Category Archives: General

Out Now: The Urban Commons Cookbook!

Which ingredients of a cooperative community project most help it succeed? What are urban commons and how do they fit into current activist and civil society debates? And what tools and methods do commoners need to strengthen their work? These are the three questions at the heart of The Urban Commons Cookbook, a handbook for those interested in starting, growing and supporting community-led projects, written by Mary Dellenbaugh-Losse, Nils.-Eyk Zimmermann und Nicole de Vries.

You can download the book here:

A Practical Handbook

The Urban Commons Cookbook combines the theoretical framework set out in the 2015 publication “Urban Commons: Moving beyond State and Market” with real-world insights, usable tips, and tested methods for creating and maintaining commons from real urban commons projects. The result is a practical handbook which can inform actors from the civil society and politics alike.

Learning from Cases

The core of The Urban Commons Cookbook is made up of interviews with eight commons projects across a broad spectrum of resource types and locations outlining the growth of their projects, the challenges they faced, and the methods they employed to surmount them.

Theory and Methods

These real-world experiences are supplemented with a clear and reader-friendly introduction to commons theory and a range of practical methods for starting a project, dealing with internal & external challenges, creating visibility and impact, and building trust and community.

This post is also available in: German

We support Battlemesh v12 in Paris

Freifunk supports this year’s “Wireless Battle of the Mesh – Building Community Networks for Fun and Non-Profit”.

The event aims to bring together people from across the globe who are interested in community networks, including wireless mesh network technologies, fiber infrastructure, Do-It-Yourself Internet Access Providers, and more generally how to create and maintain a thriving community of people involved in building their own networks.

We envision 7 days full of expert presentations, practical workshops, late-night hacking sessions, and fruitful discussions: whether you are a mesh networking enthusiast, community networking activist, protocol developer, or have an interest in networking in general, come and join the event!

Thanks to generous sponsors, the Battlemesh is free of charge and open for all, and every year the local organization team strives to keep participation costs low by negotiating deals for accommodation and food.

This year, the event will take place from Monday 8th to Sunday 14th of July, 2019 in Saint-Denis (Paris), France. The event is locally organized. Check out continuously updated information about the event at

Freifunk endorses and supports “Wireless Battle of the Mesh – Building Community Networks for Fun and Non-Profit” not only for the efforts made by its community to advance the field of wireless mesh networking and foster the development of grass-roots community networks, but for their contribution to digital freedom rights movement, empowerment of peoples tech/net/media competency and a free and open civil society.

Freifunk will support the event by:

  • bringing members of the community to the event
  • sponsoring and collecting donations via betterplace

This post is also available in: German

Mesh is in the Air

The Wireless Battle of the Mesh v11 (#WBMv11) and the Wireless Community Weekend 2018 (#FFWCW18) will be meshed up and co-located in Berlin from May 07 to May 13, 2018. Since it is the 15th anniversary of the WCW, friends and fellows from across the globe celebrate together wireless mesh network technologies and ideas of community networking.

You can expect to meet with tech experts in mesh technologies, policy discussions, talks, hands on workshops, late night hacking sessions, measurement campaigns and an ongoing barbeque at the riverside. If you are a mesh networking enthusiast, community activist, or simply have an interest in wifi or dynamic routing protocols, you can’t miss this event!

So check out our continuously updated information about the event at


We are meeting at the c-base space station, 3 minutes from public transport S+U Jannowitzbrücke in the heart of Berlin.

There you will find the main hall with the bar for presentations, discussions and hacking, a seminar room for up to 15 for workshops, two spaces for a smaller groups in the basement and upper floor and not at least the fully equipped riverside with powersockets, light close to the grill station. For the weekend we booked another room for presentations at European Theater Institute right next door to the seminar room.

You will find yourself at Berlin’s most famous hackspace, where you can use repair and assembling shops as well as meeting with Berlin’s net activists and hacker scene. is available, since the roof top node is part of the BerlinBackBone.

Taking part and Registration

It helps the organizers, if you add yourself early to the wiki page under and provide your meal prefernces and t-shirt size, in case you want one. Start preparing your presentation, lightening talk, workshop, idea, announcement or open space you want to run. The event is *free of charge*, but contributions are very welcome, so please have a look at the supporters page as well, thanks in advance.

Accommodation Offering

For those of you who are looking for a convenient accommodation option: we have made block reservation for 50 beds in a nice hostel 15 min walking distance or one station by public transport. The packages include 7 nights in a three or four-bed room incl. breakfast – for 33,00 EUR p.P/Night incl. Breakfast
Valid for:

  • 07.05.2018 – 13.05.2018
  • 50 Beds are reserved until 23.03.2018
  • 25 Beds are reserved until 05.04.2018
  • Payment at checkin – using cash or creditcard

IMPORTANT: Booking with this special price is only possible by mail or phone +493031879767
Stating that you want to stay at “EastSideGallery” mention the Keyword: MESH
Booked Rooms will be held until 6pm on arrival day – please let them know when you arrive later.

Catering and Social Events

There will be catering at dinner time and free coffee the whole time. Beverages can be bought at the bar, closeby kiosk or brought with you.

Some jaunts and social events are in planning, but will be announced later.

Spread the Word

Please help us spreading the word by forwarding this to all lists and people that might be interested. Blogging about it is also very appreciated, and if you do so, please add a ping-back to the wiki page:

We will also start the endorsements process within some weeks. If your community/organization would like to help and support us, please check supporters page.

Organizers Team Contact

The local core team consists of Monic, Andi, Cven and others from freifunk and c-base community.
The mentors team consists of Claudio, Filipe and Paul.

This post is also available in: German

WCW 2017 and Battlemesh v10

Over the next week there will be two opportunities to meet wireless communities and Freifunker from Germany and all over the world. Don’t miss the chance to build networks outside of your own community.

Wireless Community Weekend (WCW)

The Wireless Community Weekend will follow the 13 years of tradition also in 2017 and take place in the c-base space station in Berlin. From the 26th to the 28th of May the Freifunk community will meet with their guests to create an unconference and hackathon.

How to WCW:

  • Add your nick/name and meal preferences to participants page
  • Add your session and timeslot to the timetable
  • Looking for accommodation or for offering a couch, use the accomodation page
  • Invite people that may be interested or you find interesting to meet
  • Use #ffwcw as hashtag on twitter to spread the event
  • Forward this mail also to other channels, groups
  • Add your endorsement here
  • Land around 12:00 at the space station
  • There is free coffee but no free beer* :p
  • Do only smoke outside the building
  • Get an eco, fair-trade Freifunk Hoodie or Tee close to the cost price
  • Donate food specialties** or EUR for the endless BBQ on site
  • Have fun and make new friends :))

Battlemesh v10

The first week of June in Vienna, there will be the tenth edition of the Wireless Battle of the Mesh (WBM). WBM is the most important international community-organized event that gathers all the activists of community networks around the Europe, and lately, also from outside Europe. During the event the developers of the most used open source routing protocols set-up a testbed and “battle” to understand which protocol performs better. It is a great chance for all the devels to debug, exchange ideas and improve their software, but it is also a great chance for all those interested in community networks to enter in contact with other people and exchange experiences.

freifunk endorses the event. People from freifunk will be at the WBM, and we invite everyone interested in community networks to join us in Vienna!

This post is also available in: German

Meet Freifunk people in May and August!

Over the next months there will be a lot of opportunities to meet wireless communities and Freifunker from Germany and all over the world. Don’t miss the chance to build networks outside of your own community.

OpenTechSummit – Information desk and workshops

14.5.2015 in Berlin

Logo_OpenTecSummit_TXT_b_v1-0The day before our annual Wireless Community Weekend starts, the OpenTechSummit will take place for the first time in Berlin, Germany at the “Kalkscheune” venue close to Friedrichstraße station. Topics range from open hardware to design, graphics, software, networks, knowledge and digital policies. There will be DIY workshops for kids and techies. Freifunk will present itself with an information desk and provides workshops e.g. on upgrading Wifi routers. After the evening there will be an “OpenTech-Himmelfahrt” lounge. You can find information on the schedule and how the get tickets on the OpenTechSummit website.

WCW – Meet German Freifunk communities and international guest to chat, hack, chill and BBQ

15.5.-17.5.2015 in Berlin

WCW_illustration_2015Like every year german speaking communities will meet with international guests at c-base in Berlin. The „official programme“ starts at May 15th and lasts until May 17th. In fact, the final version of the agenda will be created by attendents on-site. If you add your idea or wishes to our wiki upfront, we can take care of your talk or workshop. Hack sessions are taking place the whole time.

This year we focus on topics like crypto, IPv6 and new services, but also like always latest firmware, new installation setups and last not least legal and political update plus public relations. We’ll also build an advisory council to settle on disputes and write down a Memorandum of Understanding on freifunk. Following the tradition we’ll have barbecue in the evening hours at Spree beach and we don’t charge entry fee. For more information and taking part, please look at

Add your ideas and proposals for workshops, talks or projects to our wiki. If you have limitations on time, please make a note to your proposal. Our timetable will be compiled on runtime.
Please add yourself to the list of participants, too. If you need accomodation, or if you can offer a couch, add it to the accomodation page.

We’re excited to meet you in Berlin!

BattlemeshV8 – International meetup of Wireless Communities

3.8.-9.8.2015 in Maribor/Slowenien

battlemeshv8The “Wireless Battle of the Mesh” is an event that aims to bring together people from across the globe to test the performance of different routing protocols for ad-hoc networks, like Babel, B.A.T.M.A.N., BMX, OLSR, and 802.11s.

Many developers and community networkers will join the event to hack, test, discuss, explain and learn.

The battlemesh is free of charge and open for all, every year we strive to keep participation costs low by negotiating deals for accommodation and food. This year the event will take place from 3rd to 9th August 2015 in Maribor, Slovenia and will be hosted by Wlan Slovenia.

If you are interested in dynamic routing protocols or wireless community networks you can’t miss this event! You want to talk about topics in this context? Propose your workshop or talk until May, 1st. Here’s the official announcement.

ChaosCamp – Freifunk Hacker Village

13.8.-16.8.2015 at Ziegeleipark Mildenberg

fairydustThe Chaos Communication Camp in Mildenberg is an open-air hacker camp and party that takes place every four years, organized by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC). Thousands of hackers, technology freaks, artists and utopians get together in a field for five days in the Brandenburg high summer – to communicate, learn, hack on things and party together. You can find Freifunk communities at the Freifunk Hacker Village. Visit us there, bring your tent.

Place of the event will be Ziegeleipark Mildenberg. Hackers will meet there from August 13th to 17th. Prices for tickets aren’t fixed for now, but a pre-sale is announced. Save the date for a summer vacation with like-minded people, including working hand rail trollies and locomotives!

This post is also available in: German

Better working FOR the People than being AGAINST someone

WCW_rückblick01Freifunk groups in Germany support refugees with free access and the willingness to help people who had to leave their home countries is still growing.

Many refugees have mobile phones, but no data rates. Using the a Freifunk network would make them able to contact their families at no charge. Freifunk is also one way of helping these refugees to get informed about their new home and get access to local information as well to information from their home country.

Even if some Freifunk groups had problems with local administrations in the beginning, many of them are still working on solutions for free access in refugee accommodation centres. By now, there are many projects up and running in various german cities and communities.


Arnsberg Freifunkers and the CCC have supplied a longterm facility for refugees with free internet access. Three access points were installed to create a mesh network and the internet connection runs via a backbone link to the municipal recycling station over a 2 km distance. On average all three nodes are used by more than 25 devices.


In 2014 activists in Augsburg have linked the refugee accommodation centre in Calmbergstraße. Approximatley 160 male refugees live there. Two outdoor nano stations and an indoor router have been set up.


Following a suicide in a communal housing facility in Würzburg in January 2012, and the 600 km „March For Freedom“ from Würzburg to Berlin in October, the Oranienplatz in Berlin-Kreuzberg was occupied by refugees. The square itself had no IT infrastructure. With the goal of setting up a free and independent network, Freifunkers from Berlin decided to supply the Oranienplatz with internet. The protest camp thus was suppplied with free internet access from 2012 until its evacuation in 2014.

Followed by technical issues in December 2013 the Gerhart Hauptman School was connected to a free network. 11 access points have been supplying the residents with free internet. During peak hours 2 MB/s were transmitted.

Since 2014 more and more refugees are being put into emergency housing. Usually these buildings are old gyms or container structures. Digital infrasctructure here is practically non-existent. In December – just in time for christmas – internet access was realised for the emergency accommodation at Waldschulallee with the help of the people of AFRA:

„Accommodating the refugees in emergency housing happened on short notice, but numerous donations of hardware and the swift support of Freifunk made the access to the internet before christmas possible.“ – Loofman (AFRA)

Thus people were able to contact friends and family during the holidays. The general goal is to improve the digital infrastructure in refugee accommodations. For this reason Freifunk Berlin and the Refugee Emanicpation Project will be collaborating in future.


In December 2014 a refugee facility in an old school in Dortmund was supplied with three Freifunk nodes. DOKOM21 provided DSL access. In January 2015 the activists exchanged the three devices with more powerful ones. 100 refugees in this facility gladly use this service. Several new homes will be opened in Dortmund soon. During the planing stage Freifunk contacted the carrier and because of the positive experience with the other homes may now supply all further facilities with free internet. Most devices – more than 70 routers – were donated by PING e.V.. The Pirate Party is planing to set up a desktop PC in every facility, to enable people without mobile devices, keeping contact to their families.


First contact between groups that support refugee accommodations in Erfurt have already taken place. An inspection of the facilities in near future is planned.


Right after the Freifunk Franconia reorganised, the central Bavarian reception centre for asylum seekers in Zirndorf near Nürnberg was supplied with area-wide WIFI. The local conditions had nationwide media coverage. Donated routers were installed on serveral buildings, to make internet access available for the residents. Before that, WIFI was only available in a tiny computer lab and outdoors. Unfortunatly the WIFI installation is inactive at the moment.


Freifunk Frankfurt together with the carrier provided open WIFI to a refugee home. Soon people in two other other facilites will have access to free internet. Freifunk Frankfurt is also hoping that the City of Frankfurt shows interest in further development and helps to reach more people.


In fall 2013 the situation of refugees in Hamburg became worse: 300 refugess from Libya stranded in Hamburgs streets. 80 people found a place to stay in Sankt Pauli Church – „Embassy of Hope“. In only two days, the Förderverein Freie Netzwerke e.V. collected the funds necessary to provide a WIFI network using only a few Freifunk routers within the compound of the church. The pastor and the youth centre shared their internet access with the refugees. The Humanist Lab donated two computers. The setup enabled the refugees to reestablish contact to their friends and families.

„It was wonderful to see the residents beeing happy about the new possibilities. Especially getting news from their families back home or just about the african Champions League. Due to the support of the employees of the church, getting everything installed was easy and uncomplicated.“ – Rainer Sax, Humanist Lab

All this was the starting point for a stronger social network in St. Pauli.

Container homes have been set up on the Schwarzenbergplatz in Hamburg-Harburg for several hundred refugees at the end of 2014. A local neighbour and Freifunker installed a router with a section antenna in his window and enabled up to 35 people using the WIFI simultaneously. Meanwhile a further routers have been set up and WIFI can now be accessed on most of the square.

Currently a ship is being prepared for accommodating 250 refugees. To make it possible for them to contact their friends and families abroad, the free WIFI connection of the nearby Kulturkran will be extended with further uplinks and access points. A cooperation of different companies and associations was launched to support Freifunk with router sites and providing internet uplinks.


The first refugee accommodation was supplied with a Freifunk network in December 2014. Several Freifunk nodes were installed on the premises in agreement with the relief organisation Malteser Hilfswerk. With this setup more than 40 people can keep up to date on world affairs and keep in contact with their friends and families. Internet access is provided by the neighbouring cultural centre PENG. In addition to that, Freifunkers in Mainz are working on a new backbone: a relay system to increase bandwith. On December, 3rd 2014 the decision was made, that Freifunk is allowed to be setup at the refugee accommodations.


In the district Körbecke of the community of Möhnesee a Freifunk network has been set up in the town centre. A remote mesh network supports the routers near refugee accommodations. The network is accessed by more than 10 devices simultaneously.


The catholic church in Holtheim came up with the idea, to supply the nearby refugee accommodation with Internet via Freifunk. The neccessary hardware is already ordered and will be put in place as soon as possible. The church community will bear a part of the costs.


In a housing facility of the organisation “AWO” approximatly 160, mostly refugee families with small children, found a place to stay. Both buildings have been provided with two routers by local activists. As access is not yet active the installation has not yet been completed.

First contact has also been made to a housing facility in Nürtingen, near Stuttgart. As there is no access to the internet at the moment the only way is an offer to donate an access, through which the facility can be provided with internet.

Thank you all for making this possible!

This post is also available in: German

Google Summer of Code 2014

Google uses open source software for many of its services. Google thanks the Open Source community and support students with a $ 5,500 funded project called “The Google Summer of Code”, which this year, ran from May to August. More than 1,100 students from around the world participated.

In 2014, Freifunk participated in the Google Summer of Code, again. Freifunk is like an umbrella organization for several initiatives from around the world:,, wlan slovenija and libremesh. We were given 9 “slots“ this year, for projects awarded to students in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Slovenia. The projects include the Freifunk API, network protocols and software for community management. Details about each project can be found on the Freifunk Blog.


Freifunk meets Linus Torvalds

The conclusion of this year’s Google Summer of Code was the Mentors Summit. Each organization was allowed to appoint two mentors. To celebrate the 10th Annual, participants from earlier years were invited and the Summit was extended by one day. More than 600 participants from around the world met in San Jose, California from Oct. 23. to Oct 26.2014, to discuss and showcase their projects, make new contacts and to celebrate the 10th Google Summer of Code. Surprise guest was Linus Torvalds. We had the opportunity to talk to him and tell him of Freifunk. Impressions and pictures of the Mentors Summit can be found on Flickr.

We would like to apply again as an organization in 2015. The application itself takes place in February 2015, but we can already gather ideas for projects in the wiki. If you have any contacts with universities or colleges, talk with faculty staff, students, and university professors to get support for projects in the summer term 2015.

This post is also available in: German

10th Wireless Community Weekend 2014 in Berlin

WCW2014Starting Friday May 30 till Sunday June 1, 2014, c-base and the German wireless network community invites you to the “Freifunk Wireless Community Weekend” at the c-base space station in Berlin. Meet interesting people involved in Wireless Community Networks in other cities and countries.

This year’s main topics will be IPv6, encryption and community services and of course recurring topics like firmware development, new installations, legislation and PR. At the end of the day we’ll have a nice barbecue at the Spree river. All information can be found at our wiki.

Feel free to propose your own topics at the topic’s page on our wiki. The timetable will be created just in time.

If you need accomodation take a look at the accomodation page.

We’re looking forward to meet you in Berlin!

This post is also available in: German

The Freifunk-API

apiAn API (application programming interface) is a set of protocols, routines and tools that specifies how software connects to other software. Through these ports, information can be provided from one software component to another.

Recently, we have set the course for the further development of our free radio API. So now it is really easy to create a Freifunk map or a list of all Freifunk initiatives in Germany, for example.

We first demerged previous repositories, that already had developed a quite wildly. Thanks to @ratopi, who has taken over this task. The new sectioning in different repositories for core components is as follows:

  • contains the heart of the API, namely the specification and the generator and we may later add documentation.
  • this is from now on the directory, the only real central component of the API
  • this repository contains software that is both needed and used by all other modules. For example the collector or updater of the number of nodes.

So far the applications are structured as follows:

  • the Communitymap, which is generated and maintained from the API data on
  • this application supplies the feeds specified by API of each community viewer.
  • the newest addition to the API family is the viewer, which clearly presents the API data in a clearly layouted table.

We will be happy to add new repositories for new applications and ideas. Our goal is to develop stand applications, so we can publish versions independently and coordinate commit-messages. We want to make it easier for new developers to find their way around, and not get lost in a jungle of files and directories.

The next release of the API specs is now on its way.We have started with development and and are completing pending tickets. Progress is already installed in the generator under

You can find important information such as the founding date (maybe also the date of the reestablishment) and other important milestones of communities in the section ‚timeline‘. For the historically minded among us, you can find some really interesting information.

We converted the events, so they now contain a URL to an exported calendar. The possibility of different node maps and visualizations as links is also brand new. Further adjustments will follow by and by.

Here you can find a step-by-step manual, how to generate the API file for your local community.

If you have new ideas for the API or would like to contribute something and/or need assistance, you can contact Andi on our Webteam. If you have general questions about the API or otherwise want to help, just contact us!

This post is also available in: German