CaliOpen, secure web messenger

caliopen-blue-logoCaliOpen is an open source and decentralized web app to discuss with your contacts in a secure manner and while preserving your privacy.


Re-developped not long after the Edward Snowden’s revelations on the NSA, CaliOpen wanted to “give back” the control of our data.

Although there were / are a lot of solutions for private correspondence, none of them were decentralized and easy to use. This is what CaliOpen tried to do.

This project has been there for some time, but I recently heard that the project got some funding and I decided to give it a try then.


First, CaliOpen let you centralized your messages (Email, SMS, …) and inform you about the Level of Confidentiality, (an indicator of trust but also, an invitation to better protect oneself), automatics labels to help you organized your correspondence, manage your calendar, …


Another interesting feature is their “downgraded mode”. If for example you access to CaliOpen from an insecure connection (Openwifi,..), it will downgrade your permission level in order to let you access only the data with minimal confidentiality, and thus ensuring the rest is not exposed.

Interested to give it a try? You can try their demo here.

Now, let’s see how to install it on your server. (Debian in my case)



The installation is quite straightforward but will require docker and docker-compose.

1) Install  git

With root user (or with sudo), run:

apt-get install git


2) Install  docker

You will need to add the official repo to your sources.list

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

and add

deb debian-jessie main

depending on your system. (Jessie for me)

Then install apt-transport-https if not there already, as we are using their HTTPS repo

apt-get install apt-transport-https

and import their key before doing an update

apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys 58118E89F3A912897C070ADBF76221572C52609D
apt-get update

And now install docker

apt-get install docker-engine


3) Install docker-compose

You can get it with PIP

In root run:

apt-get install python-pip
pip install docker-compose


4) Clone their git repo

And now download their git repo

mkdir caliopen
cd caliopen
git clone bin


5) Setup the environment and install CaliOpen


6) Start the app

As this is the first start, the script will download and create all the needed containers. It might take some time then.



And you should now be able to access to CaliOpen at http://YourIP:4000

The standard configuration should be good enough, but I suggest you to read the official doc for more information.


Loves to discover web-based apps to install on his own server@home and write articles about it


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