Start9 Review from Experts? EmbassyOS


With a Searx query I couldn’t find an independent review of Start9 / EmbassyOS

What you think about Start9 on Raspberry PI?

Why not use one of the many well established Linux distros for raspberry pi, including the official OS?


Should have looked at it.
It’s a different use. While you do create your own NAS and host your online services with it, this aim to make it trivial for users to do it, without being or learning to be a server administrator with your RaspberryPi or similar micro-computer. Some other even sell pre-configured ones.
Other examples are :
umbrel (Not ideal for sure, but the only one which consistently worked without different issues)
YunoHost, probably the more sane choice. Not sure about it’s security
FreedomBox, Directly based on Pure Debian. It’s the more FOSS option out of the box.

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You know what work well though, Fedora or Ubuntu, and there is no reason they can’t be used on a NAS. They have good support and will fit almost any usecase. I find with a lot of “niche” distros like “gaming distros” or “nas distros” they’ve got a very specific usecase.

That Start9 website seems like a lot of glossy bullshit to say “run your own server for some things oh and did you know you can run a bitcoin node”.

Packaging a service for StartOS is a challenging, exciting, creative, and rewarding experience.

blah blah blah so basically Docker, that’s what the screenshot next it it is of a Dockerfile.

A distribution with Docker pre-installed cool. These distributions also tend to have weaker security than main ones, particularly in regard to mandatory access control systems.

You know what they could have done? Made an ostree image with and leveraged Redhat awesomeness.

Re CasaOS, any project that starts with curl -fsSL https://some url sudo bash instantly loses credibility with me.

You don’t know what on earth is being pulled down, and there is no digital signature checking.

What I did find interesting is you get a special version if you live in China:

Get_Download_Url_Domain() {
    # Use and to get the country code
    REGION=$(${sudo_cmd} curl --connect-timeout 2 -s || echo "")
    if [ "${REGION}" = "" ]; then
       REGION=$(${sudo_cmd} curl --connect-timeout 2 -s || echo "")
    if [[ "${REGION}" = "China" ]] || [[ "${REGION}" = "CN" ]]; then

Otherwise it comes from Github. All in all looks super sketchy and I have no intention of trying it. Also note, these “docker” GUIs generally require exposing your docket socket to the container which is just dangerous and bad for security.