Frequently asked questions

This is the list of frequently asked questions regarding ~vern and the services we host. We try our best to answer these questions, and this list is ever-expanding. If you want an item added or something clarified, contact an admin.

How do I sign up?

Sign up by going to the registration page and filling out the form. An admin will review your request. You will get an e-mail if your request was accepted.

How can I get my public key replaced?

Send a request from the e-mail you used to register and an admin will replace your key.

Will SSH leak my IP address?

No. We use WireGuard to connect our VPS to the main tilde. Unlike other public UNIX-like systems where all IP addresses are leaked, all connections to ~vern's services show up as coming from This includes the website.

Which distros does ~vern use?

We use debian on almost all of our servers with non-free repos disabled. The exception is our PubnixVM which runs NixOS with Linux-Libre.

For more info, see /sysinfo

How do I set up my user site?

Simply place all the relevant site files in ~/public_html for HTTP, ~/public_gopher for Gopher & ~/public_gemini for Gemini. This will be the root directory for your website/gopherhole/capsule. For example, if a user foo wanted a site, they would create /home/foo/public_html/index.html. A file /bar in foo's user site would be located at /home/foo/public_html/bar.

User sites for HTTP are rendered on the URL and User sites for Gemini also render on both URLs. Sadly, due to protocol limitations, gopher only renders on

How do I use my UNIX socket?

Install any server that supports UNIX sockets. Then make it listen on /home/your-username/.webserver.sock. Any requests to * will use the socket.

How can I host my PGP key on ~vern?

Just place your ASCII PGP key (e.g. gpg -a --export yourkeyid) in ~/.pgp.asc and it will be accessible via

Alternatively, you can place a binary export of your key in ~/.pgp.gpg, and have it accessible via

Can you host X?

If you would like a service to be hosted by us, contact an admin and discuss it with them. You could also add it here. We are always open to new services to host, but it may take a while to get it fully set up.

Can you install X?

We currently have nix home-manager set up (run nix-shell '<home-manager>' -A install to generate the default config) set up, so you can install any libre software that is in the nix repositories into your own home directory. If a package is popular we might install it globally.

Can I use custom domains with my user site?

It is possible by adding a CNAME record to your domain that points to

Why is X broken?

If a service is not working, please inform an admin.

When I try to copy a file it says Quota Reached

To prevent zip bombing and related activities on the Pubnix, we make use of ZFS User Quotas.

If you have a real use case for more than 20 GiB of storage, please contact an admin. We only need a solid reason and an assurance that you won't zip bomb or similar the PubnixVM.

Why do I get an error when trying to access my user site? I have everything in ~/public_html!

Typically this happens because of incorrect permissions in the folder.

The www-data user must be able to read your website directory, so make your home directory executable and public_html, public_gopher or public_gemini readable and executable.

You can fix the permissions by running chmod 711 ~; chmod 755 ~/public_html ~/public_gemini ~/public_gopher

I didn't request an account on a chat program and no longer have the E-mail I signed up with. How can I contact an admin?

Contact any admin by using the contact methods listed at the admins page. The admin will give you a message signed to your ssh pubkey which you can decrypt with your privkey. If that succeeds, you will be given back access to your ~vern account. If you can't use that method, contact an admin with the e-mail you registered with.

How do I pronounce ~vern?

~vern is pronounced with the IPA /vˈɝːn/ in English. To hear this pronunciation go to