This is a well known system for real time collaborative editing of documents. Just log in, choose a document title and then edit. Different users will appear in different colours, and can also chat in the sidebar. This is installed as a private system in which only users on your Freedombone server will be able to create and edit documents, so it's not open to any random users on the internet.

If security is an especially important factor then you might also want to consider installing CryptPad instead. It has more features and doesn't store any documents on the server.


Log into your system with:

ssh myusername@mydomain -p 2222

Using cursor keys and Enter key select Administrator controls and type in your password.

Select Add/Remove Apps then etherpad. You will then be asked for a domain name and if you are using FreeDNS also the code for the domain which can be found under Dynamic DNS on the FreeDNS site (the random string from "quick cron example" which appears after update.php? and before >>). For more details on obtaining a domain and making it accessible via dynamic DNS see the FAQ. Typically the domain name you use will be a subdomain, such as It will need to be a domain which you have bought somewhere and own and not one of the FreeDNS subdomains, otherwise you won't be able to get a SSL/TLS certificate for it.

After the install has completed go to Security settings and select Create a new Let's Encrypt certificate and enter the domain name that you are using for Etherpad. If you're using the "onion only" version of the system then you don't need to do this. If the certificate is obtained successfully then you will see a congratulations message.

Initial setup

If you have just obtained a Lets Encrypt certificate as above then go to About on the administrator control panel and you should see your Etherpad domain listed there along with an onion address. You can then navigate to your site in a browser.

Please be aware that after installation the etherpad daemon takes a while to start up for the first time. On a low powered system such as a Beaglebone Black this can take ten minutes or more. So if you navigate to the site and see a "Bad Gateway" error then don't panic. Wait for ten minutes and try again.

To see the login password for your site go to Passwords on the Administrator control panel and select the appropriate username and app. The passwords will be different for each user and may not be the same as the password which you used to originally ssh into the system.

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