could pay as little as $0.50 (fifty cents) for a whole year of service! You can also set billing alarms to warn you if you start getting billed for more traffic than you expected, and set billing circuitbreakers to limit the amount your account can be charged by our service.

Greenhouse was born because we wanted to try to make self-hosting web servers radically easier, so it was designed to be as cheap and user-friendly as possible. You don't have to be a tech expert to use it, it's meant to be for everyone.

greenhouse is in development πŸ”§

The service isn't done yet. Much of the core functionality is working, but must-have features like payments, billing, and the CLI (Command Line Interface) need to be completed before Greenhouse can launch in alpha or beta.

Demo Screencast

"As a user, I want my server to be online πŸ˜€"

2 minutes 46 seconds


In this screencast, I am acting as a potential user of the greenhouse service who wants to publish a server on the internet.

development roadmap

This roadmap diagram shows the various tasks and features that are already completed or in progress, which ones are required for the initial alpha release, and which ones are required for the public beta release.

development roadmap diagram, see checklist below

The above diagram was based on these rough notes:

Attribution

Icons made by Freepik, aquired from flaticon.com