start9labs embassy


anyone can do it.
no one can stop it.

Embassy is an elegant, plug-and-play personal server for running self-hosted software. It sits quietly on your shelf, running all day and night - your own private cloud. It offers one-click installation of powerful, open-source services like Bitcoin, Lightning, data storage, password management, instant messaging, social networking, and more. There is no command line involved, and no technical expertise required.

You use your Embassy and its installed services in total privacy, right from the browser, from anywhere on Earth, and there are no trusted 3rd parties. What you do with your Embassy is your business; it cannot be monitored or accessed by anyone - not even Start9, not even your ISP. It is your sovereign territory in the land of the Internet

Welcome to the era of Sovereign Computing.

Web Interface

Screenshots of the user portal for EmbassyOS


Currently available on the Embassy Marketplace

bitcoin icon


An innovative payment network and new kind of money. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks ‐ managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network.

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Lightning Network Daemon (LND) is a complete implementation of the Lightning Network in Go, fully conforming to the "Basis of Lightning Technology" (BOLT) specification.

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Synapse is the battle-tested, reference implementation of the Matrix protocol. Matrix is a next-generation, federated, full-featured, encrypted, independent messaging system. There are no trusted third parties involved. See for details.

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btcpay server

BTCPay Server is a free and open-source cryptocurrency payment processor which allows you to receive payments in Bitcoin (on-chain and via the Lightning Network) and altcoins directly, with no fees, transaction cost or a middleman. It is also a non-custodial invoicing system which eliminates the involvement of a third-party.

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A password manager that helps you create and manage secure passwords. Bitwarden on the Embassy is totally self-hosted and secure. Your passwords are encrypted and never leave the confines of your physical Embassy device. Use as an extension in Firefox and Tor Browser or via the Android mobile app for a seamless experience.

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file browser

Personal cloud data service that enables you to store, organize, edit, and share all your files. Files are stored on your physical Embassy device and accessible from anywhere on Earth over Tor V3, right from the browser. There are no central servers or trusted 3rd parties of any kind.

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sphinx chat

Sphinx Chat is a messaging service built on top of the Lightning Network. Each message sent and received on Sphinx is actually a transaction on Lightning. This serves to protect against spam and provides a means of monetizing content without trusted third parties.

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Mastodon is an open source decentralized social network - by the people for the people. Follow friends, discover new ones and publish anything you want: links, pictures, text, video. All on a platform that is community-owned and ad-free.

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A private, peer-to-peer instant messaging service. Messages are end-to-end encrypted and onion routed over Tor directly between the two communicating parties. There are no central servers or trusted third parties. Cups is arguably the most private messaging service in history.

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Burn After Reading (BAR) uses Tor (.onion) ephemeral links to share encrypted messages and files that are destroyed after they are viewed. Data are stored directly on the Embassy, and there are no trusted 3rd parties. Try out the hosted demo.

thunderhub icon


ThunderHub is an open-source LND node manager where you can manage and monitor your node on any device or browser. It allows you to take control of the lightning network with a simple and intuitive UX and the most up-to-date tech stack.

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Ride the Lightning (RTL) is a fully-featured, device agnostic, web user interface for managing lightning node operations. RTL on the Embassy is hosted as its own Tor V3 hidden service, accessible right from the browser, communicating directly with the Embassy's own LND node.

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A lightweight, highly customizable, and standards compliant implementation of the Lightning Network in C, optimized for performance and extendibility.

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spark wallet

Spark is a minimalistic wallet GUI for c-lightning, accessible over the web or through mobile and desktop apps. It is currently oriented for technically advanced users and is not an all-in-one package, but rather a "remote control" interface for a c-lightning node that has to be managed separately.

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embassy pages

Embassy Pages is a simple web server that uses directories inside File Browser to serve Tor websites. Your website could be a blog, a resume, a portfolio, a business landing page, a product brochure, or just a set of static folders and/or files that you want to share with the world.

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Photoview is a simple and user-friendly photo gallery. It's made for photographers and aims to provide an easy and fast way to navigate directories, with thousands of high resolution photos.

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bitcoin proxy

Bitcoin Proxy is both a gatekeeper and a super charger for your Bitcoin node. It enables multiple user accounts with fine-grained permission management. Bitcoin Proxy also introduces dynamic block fetching for pruned nodes. If your wallet requires a missing block, Bitcoin Proxy will dynamically fetch the block over Bitcoin's P2P network, making your pruned act like an unpruned node!


privacy without trust

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embassy icon


The Embassy implements commodity hardware that can be purchased online or at most electronics stores. Our specifications include:

raspberry pi 4b
cortex-a72 cpu
8gb ram
128gb high endurance microsd
bluetooth 5.0
2.4ghz and 5.0ghz ieee 802.11ac wireless
ble internal speaker buzzer for audio feedback

embassyOS icon


The Embassy comes pre-installed with Start9's own EmbassyOS, a stripped-down and augmented version of Raspbian Buster Lite. EmbassyOS handles Embassy setup, owner authentication, Tor Hidden Service management, networking, and the installation, configuration, and hosting of services. EmbassyOS is at the core of Start9's technology stack and what makes our unprecedented user experience possible.

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Tor is woven into the fabric of EmbassyOS. Each service running on the Embassy receives its own unique Tor Hidden Service address. All communications to and from the Embassy, between Embassies, and between services running on the Embassy are done over Tor. Even potentially compromised Tor exit nodes are kept out of the loop.

startup app icon


A bare bones, bookmark centric browser on iOS that simplifies visiting .local and .onion URLs. With enhanced caching and a minimal UI, this beta experience is tailored for efficient communication with your Embassy. Download here. For more details, check out our blog post.

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The world of free and open source software is rich and expanding. These software solutions are often difficult to install and configure, which is why most of the world runs on trusted third party servers. With the Embassy device and platform, Start9 aims to unleash open source software and usher in a new era of sovereign computing.

As the world has migrated to the cloud, we've lost something critical: digital privacy. For everyone who doesn't care about that, the Embassy won't be interesting. For everyone else, the Embassy is your new best friend.

erik voorhees
CEO Shapeshift

The Embassy is a project I'm very excited about. With a promising roadmap ahead of powerful applications that empower the individual, Embassy may be the first private server that even your mom will want to run. Simple plug-n-play installation of apps makes the Embassy a delight.

mike in space

By far the easiest internet connected appliance I've ever set up, and when you consider that it's running a Bitcoin node, an encrypted messaging service, and communicating entirely over TOR... Well that's just crazy impressive.

peter van valkenburgh
Coin Center

If you want to support Bitcoin by running Bitcoin Core on your own node it can't and won't get any easier than the Embassy from Start 9. The Embassy is definitely Bitcoin For Boomers approved.

gary leland
"The Bitcoin Boomer"


get involved

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