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Step 1: Installing and configuring your Freenet node

Before you get started make sure you have a reliable browser and mail client installed. This guide will use Firefox and Thunderbird.

Windows instructionsTo view instructions for installing Freenet on Windows click here.

Mac OS X instructionsTo view instructions for installing Freenet on Mac OS X click here.

Linux instructionsTo view instructions for installing Freenet on Ubuntu Linux click here.

Freenet Installation for Mac OS X

  1. Download and run the Freenet Installer

    Step 1

  2. If you don't already have Java installed you'll be prompted to do that first.

    Step 2

  3. If Java is already installed make sure it is up to date.

    Step 3

  4. Enable Web Start to launch the Freenet installer.

    Step 4

  5. Click 'Allow' here.

    Step 5

  6. Choose the language you'd like to use.

    Step 6

  7. The next remaining screens do not require any interaction other than clicking 'Next' unless you want to change the installation directory.

    Step 7a

    Step 7b

    Step 7c

    Step 7d

    Step 7e

    Step 7e

    Step 7e

Freenet Configuration

  1. You should now see the setup wizard. Click 'Choose custom security'.

    Step 1

  2. You should always browse Freenet in Private Browsing or Incognito modes. If you aren't already do so now. Remember to copy the URL and paste it back into the address bar.

    Step 2

  3. Click 'Next'.

    Step 3

  4. Click 'Next' unless you have a reason to disable UPnP.

    Step 4

  5. Choose the second option here. If you know other people who use Freenet you can upgrade to darknet mode in the future but for now you need to connect to strangers in order to access the network.

    Step 5

  6. Choose "NORMAL" here.

    Step 6

  7. Choose "LOW" here unless you are already using whole disk encryption, in which case you can choose "NONE". The higher levels of security unfortunately do not fully protect your identity if you use the kinds of social networking plugins we will be installing. You should use a whole disk encryption product like Truecrypt or FileVault, but setting that up is outside the scope of this guide.

    Step 7

  8. The installer will recommend a default value based on the size of your hard drive. You can use the value it suggests or select something different.

    Step 8

  9. You have two options to choose from here. If you want to limit bandwidth based on a monthly cap click 'Yes'. Otherwise click 'No' and skip to step 11.

    Step 9

  10. 'Select' your monthly data cap from the options provided or type a value into the last box. Skip to step 12.

    Step 10

  11. Select the right bandwidth limit based on your connection type in your own values.

    Step 11

  12. Your node is now running. Before installing any of the social networking plugins in future steps you should check the maximum amount of memory your node is allowed to use.

    Step 12

  13. Go to the "Core settings" page of the Configuration menu.

    Step 13

  14. The Freenet installer picked a value of "Maximum memory usage" based on the amount of RAM on your computer. Frequently this value is too small to run the plugins that we will be installing in later steps. Make sure this value is at least 512 MB to make sure your node doesn't run out of memory. Symptoms that this value is too small include frequent node crashes and restarts.

    If you don't see the WRAPPER section here and you've followed the instructions in this guide this is a bug that should be reported. As a workaround, search your computer for the file "wrapper.conf" and open it in a text editor. (you may need to expand the search to hidden and system folders to successfully locate it). Find the line starting with "wrapper.java.maxmemory" and make sure the value is at least 512. Save the file and restart your node.

    Step 14

  15. When you are done scroll to the bottom of the page and click 'Apply'.

    Step 15

  16. Return to the node homepage to access the restart command.

    Step 16

  17. Restart the node to update the max memory setting.

    Step 17

  18. Confirm the restart command.

    Step 18

  19. Wait until your node finishes reloading to continue to the next step.

    Step 19

At this point you may want to wait a few hours before continuing to the next step in order to let your node become fully connected to the network. Make sure your computer doesn't go into sleep or hibernation while Freenet is trying to connect to the network.

When you are ready to continue it's time to setup the Web of Trust plugin.