What are Tildes and How You Can Use Tilde Computing

Permlink | Comments
By: Anton McClure;
Tags: Tildes; Technology; Tildeverse; Open Computing;

A quickly-growing community that started from a couple of drinks.

Tildeverse Logo by Aewens. Used with permission.
Tildeverse Logo by Aewens. Used with permission.

What are Tildes

A "tilde" server is a public access server running any operating system. These servers are hosted in various ways on various technologies, ranging from a Raspberry Pi at someone’s home, to powerful dedicated servers in the Cloud, and nearly everything in between.

The first "tilde" known as by Paul Ford, started in 2014, provided shell accounts and basic services for its users. However, it grew quickly leaving the admin unable to handle all the new user requests. Due to its growing waitlist, different servers became available. Many of these are now defunct, but some of them still exist to this day. Many of these tildes were exclusive/limited to members only, and services were mostly or completely intranet-only. While there were efforts between some tildes to combine services, most of their efforts fell flat. One of the successful efforts started with a group of tilde servers making a shared IRC network known as, which grew as more tildes were made and joined. This group eventually became the loose association known as the tildeverse.

What do Tildes Do Different

The tildeverse allows learning and using UNIX, Linux, BSD, and other operating systems without having to have the system installed on your computers or servers. When members were asked, the common responses were that tildes are free, not for profit, inclusive, everyone’s welcomed, and is seen as a safe place for pro-foss beliefs and homebrewed tools.

Despite most similar services requiring a paid membership, or being completely paid, the tildeverse offers many things for free with optional donations.

Introducing: "Tilde as an Example"

"Tilde as an Example" is a planned series that takes a look at one or more tilde servers, and uses them for testing, development, demonstration, and other various uses. This also utilizes tildes to their full potential and incorporates innovative and modern technologies within tilde environments.

Being an open environment, readers are free to try "Tilde as an Example" things for themselves.

Getting Started with Tilde Computing

Any server can become a tilde server easily. All that’s needed is a basic server (running any operating system) and a community of users.

If you find tildes interesting or want to join the tilde community without the required setup, I’d recommend joining either "" by ben, or another tildeverse member". These tildes provide many great services, primarily use only free software, and run on powerful servers.

For those who are already a tilde member, what do tildes mean to you?

Also on:

About the Author

Recent Posts

Image from piqsels. Licensed under public domain.
How Software as a Service (SaaS) Can Improve Your Business

By: Anton McClure;
Published: July 1, 2020
Tags: Technology; SaaS; Business;
You want your business to be successful, and modern cloud technologies such as SaaS can help make that success happen.

Title card - Image features an SSH connection Lily Winter's
How to Get Started with Tildes

By: Anton McClure;
Published: June 30, 2020
Tags: Technologies; Tildes; Open Computing;
Many public-access servers called "tildes", many of which are actively accepting new users. Here's how you can join and start making the most of your new tilde account.

Image by Pete Linforth (TheDigitalArtist). Image licensed under the Pixabay License.
Microsoft Gives Linux and Android a Significant Security Upgrade

By: Anton McClure;
Published: June 24, 2020
Tags: Android; Linux; Microsoft; Security;
Microsoft has released their Defender ATP platform for Linux and Android devices. Here are some of the benefits it brings, and how you can deploy it.

Image from pxfuel. Free for commercial use.
Making the Internet and its Content Accessible for More People

By: Anton McClure;
Published: June 14, 2020
Tags: General; Internet;
Mobile devices are bringing the Internet to more people than ever before. Here's ways we can improve their online experience.

Screenshot from me deleting a WordPress site from my VPS.
(Why) I Won't Use WordPress, and Why You Shouldn't Either

By: Anton McClure;
Published: June 5, 2020
Tags: Technology; Alternatives; Security; Internet;
WordPress is popular, but there are better programs out there.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors. Image licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.
Zoom Free Users Will Not Have End-to-End Encryption

By: Anton McClure;
Published: June 4, 2020
Tags: Technology; Encryption; Alternatives;
Zoom CEO has stated free users will not get end-to-end encryption. Here are some good alternatives to Zoom you could use instead.