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  • I've been studying and thinking a lot about Cloudron use-cases.

    Something that bugs me is how the Microsoft/Apple/Google expectations for schools and children is very exclusive for low-income parents.

    I can see that a lot of users here are also hosting and sharing with family.

    I wonder if you'd consider a Family/Educational licence tier?

    Maybe something like €5/m, given that there's still the VPS and domain to pay for.

    I'm thinking it could be full-function, except being limited to just one domain.

    I just know parents that don't have landline internet or premium services because feeding the family comes first but then they are expected to pay for expensive software and operating systems for their children not to be excluded from learning technology.

    You might have to assess how many users that might already include that might expect to change to this tier.

    I suppose it could have an additional approval process for the domain being a personal family domain and not a commercial organisation.

    It's your business, so your prerogative, I just wanted to note the thought, not as a campaign against your model but just as a consideration alongside all the many other things you consider.

  • @marcusquinn said in Family Licence:


    Would appreciate it, maybe it could be limited in the apps also. Just Mail and a blogging option / static file server.
    Would be privacy focussed alternative and a possibly a game changer!

  • @Captain-Kirk I'd expand it to more than one app, especially if it is a Wordpress-type app which someone who could install Cloudron would likely be able to do so by themselves anyway. If any limit is needed, perhaps limit it to low-medium RAM apps since someone who would fit this tier probably isn't paying for a huge VPS either and so couldn't run a high RAM app. I can see though that some who aren't families might take advantage of a no-limit policy and just open 5+ accounts for 5 different clients, at such a low price. But good idea @marcusquinn !

  • @Captain-Kirk For such an offering, I would add also Nextcloud also at least.

    To make selfhosting worth it, such an offering shouldvreplace the common gafam personal offers.

  • @ruihildt Yes, you are right.

  • @Captain-Kirk I wouldn't limit the apps, I'd love to see kids have the freedom to learn any of them that took their interest.

    There's already the free tier limited to 2 x apps, which is ideal for trial and very limited use.

    The Family Licence kids of today could be the Cloudron champions of tomorrow, especially with the viral way kids adopt and share apps and technologies their parents might not be interested in.

  • The problem with growing up poor, which I know from first-hand experience, is exclusion from certain things your parents just can't afford. Plus, the trend stigmas from not having branded things.

    I don't think app restrictions would be fair, as you then make the cost-difference for full-access a barrier to consideration for parents.

    I'm hoping for something that the kids would not feel like they have limits but actually have something better than their schools are promoting (and yes, corporate sponsorship of proprietary software is rife, turning teachers into affiliates).

    It makes me uneasy that kids being taught via Google/Microsoft/Zoom tools are losing their privacy before they understand what it is.

    I can see a "Cloudron for Families & Education" section for the website, perhaps linking to recommended affordable equipment and blogging on how Linux is a 1st-rate, affordable alternative to Microsoft & Apple.

    I have a bunch of spare equipment hanging around that I intend to wipe, setup with Linux and donate to families that couldn't otherwise afford.

    It just frustrates me that otherwise taxes get skimmed for funding proprietary tools to eventually become a tax on modern life.

  • Staff

    In our (admittedly limited) experience, the lower we go, the more we have to hand hold and support. People who are new to selfhosting are going to ask all sorts of questions - why is the nextcloud client not working? how are ghost and wordpress different? where do i setup email filters like gmail? How do I setup my DNS and what is a domain? and so on. Cloudron as a company is simply not setup to answer those sort of questions. We can support sysadmins and techies, but not general consumers.

    To me, the issue is not pricing. It's just the product has to be packaged and marketed very differently and also developed differently. For example, I imagine the best way to target consumers is to make a hardware appliance and focus on a very limited set of apps. That too, you will find that you are non stop competing with comparisons of these limited apps with SaaS. Alternately, you have to make Managed Cloudron SaaS (this is how Cloudron started, we couldn't make it work and won't do this again).

    FWIW, we encourage people to try other business models and pricing models on Cloudron instead of expecting us to try those. If pricing is what stops you, feel free to reach out to us directly and we can come to some agreement. We have made several such agreements already with service providers.

  • @girish Good points. That brings to mind that French company offering their services based on top of Cloudron, and their cheapest plan is 150 euro/month! I suppose any of us could start our own "Family Cloud" service, based on Cloudron, and offer our own $5/ month plan.

  • @scooke said in Family Licence:

    I suppose any of us could start our own "Family Cloud" service, based on Cloudron, and offer our own $5/ month plan.

    Only if everyone was on the same server (because otherwise you'd be loosing at least $10/mo - Cloudron costs at least $15/mo when paid annually = before you even got started), which I don't think is what is proposed here.

  • @girish Fair enough, just a conversation point really. I'll have a think.

    I'm good with the business pricing, and if anything think you could charge more in some ways.

  • @scooke I see what you're saying, as in SaaS sub-accounts on a bigger main server.

    Certainly something to think about, and if Cloudron's model is enabling reseller models, this could be a win-win community initiative instead.

  • App Dev

    @jdaviescoates said in Family Licence:

    which I don't think is what is proposed here.

    The way I understood it was a "when you handle (first level) support and have a business model, then we can be flexible on pricing".

  • @fbartels Makes complete sense, I'm all for picking up 1st-line as a community. I'm sure I posted something somewhere on naming the forum groups in a way that leans towards that. Can't find the link now 🙂

  • Staff

    @fbartels said in Family Licence:

    The way I understood it was a "when you handle (first level) support and have a business model, then we can be flexible on pricing".

    Yes, this. @fbartels put it better better and concise than I did 😄

  • thanks @fbartels!