Aral Balkan

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The little Raspberry Pi that could (serve a web site)

Yesterday, I asked folks following me on my Mastodon1, if they’d help me blow up my Raspberry Pi Zero W:

A story in three toots…

Earlier this week, I got to test Site.js on the Pi Zero and saw that it runs flawlessly. Using ngrok, I exposed the Pi to the harsh and cruel Interwebs and then – for the fun of it – decided to see what would happen if lots of folks hit it at the same time. And…

Oh, the suspense…

Turns out, the little thing is a trooper.

The little Pi that could

During our little experiement, Site.js on the Pi Zero served over 7,000 requests. And since I made the ephemeral statistics URL public, folks creatively started using it to send me messages via 404 errors.

Wait, what’s Site.js again?

Site.js is a free and open source web tool for developers. I would argue that is the easiest way to develop, test, and deploy secure static and dynamic web sites. Check out this tutorial to get started and view the documentation if you want to learn every little detail.

It’s the first piece of the bridge we’re building at Small Technology Foundation between the centralised surveillance-based exploitative web we have and the peer-to-peer ethical web we want.

Site.js runs on Linux, macOS, and Windows (and, of course, Raspberry Pis2).

Why not have a play?

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  1. I also asked on (spit) the @aral Twitter account. The difference is that while I own and control my own Mastodon instance, Twitter, Inc., owns and controls my account on On my Mastodon, I see everything that everyone sends me and I decide what I say and how (and I’m still bound my the laws of the jurisdiction that I live in and I don’t have the right to compel anyone to listen to me – a common misconception of free speech advocates). On, I see what their algorithms show me and I am able to say what Twitter, Inc. deems acceptable. For folks in Turkey, for example, that means they don’t see what the Turkish government doesn’t want them to see. ↩︎

  2. Which run Linux on ARM. I’ve tested Site.js on the 3B+, 4B, and Zero W models. ↩︎